THE ARTIST SHAHID ALAM
Shahid Alam was born in Lahore, Pakistan. Members of his family have been calligraphers for many generations. At an early age of four years, Alam himself began to write Arabic letters. At the Catholic Franciscans school in Lahore, he followed his ambition in the calligraphy course.
In 1973, Shahid Alam came to Germany to study pedagogy, art, politics and European science at the universities of Dortmund and Aachen. For twenty years he taught in several schools in Germany and Pakistan. Since 1996 he has been working as an artist in Stolberg, a city close to Aachen.
The art of calligraphy has a special meaning for Shahid Alam. He is fascinated by the great potential of the Arabic letters and the possibilities of innovation that they offer to a calligrapher.
After forty years of work as an artist he is still amazed by the complex options of joining different Arabic letters with each other. Letters get “married” to each other, losing their individual form to became part of a much wider picture, a new art, a sculpture of letters.
This unique art unites the mind, word and lettering to something completely new. With this graphic and atmospheric arrangement of the word-picture Alam creates works of extraordinary plasticity and visual power. And out of this well balanced picture he creates structural shapes.
The cultural and religious diversity of his homeland, Pakistan and the political and economical differences have a big influence on Shahid Alam’s life and work. With the beauty of Arabic calligraphy, Alam wants to support inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue and encourage a way of mutual understanding.