Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Arabic Calligraphy








Like many of the asian written scripts, arabic has a romantic impenetrability about it, something in the order of abstract art - to me, anyway.

Second generation Syrian calligraphy artist Badawi Al Dirany has a wonderful gallery of his work - most of the site is in english.

Definitely also go and see these two entries at the nonist - absolutely one of the best sites on the web.
Addit: Ooops...[via]

25 comments :

jmorrison said...

wow peacay, these are dynamite. especially love the fisrt, last, and third to last.

i still can't help but wonder- if i could actually read what they said would they still be as gorgeous to me? i admire them as forms, which ought not to change, but... well, you know.

and thanks for the wild accolades. glad you think so.

Alexander Trevi said...

Utterly fantastic!

oskitar said...

amazingly or what? :P


your blog is very very interesting, congratulations!!!
just added to my fav's

pk said...

Thank you oskitar!!

jmorrison I've been thinking about your observation all day (welll...off and on) and I suppose I feel it's like an esoteric artwork - say a Pollock - which can be appreciated simply for the image.

But when tropes about it representing the inner mind (don't be quoting me now - this is just a made up 'for instance') or thought processes or dreams are understood, then it contributes another layer to the experience.

The original naive appreciation ought not get lost; you just get a different platform from which to admire it.

Granted, some level of mystique might be lost if one was able to read arabic (or chinese or cyrillic for that matter). So literacy reduces our fantasies I guess.

It's actually a very good question about the relationship between the observer and the 'form' as you put it. Interesting psychology in there.

jmorrison said...

i hate to say it, but i suspect if i could read them they'd lose a -lot- of their luster. for example what if one of them said, "huge ramadan sale!" or "men's room" or "no parking on thursday?"

i think that where the written word is concerned the brain locks onto the semantic content before even considering aesthetics. i suspect this is why looking at "asemic" art is such an odd experience. your mind thinks it sees letter forms, tries to decipher them, can not, then switches to pictorial mode, perhaps looking for some other recognizable form, a goat? a tree? before finally settling on a viewing based purely on personal aesthetic preferences.

when you look at a landscape painting that whole first part is bypassed, making the experience less complex.

point is if the first thing my mind registered when looking at one of these were the words "low carb and fat free" i would lose interest and turn my head before even bothering to look more closely at the forms.

corporate marketing is a great example of this in practice. how many times have you watched some complex logo treatment unfold on television for some brand or network and sat there totally unmoved, uninterested, and unimpressed? it's not because the effort wasn't there. not because it was poorly done necessarily... more likely it was because it's far harder to impress you when you know the semantic content is a load of crap trying to sell you something...

just a thought.

pk said...

I suppose then we have a kind of heirarchy of response but I would think it changes with the weather or our moods.

Advertising is a good example to raise. It's always trying to squeeze under the auto-ignore gate. I think it shows that the form/content responses are not always clearcut and that we intuitively process an object in both ways at the same time.

Sometimes we are tweaked by the tyographic style or the aesthetics of colour/form or even by an incongruity - meaning that at some level multiple aspects are registered and in the right 'wind' we are apt to give some symbol extra visual attention as a consequence. (We ALL like to think we have the power to dismiss an advertising trope but it's not true....sometimes)

If there is a 'mens room' sign and it conforms to that advertising standard in some way --- attention grabbing in other words --- then I think we give it greater concentration than if it's just regular lettering. It may not be appreciation for aesthetics necessarily but it is going against the matrix of our 'defences'.

And if I do register 'mens room' in seeing an icon but it has tweaked me, then I'm just as likely, depending again on mood at the time, to be more attentive to the form and allow myself to ponder it from a variety of background pathways - my aesthetic history - much the same way as I would give consideration to a 'real' piece of artwork.

So, although I don't probably really disagree with you, I reckon that 'regular words' can be made to be a bit 'magic' by their form. Same as with the calligraphy here. If I was literate in arabic I might not take notice if they said 'mens room' if I was familiar with the form of writing used (desensitized). But if it's particularly outlandish, polished, aesthetically pleasing and different then I suspect that sometimes, when I'm in the right mood, I could muse upon it in a purely artistic way.

Thus, to complete my thesis, I'd suggest that this symbol-->response mechanism is sufficiently complex that it isn't easily reduced to a simple theory or rigid description even.

I hate advertising as much as the next fellow but I've always found it to be a very very interesting field of symbolic psychology. I'd probably love assisting with a campaign.

[dear god, the vesitiges of lefty youth are pared back to reveal a freakin' advertising exec! Nurse!! My medication! Hurry!!!]

jmorrison said...

well put peacay, and, of course, you're right.

have i forgotten my "nonist" principles so quickly?! the suspicion of all things being "sufficiently complex as to resist being easily reduced to a simple theory" might as well be the in the definition of "nonist."

perhaps i'm not really a nonist at all but a husk or shallow empty shell? in which case i should probably get into advertising as well... lots of opportunities in that field for such as i.

;)

IbaDaiRon said...

Hello. First visit, came via No-sword.

Excellent selection here, and thanks for that link to Al-Shaarani's site!

