With Brush and Qalam
Chinese Arabic Calligraphy by Haji Noor Deen

06.07.2023 to 22.10.2023

With the solo exhibition of the most important contemporary representative of Sini calligraphy, the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art) is showing selected works by Haji Noor Deen in Berlin for the first time.

Sini calligraphy is the artistic script used by the Muslim minority in China. Its history reaches back to the 14th century. The distinctive feature of Sini calligraphy is the melding of techniques and styles from the Arabic and Chinese lettering traditions.

Arabic calligraphy follows a centuries-old tradition involving strict rules with precisely defined proportions for the letters. Sini calligraphy, on the other hand, is completely free of rules. The top priority is the perceived beauty and balance of the composition. Even the direction of the writing can be freely chosen, either from top to bottom, as in Chinese, or from right to left, as in Arabic.

Haji Noor Deen is a master of Sini calligraphy. Inspired by calligraphic traditions from China to Istanbul, the artist creates works with expressive lines that at first glance appear Chinese, but on closer inspection go far beyond that.

The artist’s painting tools reflect this diversity. Haji Noor Deen paints the Arabic letters with a brush that is characteristically used for Chinese calligraphy. He equally appreciates the qalam, the reed pen of Arabic calligraphy. He also uses completely new tools, such as cloth-covered wooden spatulas that he produces himself. With masterly skill, he creates artworks of great aesthetic power that surprise and affect the viewer.

A special exhibition of the Museum für Islamische Kunst – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

James-Simon-Galerie, Bodestraße
10178 Berlin

partially wheelchair accessible
Please note: Pergamonmuseum is exclusively entered through James-Simon-Galerie!
Site plan: Entrance to the Pergamonmuseum and Neues Museum (PDF)

All groups meet at the information desk at the upper foyer in James-Simon-Galerie, entering by using the big stairway.
Advice for group visits to the Pergamonmuseum an the Neues Museum (PDF)

Due to a technical issue, the lift is out of service until further notice, meaning the Museum für Islamische Kunst is not currently wheelchair accessible. The major architectural exhibits – such as the Processional Way, featuring the Ishtar Gate and the Market Gate of Miletus – are still accessible to people with mobility issues. 


U-Bahn: Museumsinsel (U5)
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Tram: Am Kupfergraben, Hackescher Markt
Bus: Staatsoper, Lustgarten, Friedrichstraße

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