Exhibitions galore during Spring of Culture in Bahrain
Time Out Bahrain staff
Exhibitions galore during Spring of Culture Five Hundred Years of Islamic Calligraphy - Masterpieces from Sakıp Sabancı Museum The Ministry of Culture is staging this exhibition, which has been called ‘a breathtaking showcase of the “Art of the Book” from Ottoman-era Turkey’.
Held in collaboration with the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Istanbul, it features intricate examples from the museum’s collection, considered to be among the finest of its kind.
The founder of Sakıp Sabancı Museum (SSM), which is attached to Sabancı University, was the late Sakıp Sabancı, one of Turkey’s leading businessmen. In the 1970s he began to collect paintings by Turkey’s leading artists and foreign painters who worked for the Ottoman sultans, as well as illuminated manuscripts and calligraphy. Since 1989 the collection has been exhibited in major European and American museums.
Among the private collections in Istanbul, SSM has the finest collection of Turkish-Islamic arts of the book. It is said that ‘The Qur’an was revealed in the Hejaz, read in Cairo and written in Istanbul’, and the truth of this saying is confirmed by the exquisite manuscript Qur’ans and prayer books produced in the Ottoman capital.
The Bahrain exhibition includes selected examples of illuminated Qur’ans and prayer books dating from the 16th to early 20th centuries, with calligraphy by Istanbul artists, some of whom served as calligraphy teachers to the sultans, large calligraphic panels, again by Istanbul artists, which were hung like paintings, and albums of calligraphic compositions. There are also paintings depicting the arts of the book and calligraphy and landscapes in oil showing Istanbul and its environs by painters who lived in the city in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The exhibition consists of 86 works and special programmmes prepared by the education department of SSM and documentaries on the art of calligraphy will also be available to visitors. Until April 13, daily 8am-8pm. Bahrain National Museum.
Japanese Makie Exhibition Japanese Makie is a traditional craft technique with a rich history. This exhibition showcases lacquer objects sprinkled with gold and silver powder to form decorative images that are distinctly Japanese. The art form spread from Imperial courts to the rest of the world as it flourished in the 16th century. The exhibition will trace the makie art form through the centuries, featuring diverse items ranging from grand ceremonial pieces to household items. March 2-April 6, daily 8am-8pm. Bahrain National Museum.
Muharraqi: Father & Son For the first time in Bahrain two artists, father and son, will show together under one roof in an exhibition that’s been long awaited and features both known and familiar pieces which continue to have a cultural impact as well as new works including a collaboration between Abdullah Al Muharraqi and son Khalid.
Abdullah Al Muharraqi is one of the pioneers of contemporary fine art in the kingdom whose work has been exhibited in Algeria, Egypt, France, Korea, Oman, Qatar, and Spain. His trademark surrealist, dystopian depictions of culture are instantly recognisable from the nation’s postage stamps and official emblems to his witty and bittersweet newspaper sociopolitical cartoons.
Khalid Al Muharraqi is a name synonymous with the finest in the realm of digital art with his pieces portraying an artistic depth and painstaking precision that is both moving and raw. His digital expertise has seen him involved with projects such as Bahrain’s 2030 vision and the Qatar World Cup as well as with international film and design studios and he has been exhibited in some of the genre’s most prestigious galleries worldwide. March 4-April, Sat-Thu, 9am-1pm and 4pm-7pm. Sheikh Ebrahim Centre, Bin Mattar House, Muharraq.