It’s not often that you come across an artist whose art has been exhibited on the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa Dubai. Aslam Noor, known as Art Noor in the local and international art scene, has had that opportunity twice. For past two years, Burj Khalifa has been showcasing his “99 Names of Allah” series of paintings in the multiple LED shows, that ran every day for the whole month of Ramadan.
The shows received an overwhelming response from the audience and millions of views of the video on social media. Tracing back the history, his ascent in the Art World has been a result of many years of evolution in the creative industry, which he has been involved with. After starting out in Advertising, at the age of 17, as a writer and photographer, he rose to become the CEO of a reputed advertising group. In 2001 he decided to make a radical move, and quit his highly successful corporate career in Advertising. He wanted to pursue his childhood passion of painting, and gathered the courage to begin the journey towards an uncertain destination. After moving to UAE, he took a place adjacent to the only art district there, next to Sharjah Museum.
He toiled at learning the craft for three years, while living in a sparsely furnished flat overlooking the harbor, which he also used as his studio. He would often spend his evenings meeting with friends and art fraternity in the area.
Art Noor’s “99 Names of Allah” is his contemporary interpretation of the spiritual subject that has inspired the world through his book with the same name.
An avid admirer of Rumi, he had an exhibition of paintings based on his verses of love, called “Ruminiscence”, where he showed a range of contemporary large scale works which not only provoke the thought process but also impart a new interpretation to the timeless words of the Sufi Mystic.
Rumi has been my friend, philosopher and guide ever since I found a small book of his at an airport book shop, decades ago” He said “It was called Lion of the Heart and opened the doors for me like Shams Tabrez did for Rumi. ”
Quoting a painting of his from his paintings in that exhibition “I am You”, Noor emphasizes the need for humanity to learn to live with tolerance. “We need to learn this very important lesson. Or the world can become a unbearable place
I am not obsessed with the attractions of the physical world, and can spend weeks isolated in my studio. Looking within is a better pursuit towards consciousness and experiencing this world. My art is usually a result of these meditative contemplations, which last for weeks
Noor’s inward journey is reflected his spontaneous artworks, which have an otherworldly feel and employ the unexpected metaphors and movement. It moves the viewer in a unique way. As though one is visiting other dimensions of being or coming across the language of the mystical beauty. No wonder his name has become synonymous with the spiritual element, that is prominent and characterizes his work.
Follow Art Noor’s spiritual journey through his art on his Instagram @Art_Noor