Recent press articles about my work can be found below.
27 August 2017
If you’re not yet familiar with the name Wissam Shawkat, you have definitely seen his work. The Dubai-based calligrapher is responsible for the Arabic typography and logos of a variety of different brands including Tiffany & Co., Chopard and Dubai Aquarium to name but a few. Completely self-taught due to growing up in war-torn Iraq, he is among the most renowned Arabic penmans in the world for his intricate curlicues and standout designs (he even has a popular fine-tuned calligraphy technique named after him, the Al Wissam). The artist, who is esteemed for adding an abstract and contemporary touch to the traditional practice, showcases his work globally and garnered a high-profile list of clients who commission him to design their brand logos and pen their wedding invitations. Currently preparing for his upcoming solo show Inside/Outside at the XVA gallery in Al Bastakiya, the calligrapher took a break to speak to Vogue Arabia.
17 August 2017
As a student of calligraphy, our main task is to learn and master the techniques, methods and forms of the traditional scripts. But, for the masters of the art, they typically follow two paths; preservation of the traditional scripts from generation to generation, or taking the art to a new level. One such person who took calligraphy to a whole new level is master artist Wissam Shawkat; someone who not only mastered the traditional styles but merged modern and traditional techniques to develop a conceptual abstract form of calligraphic art.
5 April 2017
The Etihad Museum offers visitors a rich and engaging visual representation of UAE history, from the pavilion to the landscape and the historic Union House. Adding to the fascinating layers of national meaning and symbols, visitors will find that five new calligraphic installations have been introduced to reinforce the museum’s unique identity and celebrate its rich display of the nation’s heritage and culture. The installations have been created by artist Wissam Shawkat – a master of Arabic calligraphy and graphic design.
1 February 2017
Wissam Shawkat's conceptual calligraphic style works by are on view at the XVA Gallery.
Iraqi born, Dubai based, Shawkat, known for his conceptual calligraphic style works is presenting his most recent works on paper and linen, a continuation of a series that marked his departure from traditional calligraphy and made his introduction to the Middle Eastern contemporary art scene.
Vertu always look to collaborate with those who share a similar ethos; such as a desire for exceptional craftsmanship and innovative uses of technology. Wissam Shawkat perfectly encapsulates these values - his Arabic calligraphy is renowned as an iconic interpretation of the 800 year-old art form. In perfecting his art, Wissam has created his own script - 'Al Wissam' based on several historical styles, whilst adding his own contemporary look.
11 April 2015
Growing up in Iraq, Wissam Shawkat always had a passion for art. As a small boy living amidst the Iran/Iraq war, the 1980s brought about visions that most young children his age should never be subjected to. As a form of escapism, Shawkat transformed these everyday war images into art and dreamt to pursue a career in the field, despite reservations from many at that time. Today he is noted as one of the Middle East’s most respected calligraphers.
17 November 2014
This weekend, Iraqi artist Wissam Shawkat spent two days creating a live art mural at Dubai's urban lifestyle fair, Sole DXB for an exclusive collaboration with Buro 24/7 Middle East.
14 February 2014
When and how did you become interested in calligraphy?
I fell in love with calligraphy in 1984, during an art class. My primary school teacher (Mohammad Ridha Suhail), who was also a calligrapher and an artist, wrote some calligraphy in the Ruqa’a script on the black board. From that moment, the beauty of Arabic letters as calligraphy captivated me; it became an obsession.