Ali Rouhfar was born in 1949 in Tehran. In 1961 his grandfather who was a calligrapher encouraged him to take up that art. Ali started practice and received his first lessons of calligraphy from him. A few months later his grandfather died, and sad emotions took over Alis life, which caused him to stop practicing and almost abandon calligraphy.

In 1966 his high school principle encouraged him to participate in a calligraphy contest among Tehran high school students. Ali received 3rd place award for excellence, and was inspired to continue to practice under the calligrapher Sadegh Zarrin Ghalam.

After graduating from college in 1972 with a degree in Economics and Business Administration, Ali worked with an architect in Tehran. Familiarity with architectural projects drew his attention to view calligraphy from a historical standpoint. He started to study Iranian history after Islam to discover the background of social, political, spiritual and cultural life and its impact on manuscript evolution and development. To pursue this investigation, he met with scholars and calligraphy masters and studied with calligraphers Eskandari and Taheri.

Becoming a member of Iran Calligraphers Association in 1983 gave him the opportunity to meet other calligraphers and gain new insights to further his research. He realized that Persian Calligraphy (Nastaliq) has a larger world than just being a calligraphy when he observed the new mode of Nastaliq and Shekasteh Nastaliq called Khat Naqsh, which is a combination of calligraphy and color contrasts. He believed that Khat Naqsh will become global and could be beneficial to any culture regardless of language as a strong visual element to transfer messages from the world of writing to the world of visual arts. To put this belief in practice, he started to make a few Khat Naqsh samples and shares with others for comments and feedback.

In the early 1990s Ali traveled between Iran, Europe and the United States. In 1994 he arranged a simple exhibition in Seattle, Washington, to ground his ideas. Responses to this exhibition confirmed his beliefs about Khat Naghsh. Following this show he received an invitation to exhibit his calligraphy at the International Folk Life Festival in Seattle in 1994. The positive interest of the American audience encouraged him to continue his calligraphic work.

He has produced several calligraphic pieces since 1994, and is currently teaching at the University of Washington. At this time he is working on a calligraphy piece for winter 2000 memories.

Mr. Rouhfar accepts calligraphic commissions.
Please call (425)829-2844 or e-mail at for information.

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