American University in Dubai (AUD)
The School of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University in Dubai (AUD) today held the first ever intercultural calligraphy workshop and demonstration organised in collaboration with the Consulate-General of Japan in Dubai
The workshop and presentation were led by Ms. Taki Kodaira, a modern Japanese Calligrapher based in Rome and Mr. Tagelsir Hassan, a renowned Arabic Calligrapher and Typographer. Attendees included participants joining from Zayed University, the American University in Sharjah, Sharjah University, Khalifa University, the Consulate-General of Japan headed by the Consul-General, Daisuke Matsunaga, and the Vice-Consul, Kentaro Niimi, as well as students and faculty members from AUD.
The occasion was the first in a series future events planned to promote interaction between Japanese and Arabic worlds of design. "It has been an honour and pleasure to work with Kentaro Niimi and Kathleen Sumalpong of the Consulate-General of Japan, in organising this event for the benefit of our students. My hope is that this event will be the first of many" commented Prof. Luis Castaneda, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at AUD.
"We profusely thank the Consulate-General of Japan, Mr. Matsunaga, and the Japan Foundation for supporting this innovative programme in the Department of Visual Communication. We also look forward to future collaborations with the Consulate-General to bring multiple aspects of Japanese culture to AUD and the larger community in the UAE" added Dr. Woodman Taylor, Chair of Visual Communication and Associate Professor of Art History at AUD and Convener of the AUD Visual Cultures Forum.
The workshop introduced students to two different traditional design practices and their related aesthetic systems, and led them towards an understanding of how history and cultural identity influence aspects of visual communication. "The concept of 'Intercultural Calligraphy' is profound and it begs the question: can master calligraphers from two distinct cultural traditions - in our case, from Japan and from the Arab world - work out a way to exchange and communicate with each other in their own calligraphic traditions?" offered Dr. Taylor. The answer is yes, thanks to workshops like this.
By creating a space for presenting art, architecture, design and media, the AUD Visual Cultures Forum fosters interactive discussions on visual arts amongst students and faculty at AUD as well as with the dynamic arts community to build relationships with major figures in the thriving art scene in Dubai and the U.A.E. "We anticipate the workshop to lead students towards discovering and developing a personal style which is a vital part of the design process in general, and to emphasise the role that materials, tools and techniques play in the design process and underline how they are inextricably linked to creative thinking and making" concluded Prof. Castaneda.