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Graphics, Typography, Design, Painting, Saudi arabia, Mohtaraf, Beirut Graphics, Kameel Hawa
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Paul Dash Comments on Kameelhawa’s art Exhibition Paper 2018

I am thrilled and humbled at being asked to contribute to this exhibition, a few observations on Kamalhawa’s art. Hopefully the words I share will do justice to what is certain to be a thought-provoking, skilfully executed and wide-ranging show. Kameelhawa’s art is multi-dimensional and multi layered. It is multi-dimensional in the wide range of media engaged, the ease with which he progresses from religious or secular themes to  figuration, abstraction, design, fine art, etc. His practice is multi-layered in the depth and range of enquiry attendant on each theme and the manifold ideas and concepts engaged. If we take drawing as an area of enquiry he makes imagery with the precision of a designer steeped in the designer’s art, which sit alongside free-flowing sketches that encapsulate the emotional response to a pot of flowers or likeness of a sitter. His drawn images inspired by Arabic calligraphy, however, are located firmly within...

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Kameel Hawa Typographic Sculptures

The Shape of the Word The passion for letterforms, calligraphy and typography has been a personal interest and a legacy of our design house for over three decades. It took on various forms, from freehand calligraphy to logotypes to award-winning Arabic typefaces. A natural next step was to give this passion its fourth dimension by converting the flat, yet vibrant words into free-standing typographic sculptural works that punctuate the cityscapes as artistic landmarks. Turning a word into a three-dimensional object is not difficult, but the challenge lies in imbibing this object an artistic quality. As for art pieces, it is of essence that the word form is born in a moment of passion. A moment when the artist is ‘uttering’ the word with the right emotion, only this utterance is visual rather than vocal. The core of the effort is beyond a mere composition of the letterforms. It lies into shaping, combining and orchestrating these forms into a compelling whole that beholds the word’s meaning and significance. Evidently the...

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MOMENTS by Kameel Hawa @ Galerie Cheriff Tabet

Artist Biography Kameel Hawa draws, paints, sculpts and designs. He projects words into art pieces, shaping typographic sculptures out of Arabic and Phoenician alphabets. He dabbles with photography, creates books and magazines and experiments with screen prints and other art forms. An autodidactic artist, he is today best known for his sculptures: the typographic monument of Beirut, the tribute to his alma mater AUB, and the eight interpretations of the word Fann (Arabic for Art) which have drawn both popular and particular acclaim. An accomplished designer, Kameel founded AlMohtaraf some three decades ago, a regional graphic design house which he still inspires and drives to date. AlMohtaraf is famous for combining refined aesthetics with modern design solutions, unfailingly maintaining a profound continuity with indigenous needs and values. Kameel has had several solo exhibits in Beirut, Cairo and Kuwait. He has participated for years in the Beirut Art Fair and the Beirut Art Week. His...

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UCA Sculpture

      The fall is random, yet each cube, in turn, randomly creates its own stability.    Three cubes fall randomly on top of one another. They create a balancing act, evoking acrobat art. The fall is random, yet each cube, in turn, randomly creates its own stability. Randomness is thus turned into the coincidence of chaos falling into order. The persistent coexistence of peril and safety in our life. An inspiration the sculpture carried from the insurance profession.     Creation Kameel Hawa 2018 A mohtaraf Public Space Sculpture Execution workshop Peter’s Brass ...

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كميل حوّا يحاضر في نيويورك عن المنحوتات الحروفية في الساحات العامة

حاضر الفنان التشكيلي والمصمم الغرافيكي كميل حوّا في نادي كبار مصمّمي الحروف (Type Directors Club (TDC في نيويورك مساء الخميس الماضي، حول المنحوتات الحروفية في الساحات العامة. استعرض حوّا في محاضرته تجربة «المحترف»، دار التصميم التي أسسها ويقودها منذ ثلاثة عقود بين جدة وبيروت، ومسيرة الانتقال بين مختلف التّجارب الخطّية مروراً بفن الكلمة. وبيّن في محاضرته كيف أنّ الانتقال من التشكيل الخطي إلى المنحوتة ثلاثية الأبعاد ليست مجرد زيادة في الكتلة أو الحجم، بل هو تحوّل كامل ينشأ عبر عملية فنية تحدّت إعادة تشكيل في بنية الكلمة. ويصبح البعد الثالث للكلمة بما يعطيه من معنى ودلالة بعداً رابعاً. كما أوضح من خلال تجربته خاصية الكتابة العربية في التكيّف الشكلي بلا حدود ممّا يميّزها عن كثير من اللغات. وطرح حوا تعريفاً لتصميم الحروف بأنّه تخصّص معاصر ينقل الحرف العربي من مرحلة فن تشكيل الخطوط إلى مرحلة فن تصميم الحروف، من «الكوليغرافي» calligraphy إلى «التيابوغرافي» typography، أي من عصر الفنون الحرفية إلى عصر الصّناعة...

