Disciplined Insurgence marks the second solo exhibition at Tashkeel by Wissam Shawkat, the Basra-born, Dubai-based, award-winning artist and designer. His craftsmanship and practice is testament to the innovations being made in Arabic calligraphy and typography in the 21st century. On one hand, it can be interpreted as rebellious and bold, and on the other it feels completely natural to an artist who has fostered a life-long relationship with the letters themselves.
"Although my work can be described as a departure from the classic Islamic calligraphy, I have never lost sight of the many years of evolution that has shaped every Arabic letter into its remarkable beauty". Wissam Shawkat
Tashkeel’s new exhibition will reflect back on Shawkat’s pioneering career while maintaining a modern stance with the inclusion of current works. Whilst not a retrospective as such, it contains pieces from several series using his eponymous Al Wissam script as well as new experiments with the ancient Thuluth script. Believed to have originated in 10th-century Baghdad, the form, in which one third of each letter slopes, has long been revered amongst calligraphers.
The exhibition includes pieces from Calligraforms, a body of work that fuses calligraphy and typography. In this, Shawkat focused not only on the individual letters’ precise forms, but also on the abstract shapes generated by examining the geometric spaces inside and outside of their structures.