Inner Structures – Outer Rhythms

Contemporary Arab and Persian Graphic Design

Period of time
26.4.24 – 21.4.25
Teaser text

The exhibition “Inner Structures – Outer Rhythms: Contemporary Arab and Persian Graphic Design” at the MK&G showcases current developments in Arabic and Persian typography. On view are posters, videos, animated films, murals, installations, books and typefaces by 33 designers and studios from South-West Asia and North Africa (SWANA) as well as the diaspora. The exhibition demonstrates how currents in Arabic and Persian graphic design are of equal relevance, providing mutual inspiration and contributing significantly to the global design discourse.

The springboard for the show is the idea that the 28 Arabic characters and the 32 Persian letters derived from them form an inner structure that ties them together as related scripts. At the same time, they follow an external rhythm that is shaped by music, poetry, cultural dynamics and the force of political movements. Despite religious, linguistic, ethnic, political and social differences in the SWANA region, the Arabic and Persian writing systems serve as unifying elements across national borders.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, a graphic designer, researcher, and founding director of the Khatt Foundation. Founded in Amsterdam in 2004, the Khatt Foundation is a nonprofit cultural institution dedicated to promoting contemporary graphic design and serving as a network and platform for designers from North Africa and West Asia. The foundation's additional goals include advancing design research, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and establishing a specialized knowledge center for contemporary design.

The exhibition was organised in cooperation with the Khatt Foundation and is kindly supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.





Mohammadreza Abdolali, Iran; Reza Abedini, Iran; Mariem Abutaleb, Egypt; Yusef Alahmad, Saudi Arabia / United States; Azza Alameddine, Lebanon / Spain; Khajag Apelian, Lebanon / Netherlands; Lara Assouad, Lebanon / United Arab Emirates; Naïma Ben Ayed, France; Acil Benamara, France; Nadine Chahine, Lebanon / United Kingdom; Omaima Dajani, Palestine; Hey Porter! (Tawfiq Dawi), Jordan; Homa Delvaray, Iran; Naji El Mir, Lebanon / France; Farhad Fozouni, Iran; Ayman Hassan, Lebanon / Netherlands; Karim Farah, Lebanon; Amir Karimian, Iran; Golnar Kat-Rahmani, Iran / Germany; Kemistry Design (Hani Charaf), Syria / United Arab Emirates; Yara Khoury Nammour, Lebanon; Hussein Nassereddine, Lebanon / France; Wael Morcos, Lebanon / United States; Muiz, United Kingdom / SWANA; Hamid Mirza Qorbanpour, Iran; Iman Raad, Iran / United States; Kristyan Sarkis, Lebanon / Netherlands; Nisrine Sarkis, Lebanon; Bahia Shehab, Lebanon / Egypt; Studio Akakir (Walid Bouchouchi), Algeria / France; Studio Kargah (Aria Kasaei & Peyman Pourhosein), Iran; Studio Safar (Maya Moumneh & Hatem Imam), Lebanon; Jana Traboulsi, Lebanon.