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Kameel Hawa: Shape of the Word – Arabic Typographic Sculpture for Public Spaces at TDC

Kameel Hawa will present his typographic sculptures and reveal the creative process and the conceptual considerations behind these projects. He will highlight the artistic power and poetry of the Arabic letterforms, and their cultural contribution to public space. About Kameel Hawa Lebanese designer, painter, and writer Kameel Hawa’s name has become synonymous with Almohtaraf, the design house that he founded more than 3 decades ago. Born in 1947 and a graduate of the American University of Beirut, Kameel approached graphic design as a mission. The originality of the work AlMohtaraf has created throughout the years lies in their blend of art and design, tradition and modernity— a meaningful message communicated in an indigenous yet contemporary form. AlMohtaraf, the only pan-Arab design house, has left an impact on the design scene in the region. Kameel Hawa himself is gaining acclaim for his type design, his unique creations in word art, and for his typographic sculpture....

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The shape of the word

What is a typographic sculpture? The passion for letterforms, calligraphy and typography has been a personal interest and a legacy of our design house for over three decades. It took on various forms, from freehand calligraphy to logotypes to award-winning Arabic typefaces. A natural next step was to give this passion its fourth dimension by converting the flat, yet vibrant words into free-standing typographic sculptural works that punctuate the cityscapes as artistic landmarks. Turning a word into a three-dimensional object is not difficult, but the challenge lies in imbibing this object an artistic quality. As for art pieces, it is of essence that the word form is born in a moment of passion. A moment when the artist is ‘uttering’ the word with the right emotion, only this utterance is visual rather than vocal. The core of the effort is beyond a mere composition of the letterforms. It lies into shaping, combining and...

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جرس إنذار: لا تتركوا الجريدة تسقط من يد بيروت ولا من يدي

هل حين نتخلى عن الجريدة ننتقل من قراءة في وسيلة الى القراءة  في وسيلة اخرى أم ننتقل من القراءة في الجريدة الى اللاقراءة !   مثّل هذا التوقف المفاجئ لجريدة الاتحاد، بُعَيد الظهور المفاجئ لها أصلاً، حدثاً أشبه بجرس إنذار أُطلق سهواً. نقول سهواً بسبب القصر المستغرَب لمدّة الصدور. لفتنا هذا الجرس إلى خطر محدق بدأنا ندرك وجوده من زمن، ولا نفعل أي شيء لتلافيه. وكأنه قدر. فقد جدّد التذكير بأن وهناً ما يصيب الصحافة في لبنان، كان قد سبقه الإقفال الثاني، وعلى ما يبدو للأسف الإقفال النهائي، لجريدة "السفير"، إضافة إلى ظواهر ضمور لصحف أخرى بسبب صعوبات مادية في نوعية الورق تارة، وعدد الصفحات تارة أخرى، ومنها هذه الجريدة. يتزامن هذا كله مع تعرض الصحف اليومية والمجلات الورقية، وصولاً إلى الكتاب في العالم، إلى صعوبات وتحديات مشابهة. فالهجمة الإلكترونية التي بدأت تأثيراتها منذ نحو عقدين من الزمن، زعزعت النشر الورقي بأشكاله كافة، وشغلت الناس عن أشياء كثيرة ومنها القراءة. حتى النشر الورقي، بقدر ما تضرر من هذا الاكتساح المفاجئ، أخذ ينضم إلى المستفيدينمما وفّرته بالتأكيد. بل راحت...

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هل انتقلنا من عصر السرعة إلى عصر السرعتين؟

