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Islamic Calligraphy Lesson: A demonstration of traditional tools, materials, and teaching techniques

Sep 17, 2005

Location: Linekona Art Center, Honolulu Museum of Art

Presenter: Mohamed Zakariya, Artist-in-Residence

This two-hour session gave participants the opportunity to witness the first lesson in a traditional course of Islamic calligraphy, recreating the one-on-one teaching that has always been the mode of transmission from master to student. The beginning student’s tools and materials were shown and described; a reed pen was cut and an inkwell prepared. As the lesson began, the students watched Mohamed Zakariya draw the Arabic alphabet, letter by letter. Throughout the process, Zakariya described what he was doing and why, explaining the philosophy of Islamic calligraphy and its standards and techniques. Examples of finished works were available for examination. At the end of the demonstration, participants had a basic understanding of the methods of Islamic calligraphy, the tools and materials used, and how the art continues to be passed on through the generations.

Co-sponsored by the Honolulu Museum of Art

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