Mohammed Mandi Luminous Letters
Mohammed Mandi: Luminous Letters
   Reading 2 min

Until 31 December 2022, Sharjah Calligraphy Museum is holding a virtual exhibition “Luminous Letters”: one can enjoy the art of Mohammed Mandi, an Emirati fine artist and calligrapher, who is considered a leading calligrapher in the UAE. 

Mohammed Mandi was born in 1953. After graduating from the Arabic Calligraphy Improvement School in Cairo in 1977, he continued his studies in the 1970s under famous Turkish calligrapher, Hassan Chalabi. From 1982 to 1986, he worked at the Ministry of Information. Since 2006, Mandi has been teaching calligraphy to anyone who’s interested in it at the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. He also holds calligraphy workshops both in the country and abroad, for example, at Book Fairs in London, Frankfurt and Amman.

Mohammed Mandi, Al Burda Poem, 2014. Ink, acrylic and gold on canvas. 200 x 250 cm. Courtesy of the artist

Mandi has his own recognizable style. Using various shades and colours, the artist combines letters and words — meticulously overlays them and thus creates 3D compositions consisting of images and figures. His designs can be found on passports in the UAE, Kuwait, and Oman as well as on currency of the UAE, Bahrain, and Syria. Mandi’s calligraphy can be seen on logos of different UAE government ministries, private companies and commercial organisations. His work has been featured in architecture: murals at Umm Al Emarat Park and mosque minarets in Germany and Austria. He also designed the 99 names of Allah on the inside wall of the Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the calligraphic patterns in the mehrab (the niche in the wall indicating the direction of prayer). 

Mohammed Mandi, In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent II, 2008. Mixed media on paper, 45 x 65 cm

One of the major Mandi’s artworks is a portrait of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan which is composed only of the words ‘Zayed bin Sultan’. It took him a year to create it. The other art pieces include paintings with famous sayings by Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi. 

About the Sharjah Calligraphy Museum

Founded in 2002, the museum offers one an opportunity to admire many Arabic calligraphic art pieces — works on canvas, wood, paper and ceramics made by local and famous international calligraphers. Visitors can learn about the evolution of this art form and explore the creativity and hard work that goes into creating beautiful calligraphy. 

Apart from presenting artworks in the permanent collection, the museum regularly hosts exhibitions to promote and preserve the ancient art of calligraphy. It also holds workshops and conferences; in the adjacent building there are studios of calligraphers.

You can attend the exhibition online on its official web page.

You might be also interested in learning Arabic Calligraphy at Sharjah Art Foundation or the Cultural Foundation.