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Safarkhan wishes you a blissful Ramadan month and a HappyEaster and announces with great pleasure the trio exhibition "Madad" from 20TueApril to 11Tue May, dedicated to the community as a charitableendeavor. It features newcomers Mohamed Hassan and Osman Young alongside RanaChalabi. This exhibition has been curated around the unique yet universal conceptof “Madad"or the extension to the divine. Together they are unified by the common threadthat is the plight of their art in this collection to empower, emphasize,strengthen and demystify the notion of " Madad". A special word with no direct translationinto another language, it refers to the spiritual extension that one strivesfor in connection with God, and the gratitude we ourselves extend to the higherpower in the interests that our spiritual engagement be strengthened as anever-growing extension of blessings and goodwill. Stark remodeled Arabic calligraphyfrom Hassan and Young are supplemented by pensive geometric canvasre-imaginations of Fatimid Cairo from Chalabi.

DR.Mohamed Hassan’s works in this collection provide awelcome minimalist and reconstructed form of Arabic calligraphy imbued in itssimple yet sophisticated nature with a raw emotive power. Hassan’scontributions to this exhibition and his appreciation of the concept of "Madad"captures its meaning with a distinct passion and verve, especially in the formof the spiritual energy emanating from his refined stylized script. We are madeto feel the spiritual bliss and connection to the divine through their modestconfiguration, appearing as both austere and merciful simultaneously. Using amonotone palette, he demonstrates an impressive style that treads a delicatebalance between retaining the splendor and ornateness of traditional Arabiccalligraphy while intermingling his own innovative stamp on them. Hassansignificantly uses other mediums such as old wood and stone, adding the certainspiritual qualities of permanence and timelessness to his pieces.

 

RanaChalabi has drawn her inspiration for this collection inlarge part through her own steadfast spiritual devotion, with a refreshingrecreation of Old Cairo. Chalabi gives us an almost cubist re-composition ofthe quaint mosques and alleyways of Fatimid Cairo in an altogetherunconventional yet aesthetically pleasing geometric style. Using a fresh andexpressive palette, dominated by softened yellows, oranges and reds, and withtasteful accents of heavenly gold leaf, Chalabi presents us with strikinglyoriginal renditions of a frequently captured location and landscape. She attributesa certain kind of hope and impact towards the concept of "Madad" that is derived from the sanctity andsecrets that these timeworn houses of worship, discreet and alluring alleywaysand the setting of Old Cairo contain within their seemingly ageless walls.

 

OsmanYoung offers us a fresh and bold outlook that isopen-minded in its selection and composition of the verses he expresses in hisown calligraphic form. Osman’s works are conceived in varied styles, somecomposed of angular lines and others solely in rounded forms replete withcurves. He also employs an unusual palette of pastels, notable in theirunderstated nature and his ability to leave the blanks of the canvas to offertheir own valuable contribution to each piece. His original and thoughtfulchoices of colors although undeniably bright and optimistic, are eitherunderutilized or entirely unusual for traditional calligraphic works, yet morecommon to Sufi art. Despite adding a certain touch of modern flair andexuberance to a nearly unaltered ancient form and tradition of Islamic art, theboldness of his palette never strays into the realm of obscurity, instead the Quranicverses which he venerates are attributed an even more unforgettable zeal andvigor.

 
 
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