This Is What Happens When Chinese Calligraphy Meets the Arabic Language

Kalligraphía is the Greek word for kallos “beauty” and graphos “writing”, meaning beautiful writing, also known as Calligraphy. Calligraphy is more than just a tool for communication, it is an art practiced in many languages. Arabic, Persian, Indian, Mongolian, Japanese and Chinese calligraphy are examples of languages where the art of beautiful writing has a way more important impact on local culture, by making it a major art.

Sometimes it is an art representing a religious belief, Islam belongs to this category. In fact, Islamic calligraphy has been used during the history in way more different ways, from architecture to coin design. This can be explained because of the belief that one should avoid portrayals. The Qur’an, which is the holy book of Islam, was revealed in Arabic. After that the Arabic calligraphy experienced a boost in importance and became more sophisticated.

The history of Chinese calligraphy, on the other hand, is as long as that of China itself. It is seen as one of the highest forms of Chinese art, with a cultural value that is unmatched. The way one wrote was as important as what one wrote. In Chinese literati there are four basic skills or disciplines, which includes besides painting, board games and stringed musical instruments also calligraphy. It is not just a showcase of abstract beauty of lines but a way of self-expressing and cultivation.

What would happen if the two most esteemed, but still different calligraphy forms fuse together?

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This question can be answered by looking at the artwork of Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang Jiang. He was born in 1963 in Shandong province, China, and is a renowned master of Arabic calligraphy. Haji Noor was a member of the Association of Egyptian Calligraphy and was the first Chinese Muslim to be awarded the Egyptian Certificate of Arabic Calligraphy. On top of it, he was included in the Muslim 500 edition of 2011. His extraordinary artwork introduces a new world of calligraphy, with a unique beauty. This subcategory is called ‘Sini’, a Chinese Islamic calligraphy form of the Arabic script.

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Looking at his gallery of artwork, it is definitively not easy to explain the uniqueness and beauty that is being reflected. Art is more than just art: “Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.” – Leonardo Da Vinci