Image Credit:

Sharjah: International artists will be participating for the first time at the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, which opens tomorrow at the Arts Area, organisers announced at a press conference yesterday.

"This is the first international biennial where artists are participating from around the world, such as Iran, Germany and Morocco," said Abdullah Mohammad Al Owais, director of Department of Culture and Information of the Sharjah Government.

The fourth edition of the Calligraphy Biennial will feature displays of artworks in various locations around the emirate including Sharjah city, Kalba, Khor Fakkan, and Dibba Al Hisn.

The event is being held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah and will be open until June 7.

Modern perspective

"It is an exhibition for Arab calligraphy that is combined with a modern perspective, as well as being accompanied with different themes. The purpose of the exhibition is to link the past techniques with the modern ones, and to raise the awareness of calligraphy on a global level," explained Al Owais.

The Calligraphy Biennial will be displayed throughout the two months primarily at the Calligraphy Museum in Al Shuwaiheen, although several activities and exhibitions will also be held at the Sharjah Islamic Civilisation Museum and University City.

The exhibition is hosting both individual and joint exhibitions, with a number of artists and intellectuals from Arab, Islamic and foreign countries taking part in seminars and workshops.

The solo exhibitions will also feature the work of UAE photographer Saif Al Zari, who will be displaying a collection titled, ‘Desert on the Edge of Light', in Bait Al Serkal.

Al Owais pointed out that a total of 333 artists are taking part in the exhibition that showcases 821 artworks from across 28 countries.

"The seminars and workshops aim to encourage cultures to meet so that they can ultimately contribute in developing Arab calligraphy. It also gives people a chance to view calligraphy in a non-traditional way that does not use the Arab alphabet."

In addition to the exhibition, the biennial event will also honour artists for their outstanding contribution to calligraphy, including Kathrine Pieper from Germany, Ali Hassan from Qatar, and Naja Al Mahdawi, from Tunisia.