عنوان مقاله [English]
Had television emerged in Eastern lands like Iran, it would have undoubtedly had different aesthetic characteristics today. Cinema and television are modern amalgamations of the European traditions of art forms such as painting, fiction, music, theater, and architecture—traditions that inevitably followed the culture of their birthplace in their shaping of the rules of film and TV. If we recognize TV as a communication medium, then it becomes a channel to disseminate localized content, and creating such content calls for adopting elements from the culture and art of target regions.
Not only is Iran, an Islamic nation, among the many countries that practice TV localization, it has also always considered it a top priority. According to the Charter of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), promoting Islamic culture should be the primary focus of the corporation’s TV and radio programs. Non-fiction religious/spiritual programs have a special place among the genres produced by the IRIB; however, designing sets that best represent the content of such programs has rarely been a priority to its producers and, when attempted, has often been flawed.
In many parts of the world, the use of light as an independent visual element has long been part of scenic design, especially in theater. Even so, despite its long-standing philosophical and artistic significance to Iranians, light has never been employed as a primary element in scenic design for TV programs in Iran. Revisiting the rich Islamic–Iranian philosophical and artistic traditions seems to be the best starting point to do that. Since sets are an essential medium for the communication of content in non-fiction TV, a purposive use of light in their design may be the most effective way to evoke notions from Islamic mysticism and philosophy—traditions that have been described as “made of light”. Not only does this use of light aid faithful visual representation of the content of such programs, but it also improves their appeal and mystical quality.
This article explores the aesthetics of scenic design from Islamic–Iranian religious and cultural perspectives and takes an intracultural look at the conception of light in Islamic mysticism. By doing so, it aims to introduce a style of scenic design that most effectively represents the content of non-fiction Islamic TV programs. The article also tries to answer the following research question: “Based on Islamic mysticism and the philosophy of Islamic art, how can ideas be communicated through the use of light and color in TV scenic design?” The study was conducted as basic research in terms of purpose and analytical–descriptive research in terms of scope. The research information was collected from print and electronic sources alike and organized using note cards.
The interdisciplinary nature and newness of the topic necessitated finding similarities between the information from the two domains—philosophy of Islamic art, and TV scenic design. This was to reveal how Islamic art’s approach to aesthetics, light, and color overlaps with the aesthetics and the use of light in TV scenic design, an originally non-Iranian craft. Accordingly, the information was inductively analyzed, whereby a general conclusion was drawn by synthesizing data from different sources. The study reviewed the literature on the conception of light, color, and aesthetics in Islamic philosophy and art to extract principles that could guide the use of light and color in TV scenic design. In establishing a link between scenic design and Islamic art, the study relied on the theory of “form–content congruity in Islamic art” by philosopher of art, Hassan Bolkhari Qehi, making the research also comparative in this regard.
The study found that consulting the philosophy of Islamic art, along with the embodiment of its conception of light in Islamic–Iranian art and architecture, makes it possible to achieve a sophisticated aesthetic and the highest degree of form–content congruity in scenic design for non-fiction Islamic TV programs. Since the study focused only on design and content, further research is needed to investigate viewer experience in practice.