Nasser Al Salem was born – and lives and works – in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. First and foremost, he is a calligrapher – but one who seeks to re-invent the age-old Islamic technique, exploring its conceptual potential and its relevance to contemporary art. Nasser’s practice is a personal form of devotion, but he also aims to prompt the viewer to question their perception of Arabic calligraphy.
I try to find meanings behind the content of certain phrases, whether it’s a Quranic verse or any other phrase. I try to look in to the meaning of that sentence, or the words, as the words themselves hold significant meaning. From that point, I work towards the concept of the art piece.
When I started to explore or pay more attention to the meaning of the word, I found it lead and directed me towards modernity, because the nature of the word was the concept. The nature of Arabic calligraphy is timeless; it always has been contemporary and modern.
The more I can express my idea simply, the closer I get to contemporary calligraphy.