I Chose Bashar ALaedean for this project because I felt his work has so many elements and it would be so interesting for me to portray it in my own way.
Hope you are doing well.
I am from Jordan and I am in my last year studying graphic design in London. I came across your work while doing some research for a project. I am really interested in the Arab Ink photography series that you are doing. I like the idea of combing calligraphy and human figures to tell a story. For my project, I have to take the voice of an artists’ work and portray it in my own way. I was wondering what was your reason and meaning behind this project; why tattoos? Why black and white? I would love to know your side of things if you dont mind.
Thank you very much.
Basically, this is the e-mail I sent to Bashar, he did not reply…
At the beginning I was thinking of the idea of a tattoo and what it means. I ended up with a conclusion that it is something personal, that a person choses to put on their bodies for other people to see, and it can be something related to a person or a thing or a belief. Therefore It is like treating the human body as a journal.
So the first thing that I thought of was to create a journal and ask people: “If you had a journal, right now, what would you write in it?” And then take their stories and do illustrations to narrate those stories.It is a cool way to portray the voice of my artist, however, I feel like the idea of the journal has been done before endless amount of times. And this is why is think I should do more thinking on how to interpret it.
My second idea was to literally show how people write their own thoughts on their bodies by using projection lights and other techniques such as putting temporary tattoos of writings on people and photograph them. However, after thinking about this idea I felt like I am going to a direction I don't want to and this is why I think I should do more research on my artist and see the real story behind his work.
More Research on the Artist:
The project is called Arab ink and this is the website:
And this is their instagram page:
http://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/arab-ink-project/index.html --- This video is very interesting, as it sort of explains the behind the scenes of the work and it was very useful to get some insights from it.
What he is saying in his videos is that arabic letters are very poetic, you can get so many different styles from them, and just like the language is diverse, the stories he is sharing are diverse as well.
to him a “tattoo is a bridge between the viewer and a person with a story”
After watching it, It realised what he is doing is simply sharing the stories of people to other people. The tattoo was just a way to communicate it, it was the tool he used for his project to come to life. And the fact that is is an Arabic tattoo on an Arab, makes it more personal and meaningful for a story to be relatable to the viewers.
But how can we communicate this unheard voice?
How can we enhance it?
Just like the artist I chose used tattoos as a tool to tell a story, since tattoos always have a meaning behind them, I would like to use objects that people are emotionally attached to tell their story, by asking them what it means to them, and what it means for them to share it to the world. It is all about the people, and their stories through what they own.