Exhibition "With Brush and Qalam"

05 July 2023

Dear Friends of the Museum for Islamic Art,

We would like to cordially invite you to the opening of the special exhibition "With Brush and Qalam - Chinese Arabic Calligraphies by Haji Noor Deen" on 5 July 2023 from 6 pm in the presence of the artist in the auditorium of the James Simon Gallery. A small reception will follow.

About the exhibition

Sini calligraphy is the artistic script used by the Muslim minority in China. Its history reaches back to the 14th century. The distinctive feature of Sini calligraphy is the melding of techniques and styles from the Arabic and Chinese lettering traditions.

Arabic calligraphy follows a centuries-old tradition involving strict rules with precisely defined proportions for the letters. Sini calligraphy, on the other hand, is completely free of rules. The top priority is the perceived beauty and balance of the composition. Even the direction of the writing can be freely chosen, either from top to bottom, as in Chinese, or from right to left, as in Arabic.

Haji Noor Deen is a master of Sini calligraphy. Inspired by calligraphic traditions from China to Istanbul, the artist creates works with expressive lines that at first glance appear Chinese, but on closer inspection go far beyond that.

The artist’s painting tools reflect this diversity. Haji Noor Deen paints the Arabic letters with a brush that is characteristically used for Chinese calligraphy. He equally appreciates the qalam, the reed pen of Arabic calligraphy. He also uses completely new tools, such as cloth-covered wooden spatulas that he produces himself. With masterly skill, he creates artworks of great aesthetic power that surprise and affect the viewer.

The artist

Born in 1963 in the Chinese province of Shangdong, Haji Noor Deen has spent decades perfecting his art and developing a sophisticated system of Chinese-Arabic calligraphy that combines Chinese aesthetics with Arabic script. In 1997, he became the first Chinese artist in Egypt to receive a certificate in Arabic calligraphy. Later, in 2017, he was honoured with the Ijazah Certificate from the Ottoman Calligraphy School in Turkey. His work has been exhibited in over 20 countries and can be found in museum collections around the world, including the British Museum, San Francisco Asian Museum, National Museum of Scotland and Harvard University Art Museum.

Registration for the opening is required at isl@smb.spk-berlin.de.
An email confirmation will follow, which will serve as an admission ticket at the entrance to the auditorium.

The exhibition opening is supported by KT Bank and the Friends of the Museum for Islamic Art at the Pergamonmuseum e.V.

Yours sincerely, Board of Directors

Irene Fellmann     Peter Heine     Nadia Nagie     Katja Şıdım     Cornelia Weber    Stefan Weber



Freunde des Museums für Islamische Kunst im Pergamonmuseum e.V.
c/o Museum für Islamische Kunst
Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse 6
10117 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 26642 5201
Email: info@fmik.de