The Art of Armenian Calligraphy with Ruben Malayan

The Art of Armenian Calligraphy with Ruben Malayan


Anytime you look at an artwork, you’re basically being transmitted an energy of a painter who made it. It can be 5,000 years old, and it can be done yesterday. It’s still the same, you know. Time has no factor here. And that’s the magic of art. One thing that is always being said about Armenians is that we’re a nation of survivors. Surviving means resisting, resisting all kind of challenges, mainly a cultural assimilation. Armenians have an intense sense of justice. We want justice. We want to live in a fair, free, and open society, but we were oppressed. So for me it was just a very natural thing to write things, to take the collective feeling and express it in a sentence. At one point I felt that I needed to write to defend the revolution, So I wrote “defend the revolution.” And I wrote in English and Armenian mixed up because it was important so that some some information would be pointed outwards, so people were would actually understand what’s going on. The need is always there. It’s my need to express myself, so if there is something that moves me and makes me feel that it’s important to talk about it, and it’s not just my personal opinion but it also reflects the opinion of other people, then of course, it’s urgent. It needs to be done. Every time you write something by hand, you leave a permanent record. And it also manages to pass —not just transmit information—but also pass emotion. It’s also important that we bring back the ability to recognize handwritten text. You start writing by hand, you join forms. It stimulates your brain to try to understand what’s written. It’s not just “chew it then put it in your mouth.” You have to struggle to understand it, and that makes a good change in the way your brain works. I make art, which is probably the most valuable thing that we can do. It’s the most valuable thing that we can do. And teach others to make it. And then you got it all.

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