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The Art of Arabic Calligraphy: A Journey of Spirituality and Innovation

Scripts and Calligraphy: Paths to the Soul

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Culture presents the second edition of the Scripts and Calligraphy exhibition, exploring the spiritual and artistic dimensions of Arabic calligraphy

RIYADH – The Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia has once again brought to the fore the timeless art of Arabic calligraphy with its biennial exhibition, Scripts and Calligraphy. The second edition of this exhibition, titled “Scripts and Calligraphy: Paths to the Soul,” was inaugurated at the Old Irqah Hospital in Riyadh on June 11, 2023.

The first edition of the exhibition, “Scripts and Calligraphy: A Timeless Journey,” held at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia, celebrated the origins of Arabic script and the evolution of calligraphy. It highlighted the works of master calligraphers from Saudi Arabia and around the world, contemporary artists, and designers, and explored the intersection of calligraphy and artificial intelligence.

The current edition delves into the spiritual aspect of calligraphy in Arab-Muslim civilization. The exhibition, designed by renowned architects and scenographers Jean-Paul Boulanger, Margo Renisio, and Tang Tu, is divided into four themes: Light, Letter, Space, and Poetry. These themes encapsulate the spirituality that permeates the work of calligraphers and the emotions evoked by Arabic calligraphy.

The Ministry of Culture commissioned master calligraphers, artists, and designers from around the world to create a significant collection of classical and contemporary artworks for the exhibition. The exhibition is supervised and directed by a Steering Committee comprising experts from various fields.

The exhibition features works from 34 calligraphers from 11 countries and 19 contemporary artists and designers from 12 countries. It also showcases Islamic art and rare manuscripts from the permanent collection of the Ministry of Culture and other institutions.

The Ministry of Culture is dedicated to preserving Arabic calligraphy as a cherished part of the Kingdom’s identity and cultural heritage. It has launched several programs and initiatives to celebrate its significance, including the designation of the year 2020 as the Year of Arabic Calligraphy. Saudi Arabia also led a successful collaboration with 15 Arab countries to inscribe Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The exhibition will be held in Riyadh until September 2, 2023, and will then travel to Medina, where it will be displayed at the Madina Arts Center from October 15 to December 23, 2023. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Irqah Hospital
Saudi Arabia