Fatima Yiying Cao
Artwork Title & Inspiration
'O Beneficent One'
Hangable Chinese scroll with lower wooden cylindrical bar. Calligraphed in Sini script using Chinese black ink on rice paper, surrounded with royal cream silk-based brocade.
50 x 158 cm (Scroll)
Country of Origin
Fatima Yiying Cao
Fatima Yiying Cao (b. 1965) wife and personal researcher of world-renowned Chinese master calligrapher Haji Noor Deen, studied Islamic studies under Mai Rongxi, one of the most respected Chinese Imams, as well as Arabic at the Language & Culture University of Beijing. She was honored to be one of the few female Imams in China, and served at the Baizhai Mosque in Henan province for over 5 years. Fatima also studied in Cairo for three years at Al-Azhar University, majoring in Islamic Studies. She then returned to China with her husband, where she continued to study and share her knowledge with other Chinese Muslims, particularly women. As an expert on Islam, she has also assisted her husband, the well-known calligrapher Haji Noor Deen with a lot of his research. As a result of many years’ work and practice, Ms. Cao is well known as one of the few female calligraphers in China.
In 2012, one of the largest Muslim community bodies in California, the MCA (Muslim Community Association, located in San Jose) invited Ms. Cao for a lecture on Islamic culture with an Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition. She has also been invited to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where she was honored to join an event on the relationship between Arabic calligraphy and Chinese Muslim women. In February 2014, together with her husband she held a large Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition and gave several lectures in Mauritius, Malaysia, Ireland, UK, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Alongside this tour, Ms. Cao held her own workshops to teach local Muslim women about her artwork. Ms. Cao currently teaches at a Sunday School in Beixiajie Mosque located in her home city of Zhengzhou in Henan province, China. She has two sons, both of whom are pursuing their academic studies in California, USA.
Photography courtesy of Tom Gowanlock and videography by Fatima Niazy and Syed Gilani Mustafa.