Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, also essay on quran majeed referred to as Sadequain Naqqash, was a Pakistani artist, best known for his skills as a calligrapher and a painter. Sadequain was born on June 30, 1923 in Amroha, into a family of calligraphers. In late 1940s he joined the Progressive Writers and Artists Movement. His true talent was discovered by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy who brought Sadequain into the limelight.
Hurufiyah refers to the attempt by artists to combine traditional art forms, notably calligraphy as a graphic element within a contemporary artwork. Salahi carried the script with a flourish in all directions, giving it the ‘power of space, vigor and volume’. Sadequain painted classical literature from the poetic verses of Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz. He belonged to the school of thought which enriched realism with lyricism. Sadequain was the most prolific painter in the period following the independence of Pakistan in 1947.
He was constantly at work and he worked on large scale. He repeatedly stated that he was not interested in decorating drawing rooms of rich and powerful. Sadequain in his own words was primarily a painter of figures with allegorical significance. His murals depict man’s endless quest to discover and develop the potentialities that lie within him. His murals are densely filled and tightly packed with images to render adequately the lofty subject. Islamic Institute in Delhi, and Abu Dhabi Power House, among others. His paintings and calligraphies in the building of Islamic Institute in Delhi alone cover more than seven thousand square feet.
Head Office of the State Bank of Pakistan at Karachi, titled “Treasures of Time,” in which he showed the intellectual advance of man from the times of Socrates to that of lqbal and Einstein. It is a linear creation that shows a pageant of intellectuals and thinkers of the Greek era, mathematicians and chemists of the Middle East, the scholars of the European Renaissance, and the 20th-century laureates. Sadequain 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 Panjab government has recently allocated money for the restoration of the mural. Punjab University houses the mural “Quest of Knowledge” in its library. The mural appropriately depicts the academic theme commensurate with the institution of learning where it is housed. Young men and women are shown holding high the key to learning that unleashes riches in their lives.
The mural is mounted high up against the ceiling of the main library and appears to be in good condition. All four sections of the mural have been disassembled and dismounted because of the damage to the building due to water seepage. He died before he could complete it. The mural titled “Saga of Labor” by Sadequain at Mangla Dam is a glowing tribute to the working men and women of all times and places who form the backbone of any society. The mural hangs in the powerhouse of Mangla Dam and so far endured the harsh environmental conditions of the huge enclosure that also houses gigantic electric turbines. Banaras Hindu University houses one large mural.