Islamic art in the 21st century

Published 6:18 PM ET, Wed December 11, 2013
Mounir Fatmi Jameel prizeMounir Fatmi Jameel prize
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Moroccan multi-media artist Mounir Fatmi uses Arabic caligraphy in novel ways. In the video work Modern Times: A History of the Machine (detail shown here) atmi uses these circular compositions literally as wheels, the parts of a noisy locomotive that hurtles forward relentlessly. Courtesy of the artist and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Photo: Mounir Fatmi
Textile designer Rahul Jain set up a workshop in Varanasi in India to recreate magnificent silk textiles of the past. The workshop has five drawlooms, at which local Muslim weavers work in pairs. This is a details from The Snow Leopard made from drawloom-woven silk and silver gilt thread. Courtesy of Lekha and Anupam Poddar Collection, Photo: Ashok Dilwal
A dress inspired by the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, made out of embroidered satin and glass, by this year's Jameel prize-winner Dice Kayek. Courtesy of Dice Kayek Archive, Istanbul Contrast Collection, Photo: Dice Kayek Archive
Detail of the installation, CAPC displayed in Bordeaux, France by Parisian artist Laurent Mareschal. Although it has the appearance of traditional Islamic tiles, the piece is in fact made up of carefully arranged spices, including turmeric, sumac, zaatar, ginger and white pepper. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Marie Cini, Photo: Tami Notsani
Saudi Arabian calligrapher Nasser Al Salem works in various media. In Kul, he exploits one of the most dramatic forms found in the Arabic script -- the combination of the letters kaf and lam that spell out the word kull, meaning 'all'. Courtesy of the artist and Athr Gallery, Photo: Khalid Bin Afif
French designer Florie Salnot's recycled plastic necklace, titled Plastic Gold, is a product of her work with women from western Sahara. Inspired by the traditional jewelery worn by these women, Salnot has devised a craft they can practice despite their limited resources. Courtesy of the designer, Photo: Dominic Tschudin
Japanese furniture and product designer Nada Debs blends Middle Eastern craftsmanship with Japanese minimalism. Her Concrete Carpet (detail) combines a light-weight form of concrete with Arabic font design. Courtesy of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Photo: Marino Solokhov
Faig Ahmed's woolen handmade carpets are based on Azerbaijan's ancient weaving traditions. They are constructed by hand and, for the most part, follow a conventional design. In each case, however, Ahmed reconfigures part of the pattern.

With this carpet, titled Pixelate Tradition, much of the pattern has disintegrated into pixels. By disrupting traditional forms, Ahmed aims to show how, "Ideas that have been formed for ages are being changed in moments".
Courtesy YAY! Gallery, Photo: Fakhriyya Mammedov
Pakistani artist Waqas Khan trained in the traditional practice of miniature painting, but uses the skills he learned to create drawings on a large scale. He says, "The process is almost architectural, like building something slowly brick by brick. Private colelction, courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum