Let's Explore Empowerment with Abd elMalik Nounouhi
I was born in 1971 in the highlands of the Moroccan Rif, in Beni Saîd, where I lived until my late teens. I grew up speaking, listening, seeing and writing in Arabic. Looking back, I realise that calligraphic imagery was everywhere my gaze looked: In books, on screens, in architecture, on shop fronts and even in mathematical formulas.
On canvas, my Arabic letters are not limited to their linguistic and significant function, and they are not simply an element of the words, but they become totally the signifiers and the meanings… so developing a kind of visual poetry.
A childhood fascination with mathematics and the art and letterforms of the Arabic world inspired Abd elMalik Nounouhi to dedicate his life to creating artistic Arabic calligraphy.
Abd elMalik Nounouhi is a visual artist & Arabic calligrapher who grew up in the highlands of the Morrocan Rif and moved to Paris in 1990 to study Mathematics but changed paths to dedicate himself entirely to the art of calligraphy shortly after his studies. Calligraphy has been a link to his motherland and to the memories of the first contact with Arabic script. He developes a personal expression in his calligraphy, between past and present, between the traditional and the contemporary, between the sign and the meaning, creating a world of colours where light and shadow are the basic structure of his Art.
Since ancient times, the art of calligraphic penmanship has evolved as a bridge between the spiritual and the material, the verbal and the visual, and has transported the Arabic language to the world. When we talk about calligraphy, we mean beautiful handwriting in which the calligrapher has faithfully followed the rules set by masters of calligraphy. But when we evoke the art of Arabic calligraphy, we move into another, quite different, field: it takes us into the realm of art, with its essential features of imaginative expression, individuality, aesthetic standards and creative freedom. Here, we are confronted by the vision of an artist, and not by the skill of a calligrapher.