Nja Mahdaoui is a visual artist who considers himself “an explorer of signs” and has been described as a “choreographer of letters”. His work inspired by Arabic calligraphy is remarkably innovative as the aesthetic dimension of letters brings forth a strong sense of the poetic. These works arrest us with their astounding ryhthm and rich abstract composition, actually devoid of any textual meaning. Famous for his meticulous use of ink on parchment, Mahdaoui stresses the visual impact of his works, which he refers to as “calligrams” or “graphemes”.
Born in 1937 in Tunis, Nja Mahdaoui lives and works in Tunisia. In 1967, he graduated from the École du Louvre (Department of Oriental Antiquities). He pursued his academic training in Paris, at the Cité internationale des arts, on a scholarship from the Tunisian Government. His works have been widely shown around the world in GCC, Asia, America, Africa and Europe.
Rose Issa is a curator, writer and producer who has championed visual art and film from the Arab world and Iran for nearly thirty years.