Go behind the scenes to see how artists and Museum staff build our installations.
In September of 2017, the Aga Khan Museum’s exhibitions team installed a spectacular array of objects in our second-floor gallery. This installation was done in preparation for the Museum’s newest special exhibition, “Arts of the East: Highlights of Islamic Art from the Bruschettini Collection.” Enjoy this behind-the-scenes video of the installation, featuring lavishly patterned carpets and more now on display in “Arts of the East.”
In May of 2017, visual artist Kevork Mourad created a spectacular series of paintings directly on the walls of the Aga Khan Museum’s second-floor special exhibitions gallery. The painting is part of “Layers We Are,” a piece which also features the music of Damascus-born clarinettist Kinan Azmeh. It took several days to realize the collaboration. Azmeh recorded his improvisational music performance at the Museum on May 9, 2017. Between May 16 and May 18, Mourad responded to Azmeh’s recording with the gestural images that now fill the walls of the gallery space dedicated to the first movement of “Syrian Symphony.”
On Monday, January 30, the Aga Khan Museum’s exhibitions team installed a spectacular new piece in our first-floor Museum Collections gallery. Titled “Flying Carpet,” this whimsical piece by artist Farhad Moshiri is one of more than two dozen works in the world-premiere exhibition “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians.” The piece features a generic aircraft cut out of 32 Persian carpets, each nearly 3 metres wide, carefully stacked on top of each other. Special permission was obtained to install “Flying Carpet” in our first-floor gallery for “Contemporary Persians” by the exhibition’s curator, Dr. Fereshteh Daftari.
Our central courtyard is temporarily furnished with a traditional Mongolian yurt! Especially installed for our “Listening to Art, Seeing Music” experience, this structural space is outfitted with patterned textiles and exterior coverings to offer shelter from the elements. Warm up with hot chocolate from the Courtyard Café, or bring family and friends for festive conversations — plus, keep a watchful eye out in the coming months as singers, musicians, and storytellers take to the yurt and deliver immersive, family-friendly programming.
In this short video, celebrated artist Aisha Khalid reflects on the inspiration behind and the process of creating her six-metre long double-sided tapestry, titled “Your Way Begins on the Other Side.” Inspired by a traditional four-part Persian garden and named after a poem by Sufi mystic Rumi, the hand-made tapestry consists of more than one million gold-plated pins. It remains the first contemporary acquisition of the Aga Khan Museum.
February 2019: Witness Syrian-Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad create a work of art. As the Museum’s first artist in residence, Mourad transformed exhibition Gallery 1 into his studio, and visitors were invited to watch as he used the entire space for his acclaimed “spontaneous painting” technique, at times collaborating with clarinetist Majd Sukar. With the assistance of OCAD students, Mourad created his largest artwork to date, Memories of the Stones, in only 13 days. The immersive six-layer piece speaks to the necessity of sharing histories and creating together.