Internet Finds – Shangri La Hawaii – A Centre for Islamic Art and Cultures

It seems like my internet connection is getting better tonight so I take the chance to post something on this blog. I was looking through the comments both pending and spam and I am wondering how can these comments come into the blog…those ranging from saving coupons to real estate to a certain range of electronics gadgets with a fruity name to….adult entertainment? But it is always nice to see real comments from my readers, constructive, praises and corrections to my mistake-ridden posts.

Last week, just after I finished my long delayed post, I got a comment from a reader, telling me about this walk-in museum about Islamic Art. I actually didn’t know that this certain museum exists until now…perhaps because of the location. Very unlikely location for exhibitions of Islamic Art..

Shangri La in  Honululu Hawaii (see what I meant?) houses an extensive collection of Islamic Art owned by Doris Duke. The sumptuous estate is now a center for Islamic art and Culture, supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, which created in her will to promote the appreciation and understanding of Islamic art.

As I said above, the museum or actually the center houses very extensive collection of Islamic art from all around the world. mostly form the middle eastern lands. Rooms were made into replicas of  Middle Eastern interiors such as Moroccan and Syrian, decorated with artifacts from respective countries from the collection. The center also have symposiums and other special events from time to time. Looking at the virtual tour, I feel the place is a really interactive learning place for Islamic art…very extensive collection housed in traditional Arabian compound. I wish I could be there!

Here is the link to the website and you can take a virtual tour of the estate, as well as view the collections gallery (click on the picture to go to the website) –

Internet Finds – Islamic Architecture and Art 3D Animation

I was looking around the interwebz and particularly on Youtube when I this interesting video. It is about Islamic Architecture and Art in 3D animation, which I think is not on a specific subject but more about the general look of Islamic architecture. Here is the video –

Islamic Architecture and Art 3D Animation

I am not sure why the video shows as a link but…here is what is shown on the video.

The first part of the video shows the Taj Mahal. I believe I have saw this footage before as a part of a documentary on the Taj Mahal. It shows the Taj Mahal in it’s splendour, the camera pans around the monument, showing the gardens and the other buildings surrounding the elaborate Mausoleum. However, as I mentioned beforehand, this part of the video is actually taken from a documentary, which discusses the history of the building but also something most people don’t know. Generally, anyone who read the story of Taj Mahal know that it is a mausoleum for Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal…but not many know that there were plans to built another Taj Mahal across the river, opposite the one we see. As Mumtaz Mahal’s monument is of white marble, there were plans to built a black marble Taj Mahal on the opposite bank of the river, as the mausoleum of Shah Jahan…which unfortunately never came to be because his son who succeeded him thrown him into a dungeon before any building could even commence.

The second part of the video, in my opinion is the most interesting. It shows a 3D rebuilding of a monument in Isfahan, Iran (presumably, the Shah Mosque?) What strikes me the most is the recreation of the ceiling decorated with Muqarnas. The subject of Muqarnas, although very interesting, is a very complex one, and always escapes my mind when I try to study them myself. The video shows the geometrical pattern of the Muqarnas from the central star design falling down into other star shapes like a fountain, the waters forming complex shapes and lines which in the end shows it in it’s full glory with all the colours and Arabesques characteristic in Persian art.

And the final one is the recreation of the Holy City of Mecca, concentrating on the Masjidil Haram and the Kaabah. It shows, albeit in lesser detail, the surroundings of the mosque, the arcades surrounding the courtyard of which the Kaabah is in, and the Kaabah itself, as well as the other monuments such as the Maqam Ibrahim, the place where Muslims believe is the place where Ibrahim stood when he was building the Kaabah, the Hijr Ismail, the cresent shaped wall next to the kaabah, and the Hajar Al-Aswad, the black stone which believed to come from the Heavens.

Recent (un)activities..

I really have a serious case of chronic procrastination! The blog posting is slowing down to a trickle nowadays, mainly becuase I am simply too lazy or my health got worse. These few months I have been coughing the hell off myself and worsen during the end of February and the early weeks of March. Thankfully I am getting much better now, but I suspect that my daily medication for my health condition is the culprit.

During my break time I worked on my art…which in recent years transformed from portraiture and illustrations to ornamental arabesques. But again, as a chronic procrastinator, it could take months before I can finish anything. I have 4 designs in my canvas, but only one is in around 75% completion, and others 40% to 20%. If I finished these, Insya Allah, I will upload them to them here as Projects. Here is a sneak peek –

This is in my opinion, my most complex scrollwork to date. I will continue painting this again over the weeks and hopefully it will be finished. In the meanwhile I will reedit my KL visit photos again and when I am finished I will post a continuation of the prior article on my visit the the Islamic Art Museum in Malaysia.