Thriving in calligraphy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:36 AM, October 16, 2019

Thriving in calligraphy

Osman Hayat, a passionate calligraphy artist, developed a keen interest in drawing from a young age. He practiced Islamic calligraphy with the help of different newspapers and catalogues, for as long as he can remember. He began learning the craft under the tutelage of top calligraphy artists, Mohammad Abdur Rahim and Ibrahim Mondol, in 2009. He went to his calligraphy lessons every Friday, before the Jummah prayers. Hayat has a BA in Islamic Studies from Bangladesh Islami University.

He received an award, along with his mentor, Mohammad Abdur Rahim, at the International Calligraphy Competition. The event was organised by Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), in 2013. A total of 672 calligraphy artists from 39 countries participated in the competition with 900 works. He also won the first prize at the Turkey-Bangladesh Calligraphy Exhibition in 2017.  Hayat partnered up with his artist and friend Monjur Hossain the same year, to work in the field of calligraphy professionally.

He mainly works with watercolour, acrylic and mixed media. He is also skilled at Bangla typography as well as Bangla, Arabic and English branding and logo designs. Furthermore, he has done the interior designs of numerous mosques.

Hayat believes that dedication is one of the most important qualities of an artist. Currently, he is developing the website,, with the goal of connecting calligraphy artists across the country with one another. He also plans to run art programmes in different rural regions of Bangladesh. “It is difficult to have a sustainable career in the field of art in our country,” says Hayat. “Many parents still oppose the idea of their kids pursuing art as a full-time profession. Hailing from a madrasah background, I have faced particular challenges in that regard. Calligraphy artists in Bangladesh need more outlets and opportunities to flourish.”

Hayat aims to represent Bangladesh in international platforms through his art, and take Islamic calligraphy to remarkable heights. 

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