Travelling Exhibition

Beyond the Letter: Modern Arabic Calligraphy

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, UAE

28 March – 23 June 2018


The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in a collaboration with the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, UAE, organised an exhibition entitled ‘Beyond the Letter: Modern Arabic Calligraphy’, that displayed 27 carefully selected contemporary calligraphic paintings from the collection of IAMM that represents nature and captures the rhythmic movement of the world around us. The selection is the works of 13 calligraphers from around the world, who have freed themselves from set rules and boundaries, and ventured with their letters beyond their aesthetic glamour into a world of metaphysics, creating masterpieces pleasing to the eyes and mind. These paintings ignite the unknown beyond form and characters. During the exhibition launch, Dr Heba Nayel Barakat, the Head of Curatorial Affairs Department of IAMM, who curated this exhibition and wrote its accompanying catalogue, delivered a thought-provoking lecture echoing the inspiration and philosophy of the calligraphers through their paintings.  The exhibition was very well received by the public and closed on 23rd of June 2018.




Collaboration with the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

Beyond Words: Calligraphic traditions of Asia.

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

27th August 2016 – April 2017

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The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) dedicated a special section on Islamic calligraphy in the Beyond Words: Calligraphic traditions of Asia. Narrating this section was 43 artefacts from the collection of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) on loan to the AGNSW. These masterpieces gave an overview on the exquisite workmanship of calligraphy executed in manuscripts, ceramics, metal, textiles and other works of art.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Dr. Heba Nayel Barakat, Head of Curatorial Affairs Department of IAMM has delivered a lecture “Islamic Calligraphy: Beauty and Diversity” at the AGNSW, Australia on Saturday, 27th August 2016.

A special catalogue “Introduction to Islamic Arts from the Collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: Calligraphy” from the IAMM Publications features over 50 selected masterpiece artefacts was published in conjunction with the exhibition. The publication is available at the Museum Shop IAMM and at the AGNSW. For more info about the publication, click here.











Rhythm & Verses: Masterpieces of Persian Calligraphy from the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, United Arab Emirates

16th March -13th June 2016


From the collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Rhythm & Verses highlighted the assortment of Persian Single folios produced in Iran from the 16th  to the 19th century AD. The exhibition, in collaboration with the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation shared the splendour of the Arabic script rendered in both the Arabic and Persian languages, and aims to unveil the harmonious beauty and mystical rhythms of Iranian script styles.

The display offered a rich gateway to the various styles and attributes of Persian calligraphy such as Naskh & Riqqa’, Ta’liq & Nasta’liq, Shikasteh, and Siyah Mashq.  It also highlighted the contributions of prominent and renowned calligraphers as Mir Imad (d.1615) and Dervish Abdul Majid Taliqani (d.1771).  The exhibition further introduced calligraphy as a verbal expression with measured tunes, Sufi rhythms and musical scores that transcend time. Rhythm & Verses honours the Persian calligrapher as a composer, designer, poet and litterateur. Through devotion and wisdom, the calligrapher uses his instrument, the reed pen to orchestrate the rhythm of each couplet of every folio.  He feels the resonance of the words, listens to their beat, to the tempo of the strokes and perfects the synchrony of hand and instrument.

The Rhythm & Verses catalogue is available at the Museum Shop. For more info, click here.