Seeing that the concept and foundation of the ONE ASIA project is the inherent oneness in terms of culture, please tell us about the calligraphy styles of all the 18 calligraphy artists who are part of Ek Sutra.
“Ek Sutra exhibition is a diverse group calligraphy art show, like a unique tapestry woven by the single inspirational thread – Ek Sutra.
We have all different styles like; Urdu, Hindi, Devanagari, Chinese, Korean, Sanskrit, Japanese and abstract. Ceramic artist, painter, photographer and multimedia artist are also part of the group. There are Indian, Iranian, Japanese, French,Taiwanese, Korean, Mongolian and German participants in this exhibition. A few artists come from the international township Auroville in Tamil Nadu. It’s a unique event.”
“Calligraphy or art of hand writing is one of the ancient art forms like music and dance. For our ancestors, these are basically all sacred acts in order to create a dialogue between the Universe and human or a dialogue with the great Self. In Japan the hand writings from the spiritual masters are considered as the most important object, more so than the statues of religious idles and sacred paintings. I have studied calligraphy since age 7 and I am confident to say that one can learn a lot about life through the calligraphy practice. Hand written messages convey a lot. It is a subtle way of communication and it is not just transmitting the ideas. In this perspective calligraphy can be a very interesting instrument of self expression in our highly computerized and commercialized age.”
“This calligraphy exhibition “Ek Sutra” (named by Ustad F. Wasifuddin Dagar) is a collaboration with Qalamkaari Creative Calligraphy Trust which was founded by the Delhi based calligrapher Qamar Dagar. We both resonate on the same note that Calligraphy is spiritual practice in daily life. We are a diverse group coming from all different cultural background. Ek Sutra includes both traditional and contemporary works. We are not categorized in existing frames, all the artists are simply inspired by the spirit of ONE ASIA project. ”
What is that one element of commonality that each one’s work showcases to underline the theme of ‘oneness’ of the One Asia Project?
“Oneness is the common spiritual understanding in Asian cultures. From the Asian spiritual and cultural context, it is so natural to say “We are already One”. When this becomes the commonality then we discover of the importance of “How to manifest the ONE in many forms”. Beauty and harmony will be one of the first considerations in life since there is no need for competition since we are already One. The focus and aim will shift naturally towards self perfection, like a blossoming flower completes the beauty of its own, and not against the beauty of other flowers. It is really a common attitude of many art masters. We would like to bring and spread this alignment through the project. ONE ASIA project will be a confluence and a source at the same moment. It will be in the flow all the time.”
Does this conference introduce newcomers too or do only established artists participate?
“It is open to the people who are inspired by the spirit of ONE ASIA project. As you can see from the program, participants are quite diverse. We aim to be a creative platform for the different artists for sharing and further self-discovery. The main focus will remain Oneness but the theme will be different according to the event and also the hosting venue. In ONE ASIA, we are also keen to support women in artistic expression. Also we aim to open the door for youth to get in contact with their own traditional culture as well as neighbor countries’. ONE ASIA project has social and educational aspects included. “
Does this conference mark any breakthroughs in calligraphic art? If yes, do give us some details. If no, may we ask why not?
“I expect the real impact will be through the continuation of the project. I don’t aim for an immediate impact or change through the event. But I feel the exhibition will be powerful enough to breakthrough the stereotype image of calligraphy. But my true interest is how to integrate this diversity and how to evolve. This is a collective adventure and there is a magical thread which holds all of us together. It’s very inspiring and most of the artists share the same feeling.
What is the mission that you as a founder-director set out to achieve in 2010 when you first started this annual conference? To what extent have you achieved it? Where do you foresee the One Asia Project going in the future?
“This project was formed very spontaneously. Since the time I came to live in Auroville, I started to organize cultural events in order to present Japanese beauty and Indian influence on Japanese arts for the people in India and Auroville. This was for me a very good process to understand my Japanese identity and at the same morment I started to recognize my self more an Asian than as Japanese because Asian culture is so interrelated and Japanese culture is like a well selected Asian cultural mix. Then the direction became more clear, I just felt I simply needed to focus on Asia. Simultaneously, I started to have some deep encounters with Asian art masters in different Asian countries. Masters also showed their interest in my back ground because of my understanding of art and spirituality. They wanted to know more about India and Auroville. I started to become like a cultural ambassador and the spirit was the passport. So finally they came to Auroville for ONE ASIA 2010. It was simply an inspirational process. ONE ASIA 2010 was a one month long event with many tea ceremony demonstrations, music and dance, martial arts presentations, some workshops, quite a few art exhibitions, film festival etc. It was truly a bouquet of Asian culture and very much appreciated by international and local audiences. I also faced a lot of difficulties in bringing unity in this event but all the challenges were necessary for its achievement. To raise the funds was another challenge but we could managed that. People spread the news of this event by word of mouth. The offer for ONE ASIA 2012 in Delhi came to me at the beginning of this year. Now people from abroad are already asking me for ONE ASIA 2013 and 2014…..”
“I am just one of the many who wish for peace and a truer society on Earth.
It was always clear that my work field is art & culture since my childhood. Then I lived as one of the profesional artists in Japan but now my work field is extended to create a new cultural exchange platform to prepare for a new spiritual based art forms. I am hoping to establish a new culture which is dedicated to the realisation of ONE WORLD.”
Interview for India Art n Design – http://www.indiaartndesign.com