The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is organizing an exhibition, ‘Haj — The Journey Through Art’ from October 9 to January 5 at its special exhibition gallery.
To be shown alongside an outdoor photography exhibition, the expo takes place in collaboration with the British Museum, London, and is based on the concept and exhibition of Haj — Journey to the heart of Islam, which was held at the British Museum last year.
Haj — The Journey Through Art is the first exhibition of its kind to be held in a Muslim country, celebrating and illuminating the pilgrimage through art and artefact.
Although the concept of the exhibition is based on the British Museum’s earlier showcase, it is unique in that 90 percent of the objects to be exhibited are from Qatari collections.
The MIA exhibition hopes to highlight, through art, one of the five pillars of Islam – Haj. It explores the history of this journey over the centuries, bringing together a rich and varied collection that focuses on three main themes:
The routes taken by pilgrims (with a special section on the oral histories and objects of Qatari pilgrims), the rituals of Haj as depicted through art, and the experience of the pilgrims after completion of Haj, including gifts and souvenirs brought back from Makkah.
In keeping with the exhibition’s local theme, MIA is asking the residents of Qatar, whether nationals or expats, to contribute their own souvenirs, gifts or objects related to Haj.
By lending the museum their Haj memorabilia, local communities will effectively be sharing their own experiences of the journey and offering a Qatari perspective.
Curated by Dr Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya (MIA Curator of Manuscripts) in association with Dr Cécile Bresc (MIA Curator of Coins), Haj — The Journey Through Art is part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture.
A photography exhibition running parallel to the main exhibition will feature the works of international photographers Peter Sanders (Britain), Reem Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), Kayuzoshi Nomachi (Japan), Juliette Sawyers (Australia) and Khalifa Al Obaidly (Qatar) all offer unique visions of Haj through their own experiences of the pilgrimage as Muslims.
Haj — The Journey Through Art will be supported by a full educational programme that will include calligraphy, embroidery and painting workshops for children and families, as well as public lectures from scholars and several contemporary artists whose works are featured in the exhibition.
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