Inner Structures—Outer Rhythms

Inner Structures—Outer Rhythms

The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar

March 12, 2024
Inner Structures—Outer Rhythms
Contemporary Arab & Persian Graphic Design
February 15–April 6, 2024
The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar
PO Box 8095
Education City

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar)—the Doha campus of the reputed Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, in Richmond, US—is currently hosting Inner Structures—Outer Rhythms: Contemporary Arab & Persian Graphic Design.

The exhibition “reflects the growing interest in graphic expression from under-recognized creative regions of the world” and contains works by more than 30 of a select group of contemporary designers from the Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) region, and its diaspora, including:

Mohammadreza Abdolali, Reza Abedini, Mariem Abutaleb, Akakir Studio, Yusef Alahmad, Azza Alameddine, Khajag Apelian, Lara Assouad, Acil Benamara, Naïma Ben Ayed, Nadine Chahine, Omaima Dajani, Tawfiq Dawi/Hey Porter!, Homa Delvaray, Naji El Mir, Karim Farah, Ayman Hassan, Studio Kargah, Amir Karimian, Kemistry Design, Muiz Studio, Yara Khoury Nammour, Wael Morcos, Hussein Nassereddine, Hamid Mirza Qorbanpour, Studio Safar, Kristyan Sarkis, Nisrine Sarkis, Bahia Shehab, Jana Traboulsi, Turbo.

Inner Structures—Outer Rhythms is organized by The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, a Lebanese-Dutch typographer, writer, researcher, graphic designer, and curator. She is the founder and director of the Khatt Foundation, in Amsterdam. She specializes in Arabic and multilingual typography.

The exhibition gives voice to a central and more inclusive global design discourse that recognizes the power of graphic design and typography in communicating social change, local cultural concerns, and universal human and environmental challenges. 

Dr. AbiFarès explained, “The diversity of graphic expression in Arab and Persian graphic design is linked by the creative use of the Arabic letterforms in an ever-evolving and playful manner. Developments in Arabic typography of the twenty-first century have been marked by a division between fluid calligraphic designs and structured geometric compositions. Sometimes the two mix in intricate and unexpected ways, revealing complex and engaging rhythms.”

The exhibition charts certain trends that reflect the specificities of Islamic visual culture, local aesthetic trends and contemporary design applications that respond to current events and socio-political concerns.

The exhibition features posters, videos, graffiti, books and typefaces, and is framed by four broad themes: Visualizing rhythm in poetry and music; Type and lettering for political activism; Designing for culture and the arts; and Beyond Arabic calligraphy.

About Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar
Established in 1998 through a partnership with Qatar Foundation, VCUarts Qatar is the international branch campus of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts, a top-ranked art and design school in Richmond, Virginia in the United States.

VCUarts Qatar is celebrating a fruitful 25-year alliance between VCU and Qatar Foundation that underscores the commitment of each institution to excellence, inquiry, discovery and innovation in a global setting.

VCUarts Qatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design, interior design, and painting and printmaking, a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. A vibrant community with global reach, VCUarts promises to instill in students a lifelong passion for education and the arts.

VCUarts Qatar offers valuable opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and connects VCUarts to the influential art and design world of the Middle East and beyond. The campus attracts renowned contributors to contemporary visual culture for speaking and teaching engagements, and hosts two major international events: Tasmeem Doha, a biennial art and design conference; and the biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Islamic Art Symposium.

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The Gallery at VCUarts Qatar
March 12, 2024

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