Following the success of last year’s exhibition, Etihad Modern Art Gallery is bringing together the best known contemporary calligraphy artists again.
The art of calligraphy has had a long history as an ancient art form throughout the world, taking centre stage in Middle Eastern visual arts. Modern calligraphy artists take pride in being the spiritual descendants of a long line of masters, who excelled in the visual representation of quotes and verses from the Quran.
Etihad Modern Art Gallery’s group show will offer a wide variety of styles, techniques and mediums from traditional pieces through modern works evoking avant-garde geometric abstraction to calligraphy based sculptures. However, calligraphy is not only about visual pleasure, the represented symbols always convey a deeper intellectual message. Works on display will feature texts from poetry and literature, Western and Sufi philosophy, as well as excerpts from the Holy Book.
Mohammed Adeeb was born in Kuwait in 1981. The young Jordanian loved Arabic calligraphy from an early age. He recevied his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Mustansiriya, Baghdad in 2004. In 2011, Mohammad returned to practicing calligraphy, by teaching himself and taking private lessons from a Turkish tutor in the style of Thuluth and Diwani. His master was Wissam Shawkat, an expert in the rules of building artwork and configuration.
Uday Al-Araji was born in the city of Baghdad in 1973, currently living and working in Dubai. His love for the art of calligraphy originated in his early childhood, and sought to follow the style of famous calligraphers such as Hashim Al-Baghdadi, or Hamid Al-Amidi. In 1990, he joined the Society of Iraqi calligraphers to learn the correct art of calligraphy from professors such as Haider Rabee. He also studied Islamic decoration with Mohammed Al-Obeidi. After graduating from the College of Computer Science, Uday began his career in the world of calligraphy and decoration. Uday has always been keen to expand his artistic horizon by extensive travelling, independent research, as well as learning from professors, while also teaching the art of calligraphy. Uday Al-Araji participated in numerous exhibitions, competitions and festivals. He won numerous prizes, while his works can be found in several distinguished collections throughout the world. Currently, he is working on the introduction of the Arabic script in design logos and abstract paintings.
Azza Al Qubaisi
Azza Al Qubaisi is a self-represented Emirati artist living and working in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Educated in London, she studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design (Diploma of Foundation Studies), then obtained her B.A in London Guildhall University (Silversmithing, Jewellery Design and Allied Crafts) and is a certified HRD diamond grader. Al Qubaisi is currently pursuing an M.A in cultural and creative industries in HCT-CERT Abu Dhabi.
After her graduation Al Qubaisi paved the way as the first jewellery artist, corporate gift and awards designer in the UAE. She launched two government projects to support and develop handcrafts and established the first platform to showcase local crafts and design in Abu Dhabi “Made in UAE”. She is the winner of several awards including the British Council 2011 YCE Award. Having lectured at Zayed University in 2012, Al Qubaisi has also been invited to speak at events such as Dunyana during the World Energy Forum Dubai 2012, ADVETI Al Ain & Al Gharbia, Riwaq Al Fiqr during Abu Dhabi Festival and the Akoun Program by ADCED.
Her artworks have been shown in solo and group exhibitions, public shows and festivals around the UAE. She was the first artist to exhibit at DIFC in 2005. Al Qubaisi has represented the UAE in solo exhibitions such as “A 1001 steps Festival” in Helsinki, Finland (2004), or the “Language of the Desert” in Abu Dhabi. She has also exhibited in Doha, Bahrain, Morocco (Asilah), Cairo, London and Brussels. Her jewellery was included in the publication “500 Earrings: New Directions in Contemporary Jewelry: 2007” by Lark Books, and republished in “Lark Studio Series: Earrings: 2011”.
Moamen El Sharkawy
Moamen Hassan El Sharqawy was born in 1984 in Al Sharqiah. He was introduced to calligraphy by Mahmoud El Nahry, his history teacher at school. In 2001, he joined the Sayed Ebrahim Institute for Arabic Calligraphy and received his diploma in 2005. After that, he joined the College of Social Studies, where he graduated in 2007. He obtained the license certificate from the great master, Abbas Al- Baghdadi in 2009. Moamen El Sharkawy includes modernity in his paintings and writings in a way that preserves the original spirit and authenticity. His Arabic style fits in the present era, while the artist aims to address all minds through his work. In his creative process, he mainly focuses on technical expertise, even though mental preparation takes a long period of time.
The Iraqi born Wissam Shawkat works as civil engineer in Dubai. His studies in civil engineering, received from Basra University in 1996, complemented his artistic pursuit and offered him the skills necessary to excel at draftsmanship and design. His unique style borrows from the exquisite craftsmanship of traditional practitioners and the vibrancy of contemporary culture. A calligrapher and designer of logotypes with over 20 years experience, Shawkat has worked for well-known clients in branding design, advertising agencies and big corporations. In addition to the graphic applications of his calligraphic works, he has practiced calligraphy as an art form, producing fine art calligraphy pieces that are included in private and public collections throughout the world. Shawkat has participated in many local and international competitions and exhibitions, winning awards locally and internationally, such as Al Burda International Calligraphy Competition, Al-Baraka Turk Bank Calligraphy Competition, Visual & Audible Arabic Calligraphy, Iraqi Calligraphy Society Prize, International Calligraphy Competition (IRCICA), and Dar Al-Salam 3rd Arabic Calligraphy & Islamic Ornamentation Festival.
Majid Al Yousef
Majid A Yousef is a calligrapher, typographer and digital artist. He has developed a special enthusiasm towards art since his early childhood. He started experimenting with drawing, painting, model-making and last, but not least, calligraphy. He started focusing on calligraphy at the age of ten. In the beginning, he followed the traditional path set by master calligraphers and was very keen to acquire the necessary skills at their best quality. Despite his deep passion for calligraphy, he also delved into other areas during his early career, which lead him to become a professional interactive designer and digital artist. Majid has a master’s degree in computer art, majored in interactive design and game development; he worked for several internationally reputable advertising agencies, design houses and corporate clients. Being mainly self-taught, endorsed him to develop his own ways of learning and practicing; skills of drawing, abstract art, anatomy and attention to details turned to be a beneficial factor that helped his endeavours in calligraphy.