Site icon عبدالرحمن الـشـاهـد Abdelrahman Elshahed

Kaaf. Laam. Meem

January 4 to February 17, 2022, Hafez Gallery, Curated by Dr. Lina Kattan.

The exhibition coincides with the announcement of the registration of “Arabic Calligraphy” in the UNESCO list with the efforts led by Saudi Arabia in collaboration with Arab countries, and for the closure of the “Year of Arabic Calligraphy 2021” initiative launched by the Ministry of Culture.

Exhibition Brief

“KAAF. LAAM. MEEM” is the 3rd solo exhibition by the artist Abdelrahman Elshahed, which explores some of the possibilities of the Arabic letter, and its endless creative characteristics: whether the letter is connected or separated, absent or present, signified or as a signifier, uttered or discernible, disconnected or became as a whole. The selected artworks visualize a wide range of meditation and introspection practices, all of which convey the intercommunicated human senses and perception. In addition, it sheds light on several significant human values. The “KAAF. LAAM. MEEM” exhibition is based on the geometrical dimension of the Arabic letter and its pliancy as the primary element of the word construction. The Arabic calligraphy is reformulated into a contemporary concept to form words that transcend the limits of time and space and reach universalism. The Letter as a Primary Essence of the Word.


Three detached letters are arranged in the order of the Arabic alphabet. Each signified letter is self-contained and has its significance and sole expression ability. Moreover, when these three letters are organized orderly, they construct the fundamental root of the word/speech. The different assemblies of letters may produce wisdom, knowledge, beauty, and truth. Therefore, such letter assemblies can be read or heard, written or refined, implied or clarified, containing innumerable spiritual and cosmic mysteries. Usually, humans share several articulations of sounds, yet they acquire different speech and languages. Although the Arabic language consists of only twenty-eight letters, it has approximately sixteen-thousand linguistic roots. The arrangement and construction of these letters create an infinite world of meanings and semantics, a continuously expanding world. Arabs are famous for their eloquence and rhetoric linguistics. The Qur’anic collocation has miraculously exceeded the limits of the human mind. Allah, the ultimate Creator, chose the Arabic tongue to be the perfect vessel for the Divine word. Allah also challenged the eloquence of the Arabs with His incredible arrangements of letters and phrases (such as the abbreviated letters at the beginning of some surahs). Thus, the comprehension of those letters proves the inability of the human mind to decipher them.

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