Mohammed Mandi

Calligrapher Mohammed Mandi is recognised internationally for an individual style that combines letters and words to form three-dimensional images and figures. Working with different shades and colours, Mandi overlays the lettering in a laborious process that can take years to complete a singular work. By building up the surface in layers, Mandi transforms the two-dimensionality of script into a vibrating, multi-dimensional composition. The result is a breathtaking achievement that forges the textual with the visual, the literal with the symbolic, and the representational with the abstract.

For the artist, calligraphy is the art of the soul. Fascinated by the beauty of calligraphy as a child, Mandi enrolled in the Arabic Calligraphy Improvement School in Cairo, graduating in 1977. He continued his training in Turkey during the 1970s under renowned Turkish calligrapher, Hassan Chalabi. In the 1980s, he returned to the United Arab Emirates, where he has since designed calligraphy for the logos of government ministries, private companies, and commercial establishments. Mandi’s distinctive angular designs are found on banknotes throughout the UAE and Bahrain, and on passports in the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait. One of his most notable accomplishments is as one of the designers of the interior calligraphy in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Mohammed Mandi lives and works in Abu Dhabi.