Freedom (Arabic Calligraphy)

By NIhad Dukhan

Southfield, Michigan, USA

Freedom  (Arabic Calligraphy)

ABOUT THIS PIECE: Modern Arabic calligraphy design of the word Freedom.

Although occasionally resembling some of the classical styles of Arabic calligraphy, the new-fashioned look of my designs is procured through innovation guided by a certain artistic sensibility. In a way, my work may be viewed as emptying the letters of their original written form but retaining their movement and essence, and ultimately using them to pursue other natural forms. My designs have their sculptural autonomy and they elicit images of their own. I attempt to project quiet intensity to put the viewer at ease. I am a minimalist and I avoid clutter unless it can fit in a larger simplicity. I work mostly with black acrylic on canvas.

My experiment represents a personal impulse within a vast culture, and is a result of receptivity to impulses that come from my larger environment as well as to those that come from within. My other driving force is my own fascination with the Arabic letters-- their innermost elegance and their tremendous graphical value.

My designs can be weighed for their intrinsic value and my own experiment in addressing the aesthetics. To contribute in such a personal and contemporary energy may provide an alternative to some of the exotic conceptions of the Arab and the Muslim worlds. With my designs I would like to cross barriers and directly touch people who come from diverse cultures and speak different languages.

This is a part of a three-piece calligraphy selection:

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Nihad Dukhan was born in 1964 in central Gaza Strip, Palestine, and arrived in Toledo, Ohio in August 1983. He received his Ph.D. in 1996 in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo. He worked in Chicago for three years, at the University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez for four years, and is currently an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy.

His interest in Arabic calligraphy began when he was in the sixth grade. His modern designs are highly stylized, but remain legible with tremendous simplicity. Dukhan started pursuing, and refining his form around 1989. His work has been exhibited in major US cities, and sold in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Japan. His commissioned designs include wedding invitations, book covers, CD jackets, company logos and others.

To polish his training in the classical styles of Arabic/Islamic calligraphy, he became a student of the noted Istanbul master calligrapher Hasan Celibi in Thuluth and Naskh styles in 1998; and in June of 2006 he became a student of Mohamed Zakariya in Taliq style.

Dukhan is active in promoting Arabic calligraphy and increasing people’s awareness of it through exhibits, lectures and workshops. His intent is not only to attract the Arabic speaking audience, but to cross barriers and touch other languages and cultures.

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