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A conversation with

Main Gallery Exhibitor,

Muhammad Zaman

Our Main Gallery exhibitor uses his work to share his culture and the languages that make up his identity. The “Illegible” series is composed of acrylic and mixed media on canvas and paper. The mix of languages that the artist uses, and the further artistic elaboration of the composition involves the juxtaposition of different layers of color and words, that will make the work illegible.

 

Headshot of artist, Muhammad Zaman, in front of one of his pieces

Muhammad Zaman

How would you describe the art of calligraffiti to someone who is not familiar with it?

Calligraffiti is an art form that combines calligraphy and graffiti. It can be classified as abstract expressionism and it integrates letters into compositions. Letters or words can be readable or not. The combination is not only aesthetic but also technical. I use ancient calligraphy strokes techniques and I combine them with spray paint and more graffiti-style media.

How would you draw connections between your work and book arts?  

 I don’t. Actually, it’s an opposition, not a connection: I’m offering non-readable art made with letters.

Your artwork incorporates three languages that make up your identity, what do you write about within your work?

Each time is different. I’m inspired by many different things and the themes of my paintings are always connected with the peaceful coexistence of different cultures. I sometimes use quotes from different cultural backgrounds that are able to unify through diversity

What has it been like for you to exhibit your work around the world?

It is a great honor and each time I feel incredibly fortunate and humbled.

What do you want audiences to gain from your exhibition?

It’s been so amazing having a community of people willing to help and a space provided for someone like myself to just do their thing! My biggest take away is how grateful I am that this space exists in my city, and that we need to work hard to make even more spaces like this everywhere. One thing that I feel is missing in Buffalo is a public paper making facility.

What do you want audiences to gain from your exhibition?

The audience is usually drawn into decoding the message. As soon as the audience recognizes a letter, a need for understanding is on. I had the chance to experience this doing live paintings, the participation of the audience is unexpected and incredibly lively.

“I’m inspired by many different things and the themes of my paintings are always connected with the peaceful coexistence of different cultures.”

This blog post was written by Book Arts Gallery Assistant, Nina Grenga. Nina is currently getting her Master’s at the University at Buffalo in Critical Museum Studies with a concentration in Arts Management.