Al-Kalima

7 January – 7 April 2004

‘Al-Kalima’ ventures beyond the utmost beauty and grace of the Arabic calligraphy to the depths of meanings and symbolism inherited within the calligraphic inscriptions on objects of art. Throughout Islamic culture and tradition, manuscripts, metal work, pottery, jewellery, textiles and architecture embrace the calligraphy into its decorative repertoire. Phrases from the Quran, Hadiths, Arabic alphabets and numbers were carefully selected and used on objects to give guidance, protection, wishes and clarification.

‘Al-Kalima’ seeks to examine the relationship between Islamic works of art and the messages within the art of calligraphy. Presenting over 100 pieces from Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia’s own collection, the exhibition introduces the calligrapher and his splendid tools of trade, and showcases numerous examples of outstanding Qurans and artefacts produced during the Persian, Mughal and Ottoman dynasties. Selected inscriptions on art such as the special surahs, the Shahada, ninety-nine names of God, letters and numbers and the validity of the word as a legal bond in Islam is revealed in depth and displayed alongside exquisite artefacts from Spain to South East Asia and China.

‘Al Kalima’ offers a fresh look of understanding and appreciation for the intrinsic beauty of the Word of God. In this approach, the art of calligraphy secures a place of honour and distinction among other decorative arts in Islam, spreading peace, harmony and the message of God for time to come.

*Publication for Rhythm & Verses is available at the Museum Shop, please click here for more information.

Al-Kalima