Mohammed Yasin, A Calligrapher and Painter Par Excellence, is No More

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Mohammed Yasin, veteran painter and one of the best calligraphers in the subcontinent.

OBITUARY

Yasin’s early works have explored all available mediums from lithography, etching, aquatint, engraving, dry point, serigraphy, mezzotint water colours, oils, gouache and egg tempera.

Aseem Asha Usman | Clarion India

“85-year-old veteran artist Mohammed Yasin’s character impresses as a person and his characteristics as an artist. Perhaps the distinction is unreal, for, in his case, it is the same integrity that reveals itself in the structure of life and in self-expression through art.”

These were the words said a few years ago by a noted art critic for Mohammed Yasin, veteran painter and one of the best calligraphers in the subcontinent, who passed away on August 19.

Yasin was born in Mogalgidda, a village near Shadnagar, 30 km from Hyderabad. As a young school boy, he felt an aptitude for Art when he was just 14 years old. After passing his elementary and intermediate drawing examinations, he moved to Hyderabad city with his family members from his birthplace Mogalgidda.

Showcasing art work.

Though quiet in his demeanour, Yasin has had seriously tragic experiences. His father passed away when he was only 14 months old. He was brought up under his mother’s care and guidance. He had to grow up with many hardships. While as a boy, he was affected by tuberculosis of the spine which has left a limp which necessitates the use of a stick to aid in walking. But through a sustained musing, he has won an inner serenity.

Art works displayed in an art gallery

His most important contribution goes to the art of calligraphy. He chose to work in an abstract symbolic manner. Geometrical elements like the circle within the square, concentric circles, etc. comprise the basic structure emphasizing a symmetrical arrangement and abstract formal values–calm and quiet but they are, nevertheless, active fields. They seem to be deeply influenced by the Buddhist art. They generate impulses of colour and focus attention on the symbolic images they contain.

The use of circle, square, triangle adds to his innovation a transparency, a water colour. The orthodox prohibition of representational figuration in art made the Islamic tradition turn to calligraphy. Yasin has brought to this tradition a modernist love of abstraction and monumental geometricism.

His early works have explored all available mediums from lithography, etching, aquatint, engraving, dry point, serigraphy, mezzotint water colours, oils, gouache and egg tempera.

 

His works are very poetic and also dramatic; actually they are calligraphic in nature. Tantric symbolism, Sufi mysticism, echoes of the miniature schools, shades of thankas and pictorialised Arabic Calligraphy are all inspirations which could be identified in Yasin’s work.

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Aseem Asha Usman is founding director of Aseem ASHA Foundation, and  has been documenting the life and works of the veteran calligrapher and painter 

1 COMMENT

  1. I’m a graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i and an Arts Assistant at the East-West Center (EWC) in Honolulu. We are currently working on an exhibit featuring Mohammad Yasin, and I’m writing to get in touch with Aseem Asha Usman, who wrote the above obituary and also made a short documentary on Yasin Sahab, “Road Map of Yasin as a Painter.”

    Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you are the author.

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