Wissam Shawkat

Artist, Calligrapher, Type Designer, Graphic Designer

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Passionate about Arabic calligraphy since a very young age, Wissam Shawkat taught himself calligraphy by closely observing Turkish calligraphy masters. He has participated in many local and international competitions and exhibitions where his works have been noticed across the Middle East as well as in Denmark, Austria and Germany. In addition of his involvement in the preparation of several international calligraphy events - including the Dubai International calligraphy Exhibition - he is a regular contributor for the Quarterly Hroof Arabiya and has designed many logos for companies, institutions, books, magazines and newspapers as well as unique calligraphic works for museums and private collections around the world. Currently, Wissam works as a senior designer and consultant, specialized in brand identity and Arabic typography with global branding and advertising agencies in the UAE and abroad. In Dubai, his most noticeable works include a calligraphy wall at the Cultural and Scientific Association, the design of the Calligraphy at Mr. Majed Al Futtaim Mosque and the Calligraphy and design of the wall graphics at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

Born in Iraq, Basra City 1974, started practicing calligraphy in 1984, when the primary school teacher Mr. Muhammad Ridha Suhail and his parents guided and encouraged him. and since that he became passionate to the art of Arabic calligraphy till he started his career as a professional calligrapher and graphic designer in 1990. After his graduation from the Civil Engineering Department from Basra University in 1996 he carried on self-taught by closely observing and studying the calligraphy of the masters of this art in Turkey like Sami Efindi, Mohammed Nazif, Hamid Al Amadi and Halim Efindi.

Since the beginning he believe in paying attention to every detail to produce a high quality calligraphy art works, his last achievements is winning Al Burda prize for the international calligraphy competition in Abu Dhabi 2007.

Participated in many local and international competitions and exhibitions. Winner of the Baghdad International calligraphy Festival commendation prize in 1998, the Iraq calligraphy Society prize in Baghdad, 2002. Commendation prize of the International calligraphy Competition (IRCICA) in Istanbul, 2002. 3rd place award at the International calligraphy Competition (IRCICA) in Istanbul, 2005. First prize winner of the Visual & Audible- Arabic calligraphy Exhibition, season 6 in Sharjah- UAE, 2003. 3rd place award in Jally Thuluth style, at the Al-Baraka Turk Bank calligraphy Competition in Istanbul, Turkey, 2005. Participant in various group exhibitions locally and internationally; “Nasamat Min Baghdad” in Saint-Angelo, Italy 2000, the “Visual & Audible” calligraphy exhibition in Sharjah, UAE 2001, 2002 and 2003. Also in the Dubai International calligraphy Exhibitions, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Member of the preparation committees of several international calligraphy functions and events, like the Sharjah 1st and 2nd calligraphy Forums in 2005 and 2006 and the Dubai International calligraphy Exhibition- 2005. Member of judging committee of the Al-Owais Contest of Arabic calligraphy. Regularly contributing with articles on Arabic calligraphy in the specialized Quarterly “Hroof Arabiya”. He designed many cover-titles and logos for books, magazines and newspapers. Contributed many unique pieces of calligraphy to personal collections around the world. And his last works is the calligraphy and design of the Mashq in the “ Jally Thuluth Style” on the front of the Cultural and Scientific Association Building in Dubai, Mr. Majid Al Futtaim Mosque in Dubai, Abu Hail area, and the wall graphics and hordings at the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre).

In addition to active involvement in the local and international art societies, currently working as a senior designer, with focus on brand identity design and Arabic typography design with Global Branding and Advertising Agencies.