Transcending the Ruins

Rachid Koraichi:  Preserving ancient, inventing modern

 
7 Variations of Indigo 

7 Variations of Indigo 

 

Harmony amidst crisis and violence is where Rachid Koraichi’s art resides. His silkscreens and weavings draw from the techniques of generations of weavers, print-makers, and potters in North Africa and the Middle East, to create universal vision, in which diverse elements blend into a peaceful, intricate beauty that stands in sharp contrast to contemporary misconceptions of Islam as oppressive and intolerant.

Why be a worshiper of the dead?

Think of me as a goner

Come and make up now

Since you will come

And throw kisses at my tombstone later

Why not give them to me now?

This is me

That same person

Born in Algeria in 1947, Koraichi came from a family of Quranic scholars and copyists in a Sufi tradition. He trained as a calligrapher before studying painting and printmaking in Paris in the 1970s and has made the written word the foundation of his work, translating the spiritual richness of Muslim thinkers and poets such as Rumi and El Arabi into visual art.

You mustn't be afraid of death

You're a deathless soul

You can't be kept in a dark grave

You're filled with God's glow

-Rumi

In his quest to merge traditional and modern design concepts, he frequently collaborates with local artisans. For his 2002 installation, 7 Variations on Indigo, Koraïchi worked closely with the dyers of Aleppo. The indigo-scripted banners and intricate silkscreens now stand as a memorial to the destruction of the ancient Syrian city of learning.