عاد الحديث في الآونة الأخيرة مجدَّداً عن رواية جورج أورويل «١٩٨٤». هذه الرواية التي تتخيَّل مجتمعاً مستقبليَّاً يعيش في أسر دكتاتوريَّة معاصرة محضة، حيث الفرد يتعرَّض لما يمكن وصفه بقولبة نفسيَّة فكريَّة كليَّة، تجعله خاضعاً للسلطة المركزيَّة خضوعاً تامَّاً يكاد يكون لاإرادياً. كانت هذه الرواية قد صدرت أول ما صدرت عام ١٩٤٩، أي عام واحد قبل بداية عقد الخمسينيات. وذاع صيتها وأعيدت طباعتها مرَّات عديدة لا تُعدُّ ولا تُحصى، ولا بدَّ أنَّه تمت ترجمتها إلى كل لغات الأرض. وبسبب فرادة موضوعها كانت دائماً على قائمة الروايات التي تُدرَّس في الجامعات، ولم تجاريها إلا رواية أُخرى هي (عالم جديد جريء) Brave New World لـ«ألدوس هكسلي».   طبعاً كثير منَّا لم يتسنَّ له قراءتها إلا بعد سنين من تاريخ صدورها الأول. لكن   -وهذا هو موضوع المقال - الانطباع الغالب حينها، أنَّه حتى الذين قرؤوها في أواخر الستّينيات مثلي، كانوا يعتبرون أنَّ التاريخ الذي تتنبَّأ به الرواية سيشهد هذا التحوُّل الشامل في المجتمع الإنساني عام ١٩٨٤،...

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الطائرة تحمل هويتها الوطنيَّة.. فوق جناحي المضيف والمضيفة

حين تمَّ الاتصال بِنَا كدار تصميم لتولي إخراج وطباعة كتاب عن حياة الطيَّار نهار النصّار - وهو قيد الإنجاز - تملكني شغف كبير تجاه فكرة هذا الكتاب لم يضاهه شغفي بفكرة أي كتاب آخر.   بدءاً باسمه الفريد، ثمَّ مهنته، وهو أوَّل طيَّار سعودي، وكان قد بدأ تدريبه في مصر على يد مدرَّبة طيران مصريَّة، مرورا بكونه أوَّل من عبر المحيط الأطلسي بطائرة نفّاثة. هذه الأخبار كلها كانت تزيدني شغفاً وولعاً بقصته، إلى أن ذُكر لنا ما مثّل بنظري تتويجاً لسيرة تستحق بلا شكٍّ أن تتحوَّل فيلماً وثائقيَّاً مشوِّقاً، وهو أنَّ نهار كان الطيَّار الخاص لأربعة ملوك.   يا للأبُّهة   ومما أثار إعجابي أيضا بسيرة هذا الطيَّار السعودي أنَّ ملوك المملكة، بدءاً بالملك سعود ـ يرحمهم الله ـ اختاروا أن يضعوا الطائرات التي تقلّهم - وبالتالي حياتهم - بين يدي هذا الطيَّار السعودي الشاب في زمن كان الطيران فيه جديد عهد.   في ما مضى بينما كنت أسافر بين مدن المملكة، على متن إحدى طائرات الشركة السعوديَّة،...

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AUB by Kameel Hawwa

This monument designed for the American University of Beirut by Kameel Hawwa reads "ai,yu,be" the University acronym, which the designer intended to keep in its intimate popular pronunciation in Arabic and turn it into a modern typographic sculpture. By this he wished to proclaim - at the occasion of the 150th anniversary of AUB- that this much revered institute of education has become with the passage of years a full native of the land. Carved from cedar wood (the cedar tree being the Lebanese flag symbol), the sculpture accentuates this sense belonging.   Press here to see the Movie   It was unveiled during an event held on November 14, 2016 on location in front of the Alumni Club building. Donated to AUB Alumni Association by the brothers Loutf, Samir, Mounir, and Kameel Hawwa, in memory of their deceased brother Gynecologist and alumni Dr. Zahi Hawwa (1963).   A word about the AUB that I love. It is often said institutions are not buildings but the...

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ALEPH

This sculpture is for Aleph, the first letter of the Phoenician alphabet, actually of all alphabets. It was my participation in Beirut Art Week (September 13-20 2016), and the post was perfectly located in the midst of Solidaire Souks area, facing Librarie Antoine in downtown Beirut. It is the first in the set of 22 such interpretations, that i have been developing for more than a year for a sculptural typographic park, dedicated to the Phoenician Alphabet, considered by most scholars as the mother modern alphabets, both Latin on the one hand. Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic on the other.     ...

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…حروفية – الحروف العربية المنفصلة لكميل حوّا أشكالها الفريدة جعلتني أتوقف عن محاولة وصله

