Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi; one talented Pakistani artist who was well known for his calligraphies, poetries and paintings; was born on 30th June in 1923 in Amroha, India.
He belonged to the family of calligraphers, that’s from where he started doing calligraphy but his true talent was discovered by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who brought him into the limelight. He transformed calligraphy into serious expressionate paintings and followed his own style.
Sadequain, being a poet, painter and a calligrapher, was praised more for his calligraphy and his calligraphic style that is widely considered iconic by many critics of South Asian art. He drawn attention of people by painting Quranic verses and poetic verses of Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz and was admired for his work.
Sadequain was one social commentator. He painted his messages and thoughts on canvas. His murals not only adorn the Halls of State Bank, Frere Hall Karachi; Lahore Museum; Punjab University; Mangla Dam; Aligarh Muslim University; Banaras Hindu University; Indian Institute of Geological Sciences; Islamic Institute in Delhi, and Abu Dhabi Power House but also decipts some great things.
As his mural on Mangla dam that stated ‘Saga of labors’ depicts his respect for workingmen and women that they are the true backbone of one society. Sadequain also painted the ceiling of the Lahore museum entrance hall, depicting Evolution of Mankind, and additional nine large panels of calligraphies for the Islamic Gallery.
The Karachi’s Frere Hall ceiling bearing the words ‘Earth and Heaven’ was his last piece of work.
For his amazing work he received Sitara-e-Imtiaz, pride of performance award, Tamgah-e-Imtiaz and loads of other awards.
Sadequain called himself a speaker of truth. In an interview he said, “People ask why I don’t paint flowers, butterflies and landscapes? I tell them that I seek the truth and I am after reality. I am not inspired by someone posing against the backdrop of roses in a vase or pink curtains. What inspires me is a person who has gone hungry for hours and is struggling for survival. The expression that lights his face at the end of the day when he has finally found some scraps, that is what touches me. I am a painter of the expression of reality”.
He died at the age of 83 on 10 February in 1987 at Karachi, Pakistan and is buried in Sakhi Hassan graveyard in Karachi.
Sadequain is still known for his great work. He became an influence for generations of Pakistani artists, through his work. This great personality will always be remembered.