عنوان مقاله [English]
The history of Afghan painting has always been associated with many ups and downs. The anonymity of prominent artists and the forgetting of artistic talent and taste, as well as the lack of access to the themes of their works have been the result of these ups and downs. Just as artists have been forgotten in the period of Sultan Mirza or the period of Saduzai and Mohammadzai. Although, there are references in foreign languages and Persian about the history of the former art of Afghanistan but no book is available on late artists. Despite all the difficulties, painting in Afghanistan, with its visual richness, is dynamic and timeless. However, due to the limited research in this field and the lack of access to them, it has made it difficult to discover themes in contemporary Afghan painting. The history of Afghan painting can be divided into four periods: pre-Islamic, post-Islamic, realist and the end of the civil war. The history of painting in the third and fourth periods, which covers the governorship of Shah Amanullah Khan, ie from 1923 to the present day, is known as the history of contemporary painting in Afghanistan, which witnessed dramatic changes in painting such as the multiplicity and variety in both style and theme. Also in this period, we see a wide acceptance of painting by people, especially women. The themes of contemporary Afghan paintings are diverse. These themes may include critical, narrative, naturalistic, or other forms.
In order to understand the contemporary painting of Afghanistan and explain its place in the art of the Middle East and the Islamic world, it is necessary to collect and prepare archives, classify and analyze these paintings. The question is, what are the main and secondary themes and primary codes in the descriptive thematic analysis of contemporary Afghan painting? This study is a qualitative research which has been done by descriptive thematic analysis method using archival, library and internet resources. Thematic analysis is an inductive analysis in which the researcher achieves an analytical typology through data classification and modeling of inputs and outputs. In fact, thematic analysis tries to determine what the data tells us by encoding and analyzing the data. Theme is a repetitive and distinctive feature in the text that, in the researcher’s opinion, indicates a special understanding and experience in relation to research question. In this study, the type of sampling is non-random with purposive sampling method and paintings from the second period of Amanullah Shah’s reforms (1923) to the end of Hamid Karzai’s presidency (2014) are studied. The number of samples is the work of 192 painters who have at least one of the following characteristics: Someone whose biography or work has been published in authoritative books. Artists who have studied painting at art universities in or outside the country and own work in archive. Individuals who have been selected at prestigious art festivals at home, such as the Afghan Painting Biennial, or abroad. People in Reputable galleries inside or outside Afghanistan has had at least one solo or group exhibition. Then, the most significant indicators in each period were identified and analyzed. Findings of the research show that The main (and secondary) themes are: painting with religious subjects (Quranic concepts, Buddhist themes), Theme less painting (formalistic works, calligraphy), Ethnographic painting (historical monuments, daily life, urban landscapes, games), Social and political themes (women, war, children, national pride, the situation in Afghanistan, Landscapes (gardens, forests and rivers of Afghanistan, still life (fruits, flowers, flower baskets and fruits), Face-related themes (portrait of political or wealthy people, cultural celebrities, ordinary people), Mystical themes (dance, face).
In some cases, Afghanistan’s indigenous issues, problems and honors are reflected as the primary codes in the painting.Such as Quranic concepts and Buddhism (religious themes), mystical themes, aesthetics of calligraphy (non-thematic painting), Afghan customs (in ethnographic painting), critique of war, women’s rights, stoning and national pride (political and social themes).It should also be noted that landscape painting generally focuses on the geographical beauty of Afghanistan rather than on common patterns of Western landscaping. The themes of contemporary Afghan painting, on the one hand, are consistent with common Western themes such as still life, and in a way, it is a repetition of Western teachings that are done for education, practice and sometimes income generation,on the other hand, it is highly critical. The principles and content of contemporary Afghan critical paintings generally conform to Western definitions of keywords such as freedom, women’s rights, independence, and similar slogans. Religious themes, both Qur’anic and Buddhist, have been used more in men’s artworks. However, Quranic concepts appear only in the works of miniaturist women. Social and political themes occupy the highest proportion in the work of men and women and are seen more in the works of women, and women’s issues are the main theme of the majority of contemporary Afghan women painters.
Ethnographic themes are also more common in male’s work.
The difference between the works of men and women who have painted with this theme is that in the works of women, the technique of working with miniature principles and methods is done, but in the works of men, it is very realistic.
The themes of historical monuments, urban landscapes and especially Buzkashi play are abundant in male’s works, but in women’s works, scenes such as weddings, bringing water from river and women’s circles can be seen.