Exhibition on view at ICD Brookfield Place.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
ICD Brookfield Place has announced the creation of an annual graphic design and poster exhibition and competition - Tasmeem. The annual exhibition of graphic art will be selected through an open call and aims to expand the discourse and display of graphic design for upcoming and established regional talent.
The month-long exhibition will be open to visitors beginning July. The poster is quintessential to the practice of graphic design; it is an archetype of printed visual communication and omnipresent in the visual world.
By extension, it represents the time and place in which it was produced. The poster is more than a temporal remnant, however. It is a catalyst, having influenced the ways in which societies develop. It is a medium for informing, swaying, and entertaining.
It is a conveyer of information, but also a playground - the site of experimentation and investigation for curious designers. Physically, it is ephemeral by nature, but it also has the potential to resound through time and space, and across history.
The printed poster has maintained its cultural relevance even in the digital age. The role and appearance of posters has morphed continuously over the years to accommodate the changing needs of those creating them and the desires of those who look at them.
For its first edition, Tasmeem takes the notion of “anti-type design” as a starting point. What type of poster would you design if you were required to forget established design requirements? If you had the freedom to disregard conventions, binaries, rules, legibility, and functionality in favour of gesture and emotion?
Further, what non-conventional, creative methods could you employ in order to explore new horizons in type design, is the question. ICD Brookfield Place is looking for highly experimental, type design-centered works that pushes boundaries, challenges conventions, and uses design as a tool to modulate language and tell stories in new and exciting ways.
Curated by Graphic Designer and Art Director Jenan Saleh and inspired by last year’s successful poster exhibition This is the Message: Four Voices in Contemporary Graphic Art, Tasmeem was conceptualised by the ICD Brookfield Place Arts programme to encourage creativity in the region.
The exhibition’s selection committee members consists of a diverse group of renowned professionals, each bringing their considerable experience to the table.
It includes Graphic Designer and Type Designer Wael Morcos; Type Designer and Multidisciplinary Artist Ali Almasri; and Curator & Public Programmes Designer, Daniel H. Rey.
Submissions from all regional design practitioners, design thinkers, type designers, and design students is being sought. 12 selected artworks will be displayed during the exhibition taking place in July at ICD Brookfield Place.
The chosen artists will also be awarded AED 1,000.00 and one among the 12 will also be given the opportunity to join the selection committee in Tasmeem’s 2023 second edition.
Almasri is a type designer and multidisciplinary artist based in Amman, Jordan. He has degrees in industrial and graphic design, with a background in print-making, traditional Arabic calligraphy, and the history of Islamic arts.
In 2014, he launched his own type foundry under the name Abjad. In 2020 he launched his concept store, inspired by Arabic Calligraphy and the diversity of the visual culture that spread across Islamic lands. He also co-founded the social design initiative, Wajha, in 2012.
Rey advocates for #YouthCuratingYouth and cross-pollination in the Global South. His work in exhibitions and public programmes balances institutional and grassroots presence across the Americas, the Arab Gulf, and Scandinavia.
He trained in arts and social sciences at NYU Abu Dhabi and is an Alumnus of Art Jameel’s Youth Assembly programme (2020), as well as current Curator and Tutor of the third edition (2021-22). He has recently launched a multimedia research project archiving and exhibiting creative practices tied to Latin America and the Arab world. He says he feels at home in Paraguay, Norway and the UAE. Morcos is a graphic designer and type designer from Beirut, Lebanon, and a partner at the Brooklyn based design studio Morcos Key. Upon receiving his BA in Graphic Design from Notre Dame University (Lebanon), he spent three years developing identities and Arabic-Latin bilingual typefaces, in addition to working in print and exhibition design. He received his MFA from RISD in 2013, after which he moved to New York and worked with several studios in the city before founding Morcos Key. He has been featured in Print Magazine’s 15 under 30, was named a Young Gun by the Art Directors Club and an Ascender by the Type Directors Club.
Saleh is a Palestinian designer, art director, and artist based in Sharjah. She holds a bachelor of Multimedia Design from the College of Art, Architecture and Design at AUS.
In 2016, she was awarded the Shaikha Manal Young Artist Award in the Multimedia category. In 2018 she was selected to be one of nine members of Art Jameel Centre’s first Youth Assembly, and in April of 2019 her interactive installation, Soap Cutting Party, was exhibited at the Centre as part of the Art Jameel Youth Takeover.
She has worked previously as Head of Design at Fikra Campus, where she led design projects and cultural programming initiatives. Saleh’s work encompasses a wide range of creative practices, and her main interests lie at the spaces where diverse media intersect. ICD Brookfield Place Arts programme creates community and opportunity through the transformative power of the arts.
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