You may have seen some intriguing art on display around Renison lately; this is all work by students in the class, Calligraphy to Conceptual Art: Text as an Image in Islamic and East Asian Visual Arts and Beyond (SI 231R/ EASIA 231R/ FINE 275).
Taught by Studies in Islam lecturer Soheila Esfahani, these projects focus on the idea of creating visual images using text as it's main 'material'. "We look at two major cultures Islamic and East Asian that have an extended practice of using writing as a primary mode of image making and then move on to Conceptual Art which used text extensively," says Esfahani. The works from East Asian Calligraphy project were on display in the Dunker Family Lounge last week, and the latest project is going up on windows around Renison until the end of next week.
Project #1: Islamic Calligraphy: Translation of an expressive word into visual language in order to convey its meaning using the visual qualities of Islamic text/calligraphy.
Project #2: Asemic Calligraphy (previously on display in Dunker Lounge): Asemic writing/calligraphy is an impression of conventional writing. It uses the gesture of traditional writing and calligraphy while abandoning semantic content. Asemic calligraphy operates in the realm of abstract art and is able to open up a world of verbal expression regardless of the artist or the viewer's original languages. This assignment is an expressive response a piece of music or a poem to inspired by brushwork and conceptual approaches to East Asian text/calligraphy. You can see art from the "Asemic Calligraphy" project on Facebook.
Project #3: Installation (windows around Renison): Conceptual art focuses on concepts and ideas rather than aesthetic or material considerations in an art work. Many works of conceptual art manifest as Installation art, which is an artistic genre that challenges the boundaries of traditional art. Language and text was primary concern of first group of Conceptual artists. In this project, students are creating text based installations around Renison College based on text from literature, advertisement, popular culture, etc. The text can be in any language or pseudo text.