DUBAI: Tokyo-born Fuad Kouichi Honda is widely recognized as one of the world’s finest Arabic calligraphers and has just launched his new book, ‘Noor Ala Noor’, at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF ) 2022, running until May 29.
The book was published in conjunction with the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, where a collection of Honda’s works are on display.
“Arab and Japanese cultures share common values, aesthetics and artistic practices that have always acted as a bridge of cultural communication between the two civilizations,” said Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, President of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center, which inaugurated the book at a book launch ceremony in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
“The Japanese and Arabic languages use calligraphy as a means of artistic expression and allow calligraphers to reinvent existing styles, innovate and create new ways to personalize their creations. Their styles are based on age-old traditions developed centuries ago and are passed down from generation to generation,” he added.
Syed Mohamad Albukhary, Director of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, said, “The Islamic Arts Museum is proud to present this bilingual publication in honor of the works of Japanese calligrapher Fuad Honda. We hope that together we can contribute to the improvement of the vision of Arabic art and Islamic calligraphy at the international level. Honda’s artwork carries the message of Arabic calligraphy around the world.
The museum houses thousands of archaeological artifacts and manuscripts from the Muslim world that contributed to the development of Islamic arts, especially the art of Arabic calligraphy and the decoration of Qurans and manuscripts.
Albukhary hopes the book, written and translated by Dr. Heba Barakat, will help spread Honda calligraphy to a wide range of readers and art connoisseurs.
The Japanese Muslim, who teaches at Daito Bunka University, has won numerous awards for his work, including at the International Arabic Calligraphy Competition.
It was the topography that inspired Honda to try his hand at calligraphy.
After graduating in foreign studies from the University of Tokyo, he joined a Japanese company that worked with the Saudi government to survey and map the Arabian Peninsula. He traveled to the Kingdom in 1974 as a translator for the company. Several of the cards the company used had Arabic calligraphy on them, and Honda says he fell in love with the art form. He began to teach himself to recreate the artwork he had seen.