Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts

I find this as an exclusive treat. Little did we know that Islamic architecture has been dominating in huge territory across 40 Muslims contemporary countries. The rising of Islamic culture was marked by a flowering of art and architecture from the buildings built in the great Islamic empires to greatest monuments. This exhibition was held in major cities around the world including London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin and Kuala Lumpur. Singapore is the final stop before The Aga Khan Museum permanent display is scheduled to open in 2013 in Toronto, Canada.

In conjunction of the holy month of Ramadan and Eid, hundreds of the Islamic artworks and artifacts from the Aga Khan Museum will appear in a special exhibit at the Asian Civilizations Museum till 28th October 2012.

You must be wondering who is Aga Khan? Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community, a denomination within the Shia Islam community. The main objectives is to highlight the contributions of the Muslim world to global cultural heritage. This exhibition is segmented into 5 sections: The Fortress and the City, which features architectural elements and depictions of fortified towns; Sacred Topographies, which explores the sites and monuments of Islamic pilgrimage through paintings and drawings; Religious and Funerary Architecture, which looks at the residences of royal families; and Gardens, Pavilions and Tents, which examines palace life when it is extended into nature.

The artworks in this exhibition reveals how Muslim painters perceived the Islamic build environment. Above a featured artwork describe as “Entertainment on a Palace terrace” with gold painted borders.

Fireplace, completely carved with dense vegetal scrolls. Incriptions in Arabic script run along the borders.

The paintings in this book tells the story of owls and crows dated 1593. Watercolour, ink and gold on paper.

Muqarnas element Late 15th or 16th century which is unique to Islamic architecture

Structure of a door. 18th century. India, Gurajat

Glassware painting

Plan of Medina and Mecca dated 1818

An inscribed beam in 14th century

Three inscribed and moulded lustre tiles

Another inscribed beam

Besides Aga Khan exhibition, ACM has its own permanent exhibition of Islamic Arts from all over Southeast Asia. Do check it out! Free entry in the month of August in conjunction of Singapore National Day.

Other past Exhibitions: Titanic | Pompeii | Harry Potter | iLight

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