IRCICA International Gathering on the Art of Calligraphy
The IRCICA International Gathering on the Art of Calligraphy was organized in Istanbul from 12-15 September 2014. It was designed as a composite, festival-like event comprising panels, workshops, exhibitions, presentations of ijaza (license to practice and teach calligraphy) and study visits. The Gathering brought together calligraphers from around the world, including: prize winners in IRCICA’s calligraphy competitions and artists trained under IRCICA’s coordination; representatives of calligraphers’ societies; experts of this art and art collectors. It was opened by the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey Mr. Ömer Çelik. Present at the opening were Dr. Abubaker Ahmed Bagader Al-Amoudi, Director General of Cultural, Social and Family Affairs at the OIC General Secretariat representing H.E. Mr. Iyad Amin Madani, Secretary General of the OIC, the members of the Governing Board of IRCICA and guests form governmental, scholarly and media circles. The Gathering was attended by more than 300 participants in total, from the following countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Oman, Qatar, Senegal, Singapore, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA and Yemen.
One of the main events of the program was an international calligraphy exhibition opened at Dolmabahçe Art Gallery in Beşiktaş on 12 September 2014. The next day, 13 September, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of Turkey Mr. Ömer Çelik opened the Gathering with an address, during the ceremony held at Grand Cevahir Hotel, Istanbul where he expressed his pleasure that calligraphers from around the world had assembled on the occasion. After the opening addresses, 15 members of IRCICA’s calligraphy competition juries were presented plaques fo appreciation. During the same ceremony, Ijaza (the traditional calligraphy license) were given to the 38 calligraphers from 12 countries having completed training courses coordinated by IRCICA in the course of 2014. Following the opening ceremony, two panel sessions addressed by scholars of art and masters of calligraphy drew a large public. An exhibition of calligraphies by these master calligraphers was arranged in galleries adjacent to the conference hall.
On the third day, 14 September, two series of activities were held simultaneously: four sessions of “conversations with the masters” and five parallel workshops conducted by master calligraphers. Study visits were made to the Holy Relics and Calligraphy section of Topkapı Palace Museum and Sabancı Museum Calligraphy Collection. The Gathering program concluded with the establishment of the Union of Calligraphers. A concert by Doğan Dikmen Group featured compositions by calligrapher-musicians.