Noruz: Feasting In Spring & Eid Al-Fitr: Breaking The Fast (2017)

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, Portugal features a wide-ranging collection covers various periods and areas: Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Islamic and Oriental art, old coins and European painting and decorative arts.

Working alongside curators from the museum, I assisted on two temporary exhibitions that formed a two-part series. Both exhibitions worked with the museum's Persian and Ottoman collections, redisplaying these objects in the context of these festivities. 

The first exhibition, Noruz: Feasting In Spring (Noruz: Festividades na Primavera)was held between 16 March to 3 April 2017. Noruz is a festival that is celebrated throughout the Persian speaking world and Central Asia and which marks the beginning of the New Year and spring.

Our second exhibition, titled Eid al-Fitr: Breaking The Fast (Eid al-Fitr: O fim do jejum), was on display between 22 June to 17 July 2017. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is of great importance for the whole Muslim world. Similar to the previous exhibition, we used a Mughal carpet as the focus of this exhibition. Objects such as ceramics, textiles and book covers were laid on top to give an idea of how such objects might've been used within these occasions. 

By effecting a route colour-coordinated cases, viewers were guided through various exhibits of dishes, jars and robes. Brochures were also provided to gently frame a viewer's encounter of these items.

These exhibitions were accompanied by two roundtable discussions titled “Islamic Art in the Museum today: A Controversy?” and Islamic Art in the Museum today: An Opportunity?”.

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Joella Qingyi KiuCuration