Riyadh: The Saudi Ministry of Culture will host the second edition of the Scripts and Calligraphy exhibition, which will showcase the value of Arabic calligraphy as an integral component of Arab culture and identity. The exhibition will be held in Riyadh from 11 June to 2 September 2023 at the Irqah Hospital and will then move to Madina from 15 October to 23 December 2023 at the Madina Arts Center.
This year’s edition will be held under the theme ‘Paths to the Soul,’ exploring the spiritual dimension of calligraphy and its contribution to the Arab and Islamic world through four subthemes: Light, Letter, Space, and Poetry. Each subtheme will be presented in a section of the exhibition, which will examine the thoughts and techniques used by the calligraphers, contemporary designers, and artists, while considering the emotions that Arabic calligraphy evokes.
The Scripts and Calligraphy exhibition is designed by acclaimed architects and scenographers Jean-Paul Boulanger, Margo Renisio, and Tang Tu. It will feature fifty-three calligraphers and contemporary artists from 12 countries, including 16 from Saudi Arabia. In addition to the commissioned artworks, the exhibition will showcase a range of Islamic artworks and rare manuscripts from the permanent collection of the Saudi Ministry of Culture, 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.
In 2021, the Ministry of Culture organized the first edition of the Scripts and Calligraphy exhibition titled ‘A Timeless Journey’ at the National Museum in Riyadh. The exhibition presented the roots of Arabic calligraphy and its historical development, taking visitors on a journey through time as they discover the development of the art of calligraphy and examined the relationship between calligraphy and artificial intelligence.
The Ministry of Culture is committed to preserving Arabic calligraphy as a treasured aspect of the Kingdom’s identity and cultural heritage, and as a unique artistic practice. In recognition of this distinctive tradition, the Ministry of Culture has launched several programs and initiatives to celebrate its significance, such as the designation of the year 2020 as the Year of Arabic Calligraphy. In addition, Saudi Arabia led a successful collaboration with 15 Arab countries to inscribe Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, consolidating its status as a global symbol of Arab culture.