Arabic Calligraphy Inspired by Music
The exhibition ‘Music of Letters’ features more than 30 paintings in which Panahi, being trained in calligraphy as well as music, was inspired by different musical pieces.
Paintings by prominent French-Iranian artist Bahman Panahi in which the two art forms of music and calligraphy complement each other is on display at Sharjah Calligraphy Museum located in the Heart of Sharjah. The five-month exhibition titled ‘Music of Letters’, organised by Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA), runs until March 6, 2020, and features more than 30 paintings in which Panahi, being trained in calligraphy as well as music, was inspired by different musical pieces.
Panahi, a calligrapher, visual artist and musician who creates unique works of calligraphy in an individual style developed by a blend of Middle Eastern and Western influences, translates music notes on canvases as Arabic letters using acrylic paints.
“This is an impressive exhibition which showcases unique works of art that I personally admire. The lyrical poetic nature of his combination of letters and brushstrokes that appear to dance across the canvas surface, make his work imaginative and striking,” said Manal Ataya, Director General of SMA.
She added that SMA is always keen on organising impactful exhibitions as part of its strategy to establish generations that are aware of the importance of museums and are participating in cultural activities. In addition to its role in highlighting the contemporary art of Arabic calligraphy, and providing an opportunity for leading artists and emerging ones to share their work with the public.
Expressing his happiness with the exhibition, Panahi who was drawn to the arts of calligraphy and music from an early age, said: “We light life with artistic creations and plant feelings of joy in the hearts and minds of people through art.”
Panahi who graduated from Tehran University’s Faculty of Fine Arts then continued his studies at Ecole des Beaux-arts, in Valenciennes and Sorbonne in France toward a Ph.D. in visual arts, added that art translates people’s feelings of happiness through sounds, colours, lines, dots, calligraphy and music. Intricate calligraphies by Panahi on display include works like Huwa Allah, Infinite Love, My eyes wait for you, and Carpet of a letter, among others.
Educational programs accompanying the event include Inspiring carpets for all family members, Musical lines for individuals over 18 years old; and The Sound of Letters for the mentally disabled, in addition to Calligraphic Beach and Music Crafts for school children. All programmes are offered free of charge in both Arabic and English.
The exhibition is on view until March 6, 2020 at Sharjah Calligraphy Museum.