Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Iranian Artist Tells How It Is to Spend 10 Years in Self-Isolation

While the outbreak of coronavirus in the world has turned self-isolation into an effective precautionary measure to protect the people’s health, an Iranian artist tells the story of his reclusive life over the past 10 years, saying that living in quarantine is not as difficult as it may seem.

Mohammad Ehsaee is a calligrapher, painter and graphic artist who has won the top Iranian award for best cultural and artistic figure.

In an interview with ISNA, Ehsaee said the self-quarantine at home after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus is not anything new to him, since he has been living in such conditions for a decade.

Although Ehsaee is saddened by the news of COVID-19 outbreak, he believes that the new situation could have benefits as well.

“The subject of quarantine is not quite new to me. At present, I have been in quarantine for almost 10 years. My contact with the outer world is very limited, and my hands have been also sterilized since 10 years ago,” he said about the conditions caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.

“Around 10 years ago at age 70, I realized that I have served the education, training and professional activities sector as much as I could and even beyond that. I was exhausted because of the constant work I was doing, so I thought and came to the conclusion that it would not be a great sin to leave everything behind and live how I’d like to. So I cut almost all of my connections with the professional world and stopped attending the exhibitions and various meetings. The latest exhibition of my works which was held in the last month of the previous year was organized by a collector who was in possession of a number of my works,” he explained.

“During the quarantine days, I decide what to do when I wake up every morning. In this period, I have completed the works that had remained from the past and draw new sketches. Like everybody else, I am saddened by this incident (coronavirus outbreak), although I have gotten used to seeing a good point in every happening for years and this attitude is soothing for me. These days, the Masnavi of Rumi, the Maqalat-e Shams (Discourse of Shams Tabrizi) and (poems of) Hafez are the books around my bed, and reading those books allay me,” Ehsaee said.

The Iranian artist says he had been transcribing the holy Quran in Muhaqqaq calligraphic script for years, but after the outbreak of coronavirus he has once again begun to exercise Nasta’liq calligraphy.

“After one month of calligraphy I realized what a perfect psychological effect this job has. When I’m working, nothing else comes to my mind and the joy of such purposeless activity is indescribable,” he noted.

The Iranian artist then praised the medical personnel for their leading role in the fight against coronavirus and for their devotion to duty, saying when he sees the doctors and nurses dedicating themselves to the treatment of patients, he is moved to tears and his heart begins to beat differently.

“These days, I become very saddened by hearing the bitter news. However, I see a benefit in this happening and I hope we could enjoy life in future and discover the meaning of life as it is necessary, and I hope that the world and the Earth would also be treated kindly by us humans,” he concluded.

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