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“Visual Synonyms” Exhibition by Lebanese Artist Antoine Abd Aad on Display at IUS Art Gallery

IUS Art Gallery hosted on Monday, February 20, 2023 the opening of an exhibition by a Lebanese artist and designer Antoine Abd Aad. Organized within the scope of the 39th International Sarajevo Winter Festival, the exhibition titled Visual Synonyms emerged from a course at the Lebanese University under the guidance of Professors Antoine Abi Aad and Rana Abou Rjeily.

Students studied compositions, forms, rhythms, contrasts, and the rules of harmony existing in traditional Arabic calligraphy, which they used as a springboard to design compositions with modern letters inspired by calligraphic masterpieces, and so create their own visual synonyms. Lebanon, inherent in its tradition as a melting pot where young women and men from different social backgrounds come together, regardless of wealth, belief, religion, region, and interest, is proud to show the world the exquisite beauty of the Arabic script. As teachers and citizens, we see it as our duty to promote this type of Arabic art to counter the negativity in which it is sadly portrayed by segments of the global media. But moreover, to ultimately benefit from its long-established history, and take this rich artistic practice forward to new generations.

Although visiting Sarajevo for the first time, artist Antoine Abd Aad commented on the similarity of Sarajevo and Beirut, the rich heritage and common history of the two cities. He said that he gets his inspiration from this rich cultural heritage and commented that his works resemble a piano rhythm and once you find that rhythm in calligraphy, you can repeat it in any modern form.

Antoine Abd Aad has participated in 56 exhibitions in 19 countries and lectured in 46 universities in 21 different countries. His true dedication is research and experimentation with a passion for letters: typography, calligraphy and handwriting. The different scripts he writes (Arabic, Latin and Japanese) led him to have special interests in the directions of writing, leftward, rightward, and downward, and how these directions affect visual communication and advertising, or even more, motion graphics and animation.