8th Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition by Dubai Culture to showcase masterpieces by more than 50 accomplished artists


  • ArabicCalligraphy

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority will organise the eighth Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition from April 14 to May 15, 2015, at Wafi Mall, Dubai, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, presenting one of the largest collections of calligraphy masterpieces by more than 50 accomplished artists from across the Arab world. 

The Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition, open for free to the public, is an integral part of the second Dubai Art Season, the umbrella arts initiative by Dubai Culture that commenced in March with headlining events including SIKKA Art Fair, Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai. 

The exhibition will showcase a selection works from the collection of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. This includes several unique pieces reflecting remarkable aesthetics and creativity in modern Arabic calligraphy. 

Another highlight of the exhibition will be the display of sections of the Holy Quran of King Hussein bin Talal that features engravings in Maliki Islamic style calligraphy, which is being showcased in coordination with Tiba traditional Islamic Book Arts in Jordan.

One of the most powerful art forms that celebrate the brilliance of the written word, calligraphy puts forth powerful ideas that are related to Islamic heritage, as well as the region’s cultural and social identity. This will be reflected in the selection of works on display at the exhibition. 

The Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition will feature several sections including Classic Calligraphy, by renowned and expert calligraphy artists. There will also be several exceptional pieces from the collection of the Ministry of Culture as well as those owned by leading collectors in the UAE.  A section on Modern Calligraphy reflects new trends in this versatile art form that marks a new realm in calligraphy. Another section is devoted to light calligraphy technology. 

By bringing together classic and modern calligraphy, the Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition links the historical value associated with the invaluable art with modern creative expressions.  This in turn will highlight the real value of original calligraphy while mirroring modernist approaches. 

More than 70 expert workshops will be held during the month-long exhibition where visitors and calligraphy enthusiasts can learn more about the artform, diverse techniques followed and its deeper significance to the community. There will be specialised workshops on Arabic calligraphy, logotypes, Kufic typography and about pursuing calligraphy as a hobby, among other subjects. 

There will also be workshops on how to use calligraphy using modern design and challenging the artform to go beyond its usual classical expression to bring it closer to the modern cultural artforms of Islamic and Arab communities of today. This will ensure that calligraphy reaches the largest possible audience, in various international cultures, while protecting its true classical nature.

HE Abdul Rahman Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “The Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition is the largest-of-its-kind initiative that brings together the best of calligraphy works by the masters from across the Arab world. With the exhibition, we are demonstrating the cultural oneness of the Arab world, and the significance of calligraphy is highlighting our religious, social and cultural identity.”

He added: “In addition to masterpieces by the classical masters of the artform, the exhibition will also showcase works by contemporary Arab calligraphers, underlining the focus of Dubai to promote the current and new generation of calligraphy artists. With the event, we want to open doors of learning for our new generation as well as residents and visitors to Dubai to the unmatched splendour of calligraphy as an artform, especially through workshops which will cover both classical and modern artforms.

“The event will provide visitors with a deep understanding of the history, evolution, style and techniques of calligraphy. Alongside, they will also benefit from tremendous insights on the Arab world itself, the unity in its diversity and its firmly rooted values.”

Supported by Audi, Al Nabooda Automobiles, The Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition is aimed at promoting intercultural exchange with artists coming from all over the Arab world. It will serve as a platform for emerging artists and the visitors to interact with them, understand how they approach the art and be inspired to view calligraphy with greater understanding and knowledge