"أنا لم أشأ أن أفصل بين الحروف، لكن بعدما بدأت برسمها جاءت أشكالها على درجة من الفرادة ما جعلني أتوقف عن محاولة وصلها حفاظًا على رونق كل حرفٍ بذاته؛ وقد تبعتها الأرقام برونق خاص أيضًا". هذا ما قاله الفنان التشكيلي والمدير العام لـ"المحترف السعودي" كميل حوا بعدما نشر بضع صور على موقع "انستغرام" لفونت جديد هو في صدد إنجازه. "تشكيل"، وهو الإسم الذي منحه للفونت هذا، مصممٌ خصّيصاً لاستخدامه كحرف العناوين في مجلة للفنون التشكيلية داخل المملكة العربية السعودية. المفارقة أن "تشكيل" منفصل الحروف. لا أعني فحسب أن ثمة فراغًا بين كل حرفين، بل أن ثمة تصميمًا موحدًا لشكل الحرف بغض النظر عن موقعه في الكلمة، سواء أتى في بداية الكلمة أم في منتصفها أم في نهايتها أم أتى بمفرده. وذلك بخلاف المعهود في الاحرف العربية المتصلة. حرف العين مثلًا لديه في العادة أربعة أشكال بحسب المواقع الأربعة: ع ععع، إلا أن لديه في "تشكيل" شكلاً واحداً بغض النظر عن موقعه...

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Four in a row

Simple man, I am   I am a simple man, That prefers pleasure, to leisure, and leisure to luxury. see I see art in things I see things in art. It’s like I see in the end, what I saw from the start. Things appear to me once, then reappear again. It’s like my onlooking makes the spring run, and the grey cloud rain. Even before I can hear more music in the music, More meaning in the words. I can see more color in the color, More rhyming in the verse! I can count more birds on the tree, More fish in the sea, I can make the butterfly fly further than the bird, I can hum like a hummingbird Like you’ve never heard! I can do all those things Even before my telephone rings ! Money..yes have some! I don’t own money..none. I just have some.. I don’t buy with money. I just barter. They give me...

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Burning tune ( a tribute to Mohammad bu azizi)

This work was especially done for the “save our souls” art exhibit. The idea of a tribute to AlBuazizi, however, was with me since many years. The story of his terrible death stands out as a great human cry, so unlike the many self annihilations that are occurring every day. Making the neck the fire exhaust, was inspired by a Phoenician relief sculpture of the Eritrean and the lion. As if his great cry and soul were bursting out directly from the neck, that was turned into a great torch of the wave of popular uprisings. The blazing flames, thick smoke and lighter fumes, all move upward and across, turning about themselves in a chaotic infinite circularity. Something spiritual is building up.The metal mask as if holds the head in place, and hides the painful expression. Yet the four black screws are reminiscent of Christ’s nails on the cross. The written...

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“shadows are shy reality”

like shadows. They are like shy reality! Another form of reflection without a mirror. The kinship of shadow and loneliness is so eminent. The gaze and the haze. The resonance of silence.  The lonely and the shadow share that shallow existence, that yet persists and endures in careless surrender. – I found few lines of verse for great poets on the shadow, I thought I will add to this post./ KH Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow For Thine is the Kingdom By T S Eliot And, as his strength, Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow. “Shadow” said he, Where can it be- this Kingdom of Eldorado? By Paul Laurence Dunbar I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, And what can be the use of him is more than I can see. He is very, very like me from the...

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Have a seat !

What is it that keeps forcing upon me the idea that this is a perfect chair? I have been meeting this chair regularly for the past 25 years or so in my favourite Riyadh hotel AlKhozama. By and large, it obviously belongs to the school of the prevailing furniture in the room, which is reasonably and more practical, quite austere, and maybe Art Deco. That of course , could partially explain the style of the chair, and equally my admiration of it. But today I felt that all this notwithstanding, I need to give a more fulfilling explanation, at least to myself. (That’s why you can also it turned downwards on the floor because I want to take a perfect profile photo). Then I thought, quite mundanely, that  only hope is to pretend I’m someone else who knows me, and answer as such: It is so perfectly elegant, balanced, comfortable, and for the latter...

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Beirut Troika

I had this piece of ‘3XBeirut’ for a while now. I saw its aesthetics, like many other people.. but never got the feeling from those photos for it exhibited temporarily in our National Museum.! It looks like a classic.. like a part of a Roman charriot! … ...

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A Perfect logo!

So beautiful, so inspiring..so fit for an environmental concern.. in Paris! A perfect logo creation. It cannot be, except for what it is. The first superb surprise is the white vein in the centre of the leaf, none but Tour Eiffel! And once more Tour eiffel proves immortal.. And its curvature moulds beautifully with the leaf! The view is so tender and serene and telling. The concept becomes complete with the the sun-like white circle on the left hand upper corner. It has created also a burn in the leaf. The feeling derived is wholesome. The concept arrived to with a simple beginning of looking at a green leaf. Then seeing the white vain.. It must have taken a minute to see, an hour to getting it done with. I can’t say enough. Only that I am sure this logo was achieved with a single-logo version..no more!   And I love it! ...

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