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Riyadh Hosts 2nd Edition of Scripts & Calligraphy Exhibition

Riyadh is currently hosting the second edition of the Scripts and Calligraphy exhibition themed ‘Paths of the Soul’ at Irqah Hospital, showcasing the value of Arabic calligraphy as an integral component of Arab culture and identity. The exhibition, which began on 11 June, will run until 2 September, 2023, before moving on to Madina Arts Center in Madina from 15 October to 23 December, 2023.

Organised by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture, the exhibition highlights the spiritual dimensions of art through a collection of historical and contemporary works. The exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to explore the history of Arabic calligraphy through the ages, highlighting its aesthetic and functional dimensions as an art form and a symbol of identity and heritage.

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34 calligraphers and 19 artists from 12 countries are displaying their works through the exhibition’s four subthemes: Light, Letter, Space, and Poetry. Each of the subthemes examines the thoughts and techniques used by the calligraphers, artists, and contemporary designers, while considering the emotions that Arabic calligraphy evokes.

Renowned architects and scenographers Jean Paul Boulanger, Margo Renisio, and Tang Tu have designed the exhibition. In addition to the commissioned artworks, on display are a range of Islamic artworks and rare manuscripts from the Culture Ministry’s permanent collection, as well as unique pieces lent from the museum of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the National Heritage Institute in Tunis, and various other works from private collectors across the region.

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The Ministry of Culture had organized the first edition of the exhibition titled ‘A Timeless Journey’ at the National Museum in Riyadh in 2021, as part of its commitment to preserving Arabic calligraphy as a treasured aspect of the kingdom’s identity and cultural heritage, and as a unique artistic practice. Saudi Arabia also led a successful collaboration with 15 other Arab nations to inscribe Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, consolidating its status as a global symbol of Arab culture.

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