Clash of two worlds: Calligraffiti by Abdulrahman Al-Nugamshi

1 / 6
2 / 6
3 / 6
4 / 6
5 / 6
6 / 6
Updated 23 June 2014
0

Clash of two worlds: Calligraffiti by Abdulrahman Al-Nugamshi

The art world is a diverse world full of expectations, surprises, collaborations and ingenuity as well as a heady mix between ancient and modern. There are no limits when it comes to producing pieces of expressionism that define what the artist is trying to portray. What defines an artist is not only his work, it’s also his passion in the pieces he produces and the personal touches that make his piece what it is. Calligraphy is one of the oldest known arts of the Islamic world as well as other cultures such as the Japanese, the Indians and old European too. Calligraphy has since seen a major shift in progressing movement, specifically Arabic calligraphy. With veterans of old Arabic and Islamic calligraphy such as Ibn Muqlah in Iraq during the Abbasi Caliphate or Isaac bin Hamaad in the Syria Region in the early years of the Abbasi Caliphate as well, considered to be the peak period of experimenting and perfecting the Arabic Islamic font. Fonts in the Islamic world have not seen much change except for additions to the number of Arabic fonts until recent times when experimentation has been upgraded to a whole other level.
Many who venture into the world of typography and fonts are introduced to a variety of methods and tools that help them create a font line that portrays their level of creativity, that does not mean that one must find a complex creation for it to be great work. Some of the simplest lines and strokes can be beautiful pieces like in the Japanese or Chinese fonts. One of the bold artists to venture into this world is Abdulrahman Al-Nugamshi, a Saudi calligraffiti artist who by no means found his love for calligraphy from a young age during his elementary school years. “One of my first calligraphy teachers was very passionate about it and for some reason he kept encouraging me and pushed harder with my assignments and school work regarding calligraphy, I didn’t understand his passion at first but now I do,” says Abdulrahman. His interest then expanded into more foreign arts. “I was always fascinated by the Japanese and their use of drawings like their manga and their calligraphy and how smooth and silky it looked, it was very appealing and attracted me at a profound level. I’ve never studied Japanese art form or calligraphy but I was a fond reader and admirer and educated myself through reading and understanding their methods and reasons why they use such materials.”
Though without a university degree, Abdulrahman was able to get into the branding business and then moved on to discovering the strange art of graffiti, and combining it with calligraphy. “I discovered my love for Arabic calligraphy about seven years ago and found that it’s not being used by many in this day and age, it’s been misused and put aside. So I made it my mission to use Arabic in my work because that is what makes me who I am, it makes my work what it is.”
Throughout the discovery time that Abdulrahman was engrossed in, he found it a bit restricted when it comes to use of materials, he wanted to expand and wanted more diversity. It was then that he met what he calls “the godfathers” that influenced many of his ideas, Yoji Shinkawa, Hassan Massoudy, Mouneer El Shaaeani and their influence helped him find what it was he was looking for, thus starting his career into the world of Arabic calligraphy. He was then introduced to Neils Shoe online, the creator of the word “calligraffiti” and method. There was a shift in his style then and there. “I was fascinated with his use of materials, so I started to experiment, starting with a broom on the outside walls of my home. The lines that are produced from a broom have interesting patterns, I trained in using it for three months with frustrating results at first, until slowly I started to understand the use of it and how to manipulate the brush strokes of the broom to get the results I want. It was an accomplishment that I found myself keenly interested in. That was my introduction into the world of calligraffiti,” said Abdulrahman.
“A real artist creates his own material,” is what Abdulrahman believes because of his experiments using different materials such as pieces of silk or fabric in a broom or brush to elongate the paint. Abdulrahman’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed, his work has been the talk of many workshops and designer meets in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and many more places. His work is very personal and yet very much out there for everyone to see and appreciate, you can truly see the beauty of the Arabic language in the unprecedented strokes provided in his work. It is his commitment to the Arabic language that makes it more than special, it makes it unique.
Be sure to follow Abdulrahman’s work on is Instagram and YouTube under the name of Nugamshi. Stay tuned to more of his projects coming up in the next few months.

Email: [email protected]


Yara Shahidi honored with Spotlight Award

Yara Shahidi was honored with an award at the 25th Annual Elle Women in Hollywood Celebration. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2018
0

Yara Shahidi honored with Spotlight Award

DUBAI: Actress and social activist Yara Shahidi was honored with an award at the 25th Annual Elle Women in Hollywood Celebration on Monday and took to the stage to give a speech.

The Iranian-American star of TV show “Black-ish,” who has her own spinoff show called “Grown-ish,” was given the Calvin Klein Spotlight Award at an event attended by the likes of Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez and many more.

The 18-year-old Harvard University student is one of a star-studded list of honorees, including Lady Gaga, Shonda Rhimes and Mia Farrow.

The event also celebrated the female cast of “Black Panther” — Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o — at the event in Los Angeles’ Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Shahidi sat down with the magazine for an in-depth interview published in its November 2018 issue. The teen, who hails from a highly accomplished family — one of her cousins is the rapper Nas, while another, Anousheh Ansari, was the first Iranian-American astronaut — covered everything from women in Hollywood to her political activism.

“We’re holding people accountable for their actions. There’s an intentional knowledge disparity in any industry, which is tied to the maintaining of power. I love the fact that this community of women is disintegrating that. I’ve been able to reap the benefits of it, and I’m also fortunate to have my parents with me, guiding me,” she told the magazine.

Shahidi has talked openly about her family in the past, including in a revealing social media post about her parents during the uproar about the proposed US immigration ban in 2017.

“If my baba was stuck in an airport because of a Muslim ban 39 years ago, he would have never fallen in love with my mama. I would not exist and I wouldn’t have two amazing brothers,” she posted on social media at the time.

The actress has been vocal about her Iranian-African-American heritage and even called herself “a proud Black Iranian” on Twitter.

In her most recent interview with Elle magazine, the actress expands on what causes are close to her heart.

“Immigration, gun control. There’s been a lack of humanity, especially in the policies of these past two years, policies that alienate minorities,” she said.

Lady Gaga was also awarded at the ceremony, and took to the stage to give a powerful, emotional speech about being a survivor of sexual assault.

“As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants,” she said at the event.