The Islamic World, once referred to as ‘the Orient’ carries a series of
dangerous connotations; the Orient is backward, uncivilized, exotic, even
grotesque. Edward Said’s explication of Orientalism unveils uncomfortable
truths that compel us to engage with the othering, demeaning, and gradual erasing
of the Islamic World and the East at large. Domes, for instance, offer a vivid
metaphor: Originating from complex geometry and architecture advanced through
the Islamic Golden Age, the dome became a significant symbol in the western
world through trade and colonial conquest.
Michelangelo’s St. Peters
reconstruction and the Notre Dame in France both have deeply Arabic influence.
Yet, today contemporary Islamic and South Asian Art is often not welcomed in
the hallowed halls of ‘modern design’. Mainstream narrative wipes away the
centuries of craftsmanship and knowledge and creates a divide between how I
view my city and how others imagine it. Its two different point of views act as the outlook of different people on Muslim cities. When on display at Wabash incubator in the LeRoy Neiman centre, it looked different depending on what direction you were walking, and it showed how easy it is to form an opinion. And if you happened to walk back from the other side then you would realize how easy it is to question pre-conceived notions with a slightly more information.
This work aims to curate the gap
between what the mainstream media narrative spins and the deeper understanding
of the other.
My work aims to see, celebrate and elevate the un-modern, Islamic dome –
the pinnacle of design.