Odd, isn't it, the beauty which has resulted from a religious prescription against representational art?

IbaDaiRon said...

PROscription. (sigh)

Now take two aspersions and don't post in the morning!

somethingsiknow said...

Thanks so much for sharing!

Marlon said...

I would like very much to know what is written! Please someone could translate for me?

quran-ebooks said...

1:
This is the first verse of Sura/Chapter 17 of the Holly Quran(http://quran.com/17). It talks about the miraculous flight of prophit mohammand (peace upon him and on all messengers) from mecca to Jerusalem.

the translation: Exalted is He(God) who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed its surroundings.

It sounds like this: sobhan allazi asra bia'abdihi laylan min al masjid il haram ila al masjid al aqsa allazi barakna hawlaho

2: this is a common arabic phrase that says: The one who started is more wicked/unjust

It sounds like this: albadi athlam

3: that`s a tough one!

4: i can can recognize the word Allah (God) in the middle but I cannot figure out the rest!

5: this is a phrase by the palestinain poet mahmoud darwish, in which he says:
The mirror of my soul is in Sham (Sham could indicate the area that is currently, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine that has been historically one region. Now its mainly used to refer to Syria and when used within Syria it refers to damascus.

It sounds like this: miraat roohi fe il sham

6:This is the verse 125 of Sura/Chapter 2 from the Holly Quran(http://quran.com/2). It talks about how God established the kaaba in mecca as a destination for all people and a sanctuary/safe place (referring to the pilgrimage observed by mulism every year since 14000 years ago till now.

The translation: And [mention] when We(God) made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security

It sounds like this: wa ith jaalna al-bayta mathabatan lil nas w aamna

7: this is a petry verse that says: the coward of men is like the useless plant, cannot benefit from its fruit nor use it as woods
it sounds like this: fa nathlo il rijal ka nathli il nabat, fala lilthimari wala lilhatab

peacay said...

Thank you!

quran-ebooks said...

Corrected the misspellings in my previous post!

1:
This is the first verse of Sura/Chapter 17 of the Holly Quran(http://quran.com/17). It talks about the miraculous flight of prophet Mohammand (peace upon him and upon all messengers) from Mecca to Jerusalem.

the translation: Exalted is He(God) who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed.

It sounds like this: sobhan allathi asra bia'abdihi laylan min al masjid il haram ila al masjid al aqsa allazi barakna hawlaho

2: this is a common arabic phrase that says: The one who started is more wicked/unjust

It sounds like this: albadi athlam

3: that`s a tough one!

4: i can recognize the word Allah (God) in the middle but I cannot figure out the rest!

5: this is a phrase by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, in which he says:
The mirror of my soul is in Sham (Sham could indicate the area that is currently, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine that has been historically one region. Now its mainly used to refer to Syria and when used within Syria it refers to Damascus.

It sounds like this: miraat roohi fe il sham

6:This is the verse 125 of Sura/Chapter 2 from the Holly Quran(http://quran.com/2). It talks about how God established the Kaaba in Mecca as a destination for all people and a sanctuary/safe place (referring to the pilgrimage observed by mulism every year since 1400 years ago till now).

The translation: And [mention] when We(God) made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security

It sounds like this: wa ith jaalna al-bayta mathabatan lil nas w aamna

7: this is a poetry verse that says: the coward of men is like the useless plant, cannot benefit from its fruit nor use it as woods

It sounds like this: fa nathlo il rijal ka nathli il nabat, fala lilthimari wala lilhatab

I hope I helped!

Marlon said...

Thanks Guys!!! You really helped :)

Passcal Obispo said...

these tableaux are Of the syrian artist Mouneer Alshaarani you may see his own page at facebook
https://www.facebook.com/منير-الشعراني-Mouneer-Alshaarani--153316014743719/?fref=photo

Passcal Obispo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Passcal Obispo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Passcal Obispo said...

number five Al Sham here means Damascus not as you said


(Sham could indicate the area that is currently, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine that has been historically one region)

Passcal Obispo said...

the third one means Speech is a pitfall and it is by the Palestinian poet (Walid Khazendar)It sounds like this:
Al kalam sharaq

Passcal Obispo said...

the fourth one means




(The labyrinth springs up from you







the fourth one means (The labyrinth springs up from you
)by the Palestinian poet (Walid Khazendar)

It sounds like this









the fourth one means

(The labyrinth springs up from you)this is a phrase by the Palestinian poet (Walid Khazendar)and It sounds like this:
al teeh yabdaa menq



















Passcal Obispo said...

https://www.facebook.com/153316014743719/photos/pb.153316014743719.-2207520000.1455795335./660392080702774/?type=3&theater

Passcal Obispo said...

https://www.facebook.com/153316014743719/photos/pb.153316014743719.-2207520000.1455795321./954097874665525/?type=3&theater

Passcal Obispo said...

thank you so much i like really your selection
I am syrien and Mouneer Alshaarani is my favorite artist

peacay said...

Thanks very much for your contributions Passcal. I'm sorry about the current problems in Syria and I wish all the best for you and your country. Cheers

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