Black & White

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council and ruler of Sharjah, the Cultural Affairs Department at the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information has organised the 19th Edition of the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival.
As a part of the 19th Edition of the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival, the solo exhibition ‘Black and White’ by Hameed Al Saadi is on view at the Calligraphy Square in Sharjah. The opening was in the presence of Mohammed I. Al Qaseer, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Abdullah Al Mannai, Director of Management Department and Farah Qasem Mohammed, Islamic Arts Festival Executive.
The letters in Hameed’s paintings seem to have a drive for dancing to the rhythm of negative and positive space (black verses white space). With the introduction of colour, the artist adds a dose of playfulness to his paintings. When the energy of the letters changes, it gives the artist a chance to explore various compositions. In his paintings, strict rules of calligraphy steps back and allows Hameed to explore different interaction between colours and lines.
The exhibition presents also his classical work where the positive and the negative space play a huge role. The letters are penned by black ink and represent the negative space, while a paper represents a positive space. Islamic calligraphy has specific rules that are not only bound to the size and shape of the letters but also to the space between them which is equally important for the composition. Just like we are told that our space is combined of positive and negative matter, the same principle can be applied, on a smaller scale, to calligraphy composition.
Hameed’s classical calligraphy contains harmony, a specific grid and structure, just like all harmonious architectural monuments, while his paintings in accordance with ‘Bunyan’, the theme of the Festival, deconstruct the letters and the rules, and then re-create something new. So visually we can no longer speak about calligraphy, only about the energy and interaction between the positive and the negative space. n

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