Monday, 30 May 2011

Blog Walk - Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

While Jane went alone, the four of us - Felicia, Kak Yong, Miyyah, and myself visited the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) on Monday, May 23 in the morning. We were joined by Felicia's Irish friend who was visiting Malaysia.

While the others drove (by cars and motorbike), I took the commuter and stopped at the old Kuala Lumpur station. It was nice to actually walk in that historic building up to the museum itself.

While reading the website, I notice that we missed an ongoing exhibition: Al-'ILM: Science and Innovation in the Islamic World. Most of us can only spare our time there till noon hence we were not as curious as one should be.

Useful info : Opening hours : 10am - 6pm every day.
Parking suggestion - at the museum itself. The whole area stretching from Masjid Negara provides a nice alcove for parking cars
Public transport : the commuter KL station in between Bank Negara and KL Sentral. You have to take the stairs to bring you to the KL station itself. Then, take the underground tunnel to cross to the other side. Once you are in front of the building housing the KTM Berhad, turn right. Just follow the road and turn in at the Masjid Negara. There are many sign boards leading to the museum.

The First Floor

The first gallery that we entered is the Architecture Gallery. It houses miniatures of mosques that is of significant. Such as the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem.

The Great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria. It was built on the site of the Church of St. John the Baptist. The walls still had a church-like look that at one glance, people will think its a church.

And the famous Taj Mahal in India. The story of true love.

We went through the China, Malay World, and India galleries on the same floor. I did not take any photos there. The last gallery on the first floor is the Qur'an & Manuscript gallery.

Here, I learnt about the Sini script. It lies in between two extremes: the Arabic calligraphy is a carefully calculated art and at the other end, Chinese calligraphy is more immediate and spontaneous. Arabic uses a sharpened reed for calligraphy while the Chinese uses brushes, black stone ink and Chinese seals with red ink.

Oh yes, when browsing the displays don't forget to look up. There were beautiful artwork in the ceiling.

The Second Floor

It houses among others the arms & armour gallery which I was most fascinated. On the wall, they displayed the evolution of arms and armours in the Islamic world.

We found many inspirations in the ceramics and metalwork galleries.

Finally, we visited the textile gallery that showed different types of clothing from all over the world. There were pieces of very intricate work that is no longer being made widely.

On this floor, they had a snapshot of rooms from different Islamic cultures. There was a room housing the Ottoman Splendour: The Life of an Imperial City. I think this is my favourite exhibit of them all.

Another room is called: The Standard Chartered Ottoman Room which is in the first floor.

Since this was an outing to help inspire us in our crafts, we found this exhibit to be the most crucial: Geometry in Islamic Art.

And the story of the exhibit which I find encompass a major part of our crafting endeavours.

Photos credits: Zarina

More photos from Miyyah (once she settles down in her new place).

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