Visiting Curator Huda Smithshuijzen AbiFarès presentation: Wednesday, November 3, 1:00 p.m. via Zoom
Inner Structures-Outer Rhythms: Contemporary Arab & Persian Graphic Design, an exhibition that reflects the growing interest in graphic expression from under-recognized creative regions of the world. The college is partnering with Dr. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, founding director of the Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography (Amsterdam), to curate the exhibition and to publish a book of the same title.
Central to a more inclusive global design discourse is recognizing the power of graphic design and typography to communicate social change, local cultural concerns, and universal human and environmental challenges. “The diversity of graphic expression in Arab and Persian graphic design is linked by the creative use of the Arabic letterforms in an ever evolving and playful manner,” Dr. AbiFarès explains. “Developments in Arabic typography of the twenty-first century have been marked by a division between fluid calligraphic designs and structured geometric compositions. Sometimes the two mix in intricate and unexpected ways, revealing complex and engaging rhythms.”
The exhibition and related publication focuses on Arab and Persian contemporary design and highlights the works of a select group of thirty of the best contemporary designers from the Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) region and its diaspora. It charts certain trends that reflect the specificities of Islamic visual culture, local aesthetic trends and contemporary design applications that respond to current events and socio-political concerns. The exhibition will feature posters, videos, textiles, graffiti, books, fonts, and typefaces and is divided into four broad themes: Visualizing rhythm in poetry and music; Type and lettering for political activism; Designing for culture and the arts; and Beyond Arabic calligraphy. It will also include a viewing/reading library with dozens of informative publications on design from the SWANA region.