Devotional papercutting by Tusif Ahmad

A traditional folk art employed in a range of styles around the globe, papercutting appeared in the Han dynasty shortly after the invention of paper in China circa 100 CE. Both ornamental and symbolic forms of the art appear in a range of traditional practices — from age old Chinese, jianzhi; Japanese, kirie; the decorative parol and pabalat of the Philippines; Indian, Sanjhi; Mexican, papel picado; and the colourful layered wycinanki in Eastern Europe.

Employing a unique method of cutting adhesive vinyl paper, Perth-based artist, Tusif Ahmad is a software developer and contemporary Islamic storyteller with a distinctive compositional style. His celebrated work, Tree of Life, won first prize in the Rockingham Art Awards, 2018.

In the Bismillah series, Tusif presents a broad repertoire of his signature devotional papercuts. Inspired by the Quran and the spiritual beauty of Islam, Tusif reveals dreamlike worlds, where twisting Arabic calligraphy and figurative depictions entwine tessellated geometry to create intricate pieces shimmering with mystical symbology.