Sunday, January 30, 2011

Upcoming Events!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Stefan Weber
Dr. Stefan Weber is the Director of the Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. Currently, he is organizing the re-conceptualization of the Museum of Islamic Art/Pergamon museum, which will explore the new grounds in researching and communicating the legacy of art, architecture and archaeology of the Middle East and areas under Muslim rule. 

Lecture: Fragments of a Lost Past or Evidence of a Connected History: The role of urban artistic heritage in the new conceptualization of the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin 

The Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum, currently under renovation, will re-open with exhibition space of about 3.000 sq m. The layout and concept will open new innovative ways in presenting the cultural legacy of Muslim Societies to an international audience. The importance of urban artistic heritage in redesigning the museum will also be discussed. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Arabic Lecture

Abdallah al-Mekhyal
Falconry - documentary and discussion
عبدالله المخيال          

حديث الصحراء وثيقة مرئية حيه تعكس واقع الصحراء العربية المعاصرة صور في العديد من الدول العربية واستغرق وقتا طويلا في انتاجه لتوثيق الحياة الفطرية في الصحراء.
يحمل الفلم رؤية جديدة من خلال الاعتماد على الصورة مع المؤثر والموسيقى بدون تعليق فالصورة تغني عن ألف كلمة والصورة هي اللغة الحقيقية للسينما بدون ترجمة أو تعليق.

Hope to see you at the events!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Upcoming Events!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ahmed Sedky
Dr. Ahmed Sedky is an architect, urban management/urban conservation consultant and author. Currently, Dr. Sedky is senior development manager with Midrar Development Management in Jeddah, KSA.

Lecture: Conservation Qualities: Integrity, Authenticity and Sustainability 

When reviewing international conservation charters in this region, it is essential to deal with historical areas as a whole by emphasising the coherent systems dominating any historical urban fabric. Integrity, authenticity and sustainability--these three define environmental qualities should be integrated and dealt with as an inseparable whole. they should be envisaged as principle measures of success for any area conservation scheme essential for balanced living in a historical environment. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Music Circle Concert

World Music Fusion

Samy Ibrahim Group: presents in this concert a variety of pieces from different continents adapted to be performed by this unique ensemble of variant instruments:

Samy Ibrahim                  violin and piano
Meshaal Jomaa               clarinet
Ahmad Al-Sanea            cello
Ahmad Al-Sharabasi       nay
Abdallah Al-Beloushi      percussion
Abdallah Adnan              percussion
Mohamed Deshty           keyboard

Hope to see you at the events!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Upcoming Events!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Arabic Lecture

(For more info. click on image)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Music Circle Concert 
Yemeni Folklore

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Islamic Chinoiserie"

The lecture on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 was given by Yuka Kodai, a scholar at the Department of Asian Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Kodai was previously a curator at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. The lecture was based on her most recent publication Islamic Chinoiserie: The Art of Mongol Iran.

“Islamic Chinoiserie,” a term Kodai had coined herself, examines the Chinese contribution to artistic explosion in Islamic Iranian art under the Mongols.

Iran was conquered by the Mongols and was ruled by the Ilkhanids meaning “subordinate to Great Khan of China”. This resulted in a significant amount of cultural interaction between East and West. The lecture focused on how Chinese artistic styles were evident in Iranian art under the Mongols through textiles, ceramics, metalwork and paintings.

The Mongol were very interested in textiles and used it as a form of art propaganda. Textiles were portable objects and this allowed the Mongols to use them as symbols to express their social status. When Eurasia was conquered by the Mongols, there was an exchange of people, goods and ideas between East and West. Textiles were one of the products that most aided in the transmitting of ideas and artistic style between East and West. Through imported textiles in Iran, Chinese artistic concepts were adopted. Examples are images of dragons and phoenixes.

The typical Chinese dragon is depicted having a‘s’ shape body with an emphasis on the flames from the snout and its four legs with large claws. Iran depicted dragon-like creatures as a snake, but after the Mongol invasion, Iranian depiction of dragons incorporated Chinese style but was combined with their own decorative motifs. The dragon symbolized the emperor of China, but Iran transferred the symbol to refer to the Mongol rulers in Iran.

