MEMBERS of the Ismaili community gathered last week for the launch of the Seeing Through Babel exhibition, the first public exhibit of its kind at the South Kensington centre in London.
Prince Amyn, the Aga Khan’s brother, officially opened the exhibition last Thursday (4) at the Centre’s newly reopened Zamana Space.
Seeing Through Babel is a solo exhibition by a Syrian-Armenian artist, Kevork Mourad.
His work is inspired by the Old Testament story of Babel and explores the parable using visual imagery. Standing six-metres tall, the high hanging sculpture took nine days to create in situ and is designed to allow visitors to walk in and around it.
At a reception to mark the partnership between the Ismaili Centre, London and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Prince Amyn spoke of flourishing of the arts of the Muslim world over the past 25 years, and noted the creation of galleries, festivals, and foundations in the UK.
“Artists have flocked to London, for its arts schools and opportunities to pursue their practices in the rich milieu of this city. London has in many ways become a centre for both the historic and the contemporary arts of the Islamic Muslim world,” he said.
Prince Amyn also outlined the work of the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and its mission to foster greater understanding in the world today.
“I am very keen that the arts should speak to each other. The arts reflect our senses, and as our senses talk to each other, so the arts should talk to each other. So as often as possible, I like to see a dialogue between the arts,” he said.
Dr Henry Kim, Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum, said: highlighted the Institution’s global character, saying, “The Aga Khan Museum, even though based in Toronto, is a museum that has true international aspirations. We’re a Museum that is present here in London, also Dubai, also in the States, also across Canada.”
The Seeing Through Babel exhibit and Aga Khan Museum pop-up store is open to the public at the Ismaili Centre’s Zamana Space until 15 August 2019, and admission is free of charge.