In the Islamic world, calligraphy has always been considered the noblest form of art because of its association with the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, which is written in Arabic. Trained as both a calligrapher and an architect, Nasser Al Salem has developed a unique approach to writing. He focuses on the words and their meaning, medium, and aesthetic, resulting in multivalent, highly nuanced, and engaging works. In God Is Alive, He Shall Not Die (blue), Al Salem employs neon to amplify the word "Allah," which, through the use of mirrors, creates an optical illusion that provides visual substantiation to the believer of God’s infinite nature.
Nasser Al Salem has exhibited with the arts initiative Edge of Arabia in Istanbul, Turkey, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. His work was included in the British Museum’s Hajj exhibition (2012), and was short-listed for the 2013 Jameel Prize. While his work is strongly influenced by Islamic faith and tradition, he often employs nontraditional media such as neon, video, and even sand for his calligraphy, in addition to the more customary ink on paper.