Siyah Masgh

December 13, 2017

 

 

Persian calligraphy is similar to Arabic calligraphy. In Arabic calligraphy most of the writing is about the Quran but in Persian calligraphy writing is about poems and literature, and most importantly it is shahnameh, the epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi  in 1010 CE.. There is a profound connection and collaboration between calligraphy and the Persian miniature. There are a lot of curves in Persian culture, in dance, in architecture, in calligraphy, as well as in language and music. There are 7 different style of calligraphy in Persian calligraphy, the number seven underlies many formal structures in Persian culture as in the West.

 

 

Ghalam, ink, and paper, are the tools of calligraphy. Mashgh is the term for practicing a word several times on paper. When the calligraphy can not be read and becomes abstract, the practice is called  Siyah Masgh.

 

Calligraphy has changed over time, from its classical presence on paper, in architecture, pottery and rugs, and relation to the hand and the identity of the maker;  now  in contemporary society calligraphy is used as logo and abstraction on clothing and advertising.

 

 

The abstraction of calligraphy in these cases has decoupled the meaning from its history as it is now only decorative, and endlessly replicable in the digital realm. This over use of calligraphy also means that it has lost its link to literature, and its place as part of a spiritual practice that anchored an interconnected way of thinking. This chaotic moment has simultaneously liberated artists such as myself to move though all of this history in our use of calligraphy.

 

 

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