Mason’s Calligraphy Project

Calligraphy Project

Mason Hsieh

2/14/12

“God is the light of the heavens and the earth.” (Qur’an 24:35)

I set my calligraphy of Allah as a three dimensional sundial to highlight God’s role as the creator and controller of both light and time. I focused less on the physical shape of the word “Allah” and more on how the shape changes based on light conditions. This speaks to the idea of God as a subjective form. In the Qur’an there are many links drawn between the Ahl Al-Kitab, or the People of the Book. It is believed that these people; the Jews, Christians and Muslims; all derive their religions from the same divine narrative. Thus, one major goal of my calligraphy project was to embody the belief that God is the same overarching concept manifested into different forms depending on the individual’s perspective. Using light and shadows, the image of “Allah” depends solely on what light is shined on it, and as a metaphorical extension, is shaped by the individual’s religious outlook.

My other goal was to showcase God as a figure that transcends time. On a literal level, the word “Allah” in my calligraphy stands above the clock below, on a separate axis. This represents the idea that God transcends our linear concept of time. Similarly, light determines time. Without light, time does ceases to exist. Following this logic, if God is in fact, “the light of the heavens and then earth,” then he is the controller of time. However, time measured on a clock or sundial can be seen as a human invention, while light and God are eternal and undying. My ultimate goal was to suggest that much like time, humans attempt to codify the divine. Whether the supreme being is called God, Allah or Yahweh, divinity transcends our concept of it and may just be a small facet which we grasp at and believe we know.

 

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