Growing up learning Urdu, I was intrigued by words that depicted forms. Back then in my younger years, I would read children’s books and see hansi (smile), ghussa (anger) naach (dance), zaeef (old), and other words forming a mental picture. I would see the word “hansi” as a vibrant smile, “ghussa” as an angry word that is barely able to hold back, “naach” as the word itself would frolic in front of my eyes, and “zaeef” as an old and feeble word in need of my help. Later, I would move to America and learn English as a second language. The caveat I found was that it wasn’t Urdu language that formed these pictograms but these images were a product of my own imagination. This idea of learning pictograms would come back one more time when I moved to Damascus in 2002 to study the Arabic language. Thus, it was the beginning of my fascination to make words smile, show anger, dance, and become old to others.

My work constructs new modes of expression based on Arabic writing to first imagine then create a form. I use ink and acrylics on paper or canvas blend in with vibrant nontraditional colors and calligraphy styles.


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I express my intellectual longing for creative ideas through Islamic art by fusing colors, lines, dots, and words together to inspire a meaning worth imagining. My work explores universal values of love, life, faith, prayer, beauty, and divine that synthesizes feelings and pictograms through lettering.
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© 2017 Faraz Khan Art Studio.