Calligraphies in Conversation is an international exhibition at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC) highlighting traditional Middle Eastern and Islamic calligraphic art in dialogue with other calligraphy traditions specially Far East calligraphy.
“Calligraphies in Conversation” runs from March to May 2014 and focuses on the connections between Islamic and Eastern calligraphic traditions. ICCNC is incredibly excited to pilot this new project in conjunction with Ziya Art Center and partners from nearby Oakland Chinatown such as Oakland Asian Cultural Center.
An exhibition of curated and newly-made calligraphy from both traditions will be on display. The Curatorial and Jury Panel consists of ICCNC and Ziya Art Center experts as well as local artists have received over 115 submissions from invited calligraphers and through an open call for artists. Most of submissions were from the US, mainly Bay Area, California; but there were several international submissions from different countries including Tashi Mannox of the United Kingdom, Shu Yi Liu of China, Mohammad Navid Bazargan of Iran, Uehira Baikei of Japan, and Josh Berer of Turkey. After a competitive jury process close to 50 artworks have been accepted from 20 artists for the exhibit illustrating a diverse array of Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish calligraphy artworks.
As an additional goal, the exhibitions, by encompassing traditional artworks of different cultures, aim to foster dialogue between diverse cultures and faiths through a traditional art form. Such viewing combinations are rare in California, and will provide the public with the unique opportunity to recognize shared features: The traditions all highlight the power of written word via inscribing it artistically with pen and ink, and emphasize a direct relationship between spirituality and calligraphy. Being a good calligrapher, in the traditional sense, goes hand in hand with developing strong spirit and character.