Since the 1960s, Araeen (b.1935) has resisted the association of Islamic themes or calligraphy with his minimalist sculptures, however recently his interest in classical Islamic philosophical, intellectual, and scientific developments has brought him to the conclusion that in today's society, an understanding of Islam's golden age of enlightenment is crucial to finding ways towards resolution of issues and advancement within Muslim cultures. In this sense, Araeen's engagement with geometry is not based on fidelity to motifs in Islamic art, but is conceptual and philosophical.
"This work comprises a series of paintings using the names of great thinkers of the golden age of Arab/Muslim civilisation (800-1200 A.D.). In the beginning their Arabic names are somewhat visible, which gives the impression of calligraphy. But as the painting proceeds by actually painting the names, not writing them as is the case in most calligraphic works, they become somewhat abstract. The whole process from the visibility of names to their somewhat disappearance as work continues towards abstraction, involves a process which eliminates calligraphy and by this it becomes modern." Rasheed Araeen, quoted in the catalogue for the exhibition Homecoming, Karachi, December 2014.