Nasser Al-Salem’s (b. 1984, Mecca, KSA) artistic practice challenges the boundaries of the traditional Islamic art of calligraphy by re-contextualizing it in unconventional mixed media forms and conceptual potential through minimalist and architectural methods.
Al-Salem studied calligraphy in the Haram Al-Sharif and achieved an ‘Ijaza’ certificate – the highest form of recognition and authorization to transmit the art of calligraphy. He received his undergraduate in Architecture at Um Al-Kora University in Mecca, and currently lives and works in Jeddah. He is co-founder for Al-Hangar, an artist collective based in Jeddah, as well as a member of the National Guild of Calligraphers and an active fellow of Saudi Arabia’s Arts and Culture Group.
Al-Salem’s work has been part of numerous group exhibitions including: Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam, The British Museum, London ; Rhizoma, Edge of Arabia, Venice Biennale ; Echoes, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City ; The Language of Human Consciousness, Athr, Jeddah ; Common Grounds, Villa Stuck, Munich ; Nour/Light, Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival, Sharjah ; Safar, 21,39 Jeddah Arts, Jeddah ; Cities Of Convictions, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Utah ; Epicenter X: Contemporary Saudi Art, Arab American National Museum, Detroit , The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen, Athr Gallery, Jeddah . During 2019, he was a part of both Nomadic Traces: The Journeys of Arabian Scripts, Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi, UAE, as well as Out of Place, Athr Gallery, Jeddah, KSA
His work is part of the collection of The British Museum, London, LACMA Museum, Los Angeles, and Centre Pompidou, Paris. In 2013, Al-Salem was shortlisted for the Jameel Prize at the Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2018, the artist’s work was a part of The Royal Commission of Al-Ula’s, Saudi Arabia.