The Chinese phoenix was also reworked in Ilkhanid Iran. The typical Chinese phoenix would be depicted with a long impressive tail and a distinctive face within a naturalistic setting or background. Iranian depictions of the Chinese phoenix were more geometrically composed and symmetrical.

Ceramics are another important export from China. Many of the Chinese ceramic pieces, designs and styles were copied by Iranian potters as well as adopted with more added decorative elements.

One interesting image that was adopted in Islamic Iran from China was the lotus motif, which appears in textiles, manuscripts, metalwork and architectural decorations. The lotus motif originates from Buddhist China. It had a strong symbolic meaning referring to purity and the Buddha. Islamic Iran adopted this lotus motif and adapted it to their designs creating a more stylized version than the Chinese lotus. Perhaps the lotus acquired a new symbolic meaning in the Islamic Iranian context. 

Iconography in paintings clearly displays the multi-religious environment that was taking place in Ilkhanid Iran. Paintings combined Christian, Buddhist, and Islamic iconography. The example Kadoi discussed was a painting of The Annunciation (a Christian subject matter). The painting depicts the Virgin Mary surrounded by Islamic architecture with a Buddhist style influence.

Kadoi concluded by explaining how her research in Islamic Chinoiserie examines the Islamic admiration and understanding of Chinese style and techniques and how that was fundamental in developing Iranian Islamic art during and after the Mongol invasion.

The lecture was very interesting and I find it fascinating to discover how Islamic art is diverse and how Islamic artists had absorbed artistic styles from different cultures and religions and incorporated them into their own style. The result is a mixture of different elements, iconography and motifs each with its own history brought together under the art of Islam.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Upcoming Events!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Moderated by Mr. Ahmed Khajah

In Search of Understanding: The Foundation for a Culture of Peace

In Search of Understanding is a public diplomacy initiative fostering the culture of peace created and carried out by Dr. Mohamed Kazem, counselor at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently seconded to the Foundation for a Culture of Peace.

The initiative aims at the alleviation of problems related to mutual lack of understanding and distorted stereotypes and negative imagery among people of the world. This will be accomplished through a synergy of diplomacy, lyrics, music and photos. This synergy is used to stress what is shared and common among us all, ideally culminating in enhanced mutual understanding and acceptance.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 (Added Lecture)

Ms. Yuka Kadoi

Lecture: Islamic Art at the Crossroads: Iran and China under the Mongols

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book Club
(To find out more about DAI's Book Club, please visit our website)

Hope to see you at the events!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Upcoming Events!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Efim A. Rezvan
Dr. Prof. Efim A Rezvan is the deputy director of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences and the author of more than 250 research works published in ten languages; including several on Qur'anic studies and Russian-Arab relations.

Lecture: The Account of Two Russian Travelers to Kuwait and Ethiopia

A Russian journalist, Sergey Nikolaevich Syromyatnikov (1860-1934) was sent to Kuwait on a secret mission in 1900. Recently his notes, some related to his mission, were found in a private hiding place.

In 1913 the Saint-Petersburg Kunstkamera Museum provided funds and set goals for celebrated poet Nikolay Gumilyov's journeys to Ethiopia. The poet had brought back not only ethnographic and manuscript collections, but also impressions that inspired a number of poetic works, which are today considered treasures of Russian literature.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Music Circle Concert
Indian Classical Music

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LNS 193 W a

The 13th and 14th century was the fall of the Muslim rule in Spain. The Nasrid kingdom in Spain was the last Islamic kingdom in Western Europe.

This door panel is from the late 14th century. It is 143 cm high and 95.5 cm wide. The interlace design of this door, with its eight-pointed stars and the straight borders forming square panels, is typical of the geometry of Islamic Spain.

This object is currently exhibited in “al-Fann: Art from the Islamic Civilization” in Palazzo Reale, Milan until 30th January, 2011.