Singapore, 18 July 2012 – “Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in the Islamic World” was opened today by Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore’s Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, and Prince Amyn Aga Khan, at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. The exhibition will run from 19 July to 28 October 2012.
The exhibition, which follows the theme of similar exhibitions staged in St. Petersburg and Kuala Lumpur, nevertheless frames the paintings and objects related to architecture in innovative ways, including five-metre-high reproductions of details from miniatures, an iPad-driven interactive display that allows visitors to create geometric artworks typical of Islamic art, and a 15th / 16th century muqarnas mounted over a mirror that enables viewers to examine the architectural element in a new way.
“Islamic Architecture is one of the most visible aspects of Islamic culture,” said Dr. Alan Chong, director of the Asian Civilisations Museum. He hoped that “visitors will gain new insights into the history and creativity of the Islamic world.”
The exhibition is divided into five sections: The Fortress and the City, which features architectural elements and depictions of fortified towns; Sacred Typographies, which explores the sites and monuments of Islamic pilgrimage through paintings and drawings; Religious and Funerary Architecture, which examines mosques and commemorative shrines; The Palace, which looks at the residences of royal families; and Gardens, Pavilions and Tents, which examines palace life when it is extended into nature.
Since 2007, items from the Aga Khan Museum collection have been exhibited at key museums in Europe and Asia, drawing over 1.5 million visitors. The collection will later go on permanent display at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada.
For more information:
The Aga Khan Museum and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture
The Aga Khan Museum collection contains over one thousand artefacts and artworks and spans over one thousand years of history. The objects – in ceramic, metalwork, ivory, stone and wood, textile and carpet, glass and rock crystal objects, parchment and illustrated paintings on paper – present an overview of the artistic accomplishments of Muslim civilisations from the Iberian Peninsula to China.
The Aga Khan Museum is one of the institutions of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which is itself an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Through education and cultural initiatives in music and the arts the Aga Khan Trust for Culture aims to highlight the contributions of the Muslim world to global cultural heritage. It also implements programmes aimed at the physical and social revitalisation of communities with the aim of improving the quality of life and, through its architectural programmes, promotes debate about contemporary design problems.
The Trust works with other AKDN institutions to improve living conditions and opportunities in the developing world. The agencies have mandates that range from the fields of health and education to rural development and the promotion of private-sector enterprise. The three main areas of activity in the Network are social development, economic development and culture.