Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is offering visitors an inspiring creative space, unique artworks and innovative sculptures at the Transmedial exhibition. This is part of the inaugural Dubai Calligraphy Biennale, held until October 31st under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. It reflects Dubai Culture’s commitment to nurturing a sustainable creative ecosystem, empowering and motivating artistic talent to showcase their work inspired by the beauty of calligraphy and visual arts.
The Transmedial exhibition features 18 artists showcasing 31 artworks, demonstrating how calligraphy can transcend traditional paper media. These diverse pieces employ materials such as ceramics, textiles, wood, stone, acrylic, glass, and steel. They document art’s evolution throughout history, offering fresh perspectives and creative opportunities for artists. This departure from convention enriches the presentation of calligraphy in various forms.
Artist Amirshahrokh Faryoosefi embodies the essence of Jalal al-Din Rumi’s poem through his creative work ‘You are the Life and the World,’ while artist Fatima Alketbi presents ‘Kohl Expressions’, in which she relied on Al Athmad kohl. Sandra Boutros participates with architecturally inspired ‘Chessboard in Arabic,’ which she produced using natural materials such as travertine stone and beech wood.
Artist Abbas Yousif presents ‘Obelisk of Poetry’ and ‘The Deep Meaning,’ influenced by Bahraini poet Qasim Haddad’s ‘Begin with Yourself.’ Emirati Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi pioneers Murano glass art in the region, incorporating Arabic letters in ‘Love Travelling to Murano,’ evoking desert sand. Kashida showcases three pieces: a mango wood and brass ‘Calligraffiti Board’, an acrylic ‘Calligraffiti Box’, and the ‘Mubarak Coffee Table’ crafted from walnut wood and steel.
Artist Kamal Alzubi’s pieces showcase the malleability of letter forms, while Khalid Shahin presents artworks titled ‘The Love’s Form’ and ‘Maternal Essence.’ ‘Sawasiya’ emphasizes Nada Abdallah’s passion for calligraphy, and Nawal Ahmad exhibits her creation ‘Echoes from History.’
In ‘Manifestations of Rumi,’ Nedaa Elias reimagines square kufic script through contemporary philosophies. Nevine Meguid’s sculpture ‘Contentment’ creates a contemplative space. Sara Al Khayyal evokes emotions with ‘Hubb, Love from Within,’ while Somaia Azeez summarizes form and composition in ‘Ceramic Pelletizing.’ Wissam Al Saegh contributes diverse ceramic artworks inspired by Arabic glyphs.
The exhibition also invites visitors to ponder the works and sculptures of artist Joseph El-Hourany, reflecting the essence of poet Elia Abu Madi’s poems. Artist Shamsa Juma has brought to the exhibition a ceramic sculpture named ‘Exploring the Enigma of the Characters,’ while artist Boubaker Boukhari unveils his creation ‘The Subsequent Surge,’ aiming to investigate the dynamics of Arabic calligraphy, which he perceives as a continuation and depiction of sound vibrations.
Aside from the Transmedial exhibition, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children offers a range of engaging workshops aimed at inspiring visitors to explore the intricacies of embroidery arts, the fundamentals of crafting handmade pottery, the history and principles of ornamentation, the art of letter writing and connecting them through diverse creative techniques, as well as the steps involved in animation.
The inaugural edition of Dubai Calligraphy Biennale is supported by Al Rostamani Group (Lead Supporter) and Sandooq Al Watan (Supporter), and is being held in partnership with a variety of entities in the local cultural scene, including: Dubai Design District (d3), The Cultural and Scientific Association, Mohammed bin Rashid Library, Expo City Dubai, DIFC Gate Avenue, Museum of the Future, Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation, Juma Al-Majid Center, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai Media Office, Dubai Municipality, Alserkal Avenue, Art Dubai, Women’s Museum, Tashkeel, Art Jameel, Mattar Bin Lahej Gallery, Boccara Gallery, Foundry, Khawla Art Gallery, Firetti Gallery, Efie Gallery, BEDU, AWC Gallery, Hobb Bookstore, Opera Gallery, Mondoir Art Gallery, thejamjar, Medaf, Mirzam, Kalimat, Slay Café, Frame Café, 3IXAM, Huawei, and Level Shoes.