Beyond wordscalligraphic traditions of Asia
27 Aug 2016 – 30 Apr 2017
Location: Lower Asian gallery
Calligraphy, or beautiful hand-writing, is considered the highest artistic achievement in many Asian cultures.
Drawn from the Gallery’s collection and enriched with a significant loan from the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, this exhibition showcases diverse calligraphic traditions in both religious and secular contexts, across a range of mediums from the ancient to the contemporary. On display are treasures from the Chinese scholar’s desk such as brushes, pots and holders as well as exquisite works on paper, textiles and ceramics.
Two interactive contemporary works illuminate the place of calligraphy in art and society today. Xu Bing’s Square Word Calligraphy Classroom 1994-96 replicates a classroom where instructions are provided for preparing ink, holding the brush and making brushstrokes; while Persian for kids 2012 by Iranian-born artist Parastou Forouhar gives viewers the chance to practise calligraphy by using zoomorphic script to draw animals.
Image: Azra Aghighi Bakhshyayeshi The 99 Names 2014, ink and oil painting, 200 × 200 cm. Photo © Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia