Shakil Akram Khan

Toronto, Canada

Ever since I discovered the works of M.C. Escher I have been fascinated by the concept of tessellations. After twenty years of creating tessellations it still amazes me how a complex shaped tile can repeat with identical copies of itself to fill the plane. My art style is modern Islamic geometrical art based on tessellations of square kufic calligraphy. But since tessellation is a geometrical concept a thought came to my mind. Could it be possible to tile the plane with polygons in the shape of numbers? So I created simple recognizable tiles in the shape of numbers; 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,and 9. Then I put the pieces together so they joined together without any spaces and repeated the unit group of ten numbers to tile the plane. Simple.

The mathematician's kite
The mathematician's kite
11 inches x 17 inches
digital print over canvas

This artwork consists of 10 different polygons shaped in the form of numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9. These ten tiles form a unit group that tessellates and tiles the plane perfectly. When the unit group of ten tiles is repeated in the x and y directions, it's shape approaches that of a parallelogram or what an artist would call a kite.