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 classic 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.

About Wissam Shawkat

Born in Basra in 1974, Wissam Shawkat is an award-winning artist and designer based in Dubai, with a focus on Arabic calligraphy and typography. His work departs from classic calligraphy, yet maintains its craftsmanship. Since 2003 he has been working on a new script named after himself (Al Wissam Style), and in recent years, he started ‘Calligraforms’, an art movement that merges the graphic qualities found in classic letterforms and western Abstraction and Cubism. Wissam has had many solo show...

View Profile

Exhibited Artworks