Monthly Archives: June 2013

Observation – Taman Jubli Perak Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah

I often find myself rushing from one place and another for my jobs and study and between these rush I would stop in one of the parks available in my town, Bandar Seri Begawan. The Bandar had plenty of green spaces, most of which are quite permeated with Islamic designs, especially with recent additions. There are much emphasis on Islamic design, playing along with Malay motifs, in buildings, public spaces and even recreational parks.

I find myself alone in the middle of the night, after one of my nightly study sessions, rushing to my work place only to realize that I am a few hours too early. Too lazy and tired to go back home, I went to a convenience store to buy some snacks and went to a park in the city center, close to where I work.

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The official name of the park is Taman Jubli Perak Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah or in English, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Silver Jubilee Park. It opened to the public during the celebration of the Sultan’s birthday, 15th July in the year 2005. It is a fairly large park with amenities such as children’s playground, gazebos and an exercise yard equipped with simple gym equipments such as pull up bars and stationary bikes (which, unfortunately, many fell into a state of disrepair or succumbed to  attack of vandals). The park itself lies near a river bank, which one can walk alongside. It used to be some sort of jetty for the residents in the Water Village going to the city center. However, I rarely see boats coming here anymore, although many Bruneians come here in the late afternoon for their daily jog.

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In the middle of the park features a large water fountain sitting on top of a terraced platform. The fountain supposed to symbolically represent the Sultan, with the flowing water supposed to mean his overflowing kindness to his subjects . Whoa.

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Anyway, as I said before, there are plenty of what I like to think as ‘tributes’ to Islam, represented in the form of Islamic geometric art and architecture. For one, the main water fountain in the center of the park features Islamic arches with spiral columns, which is very similar to ones found in the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, the state mosque of the country. The gazebos dotting the park are hexagonal , with similarly fashioned columns and arches.

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But perhaps the most interesting are the walkways. At the entrance of the park (Actually, there are no entrance in the traditional sense, but the nearest to the basic amenities and offices, one can enter the park from almost any direction) there is a curious circular mound that features a large circular 12-point star. From there going to the main fountain, the walkway is decorated with a pattern of 12-pointed star with squares between them, featuring a stylized form of the 8-pointed star. I reckon the designer of the park did some modifications from a traditional pattern so it can be utilized for a walkway. Should the pattern be repeated or tessellated, it would be very imperfect, since the squares and the 8-pointed stars doesn’t actually fit correctly.

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Even the sidewalks are not spared! Though it is done in a simple, paint-on-concrete method, the sidewalks features the ubiquitous 8-pointed stars, in its regular form.

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Logos for the Blog

I have been very busy lately, what with all the school work, my day job AND a part time job! Too much work that I cannot spend time posting articles for this little blog of mine.

But sometimes, I have little pockets of free time, usually about 30 minutes or so between tasks, often in the dead of the night (this posting is a prime example, a little time to spend between study and bedtime!) I spend this spare time doing things I like to keep my sanity, like hobbies, games or in this case, my blog!

A few weeks ago, I find myself having some spare time when my brain is most active, so I spend it making a fresh new logo for the blog. Actually not one, but TWO new logos. I am thinking of using either one (or both!) of them.Please tell me which one is most pleasoing, but do note the colours and the overall design is not in any way final, I can still tweak it up into something better…if I have the time!

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This is the first logo I came up with. The logo features the name of the blog in English and Arabic in Diwani script (the Arabic text reads النجوم في تماثل) hopefully it correctly reads Stars in Symmetry. Above the text line is a 10-pointed star design, surrounded with 10 5-pointed stars. This is a very common Islamic geometric design, and I chose this particular design based on the name of the blog – it is symmetrical and there are the five pointed shape people usually associate with stars in it! The colours are still not decided yet, but I am going for two tones, so to make it simple and modern looking.

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I have been tinkering with the Kufic script for a long long time. However, it is only recently that I have taken a serious interst in the Kufi Muraba’ – The Square Kufi. Usually the script is for monumental design, and traditionally created with the help of bricks. I will elaborate on this calligraphy form soon enough. Since I have been invited to a group in Facebook calling for proper and systematic approach for this kind of Kufi script, I had been watching closely the works there and the information posted. Although, to be corrected by the experts there, I have to post my work to be examined and scrutinized for any errors but again, the logo here is merely tentative. Above logo is made in the monumental Kufi Muraba’ script, in the rather popular Square form. To read this, you have to start from the bottom right, working yourself in a spiral. It still reads النجوم في تماثل but if one is not familiar with this kind of script, it may confuse. Also, there is no namesake stars featured. However, I would redesign this logo into proper stars, if I have access to time and brain juice. Braaaaaains….

What would you think be the best logo for my beloved little blog? Any comments made will be much appreciated and other inputs for example the designs or colour recommendations are also welcome. I will update the blog’s poll soon for your ease of choosing the best logo!

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