Google doodles are now famous around the world for celebrating and commemorating both local and global events, people and places. On the legendary Pakistani artist, Syed Sadequain’s 87th birthday, Google created the doodle with this rather special message.
“In 1960s Pakistan, Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi stroked new life into the centuries-old art of Islamic calligraphy, turning words into vibrantly detailed expressionist paintings. Today’s Doodle celebrates Sadequain’s legacy as one of Pakistan’s most popular and prolific artists.
Sadequain created his own distinct script outside of the traditional kufic (angular) and naskh (cursive) styles. Descended from a family of calligraphers, he turned a practical art form into one of vivid expression — a shift that has given calligraphy a presence in the contemporary art scene of Pakistan.
Sadequain also painted vast murals, drew elaborate illustrations, and even wrote powerful poetry. Though he created a large body of work, he rejected material wealth. He was an artist for the people and was known to give his paintings away for free, even refusing to take on commissions from royalty and heads of state around the world.
Many of Sadequain’s murals still adorn the walls of public buildings in Pakistan and India. One of them, “Quest for Knowledge,” can be seen on the ceiling of the Lahore Museum — or online at the Google Cultural Institute.
Renowned for his work in Pakistan, Sadequain received national awards like the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and the Presidential Medal of Honor. He was also recognized in art circles abroad, receiving the Paris Biennale Prize in 1961.
Today we celebrate Syed Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi with Pakistan and honor his contributions to the arts and to public space.”