Prince Amyn was in Vancouver on 11 and 12 May to participate in the opening of a new exhibition at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology.
Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia, is a showcase of varied forms of expression associated with writing and words throughout the continent from different periods. The exhibition includes three historical pieces from the Silk Road that were donated by the Ismaili community to the Museum of Anthropology in 2013 — a 19th Century incense set, a 17th Century ceramic dish containing Arabic script, and a 9th Century sheet from the Holy Quran.
Dr Fuyubi Nakamura curated the exhibition with collaboration from the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which also lent two pieces of artwork from its own collection.
Speaking to a crowd of approximately 1,800 guests at Thursday’s public exhibition kick off, Prince Amyn talked about the importance of the relationships that the Aga Khan Museum has with other museums, including the Louvre in France and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia.
“My hope is that our museum will now enter into [a] relationship of such a nature with [the Museum of Anthropology] too,” he said. “Together we can bring to students and the general public, unique insights — new perspectives on the dialogue of cultures that since all time have characterised different peoples residing in different areas of the globe, and which bind us together in a common cultural heritage, thus improving and broadening understanding, tolerance, and brotherhood.”
Dr Anthony Shelton, Director of the Museum of Anthropology, said that he shared in Prince Amyn’s desire for a deeper relationship between the museums.
“Prince Amyn, who is a collector himself, has an ongoing relation with various museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Musee du Louvre in Paris, and we hope soon the Museum of Anthropology.”
Shelton presented Prince Amyn with two gifts: a halibut dish carved by First Nations’ artist Rupert Scow of the Kwicksuitaineuk, and six publications written on the Museum of Anthropology’s exhibitions.
On Friday, Prince Amyn returned to the Museum of Anthropology to deliver a lecture on calligraphy. He observed that the Muslim tradition of calligraphy started with the earliest written versions of the Quran in the mid-seventh century.
“The first word revealed to the Prophet Muhammad was iqra — recite — and the Quran continues that,” he said. “Allah taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not, bringing revelation and the transmission of faith, which is imparted by revelation, and knowledge in general.”
“From China to this country, from Russia to Africa, the widespread use of calligraphy still unites Muslims and visibly differentiates them from the followers of other religions,” continued Prince Amyn.
“It is a tradition which endures today amongst Muslims scattered across the globe.”
Par Marc Mennessier Mis à jour le 20/05/2017 à 08:49 Publié le 18/05/2017 à 18:02
PORTRAIT - Paysagiste, mélomane et grand amateur d'art, le frère cadet de l'Aga Khan est à l'origine du transfert à Chantilly de la célèbre fête des plantes de Courson qui se déroule jusqu'à dimanche.
«Pourquoi ne viendriez-vous pas à Chantilly?» Lorsqu'il pose la question à Patrice Fustier, fondateur avec sa femme, Hélène, de la célèbre fête des plantes de Courson, le prince Amyn Aga Khan a droit à cette réponse enthousiaste: «Excellente idée!» Les deux hommes, membres du conseil d'administration de la Fondation pour la sauvegarde et le développement du Domaine de Chantilly, se connaissent bien et s'apprécient.
L'âge venant, Patrice Fustier cherche un repreneur pour assurer la pérennité de Courson dont l'organisation devient une charge de plus en plus lourde. De son côté, le prince Amyn, qui est le frère cadet de l'Aga Khan, chef spirituel des Ismaéliens nizarites, rêve ...
Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly Host a Day of Exquisite Art and Architecture
On September 10, Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly (FODC) hosted a memorable day at Chantilly, one of the most magnificent French heritage sites, located just 25 miles north of Paris. Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Chairman of FODC, welcomed guests upon their arrival and spoke at length about Chantilly’s rich history, unrivaled art collection, and beautiful gardens before leading everyone into the castle. Among those in attendance were FODC Directors and advisors Nathalie Brunel, Betty Eveillard, Maryvonne Pinault, and Ann Nitze, as well as more than 60 of the most prominent art collectors, garden lovers, and Francophiles from both sides of the Atlantic.
The morning began with a curator-led visit of the Château de Chantilly, home to one of the finest art collections in France. Guests toured the staterooms, including the famed Grande Singerie (Monkey Room) and private suites of the Princes of Condé, adorned with opulent examples of French decorative arts and showcasing the grandeur of aristocratic life. They also marveled at the paintings galleries, as the curators spoke to outstanding works from the permanent collection by Raphael, Botticelli, Watteau and more. The tour was highlighted by anecdotes regarding the former residents of the castle, the last of which was the Duke d’Aumale, son of the last King of France, who singlehandedly amassed the masterpieces that fill the galleries today.
The morning also provided an exclusive opportunity to view drawings by Clouet, Michelangelo, Delacroix and many other European Old Masters up close in the Duke d’Aumale’s personal study, an area of the castle that is closed to the public. While these works are not currently on display, they will be far more accessible upon the creation of the new Gallery of Prints and Drawings, scheduled to open in spring 2017. After a sneak-peek of the future Gallery, the group gathered just outside in the Volière garden, where Pierre-Antoine Gatier, chief architect for the Domaine de Chantilly, described the significance of the project and the progress underway. Adjacent to the Gallery of Prints and Drawings are the Duke and Duchess d’Aumale’s private suites, which are also undergoing restoration. These rooms represent an important component of an authentic, princely estate and are the only existing example of decorative arts and furnishings from the reign of King Louis-Philippe.
Everyone was invited to adjourn for lunch at the Hameau, the rustic retreat that inspired Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles. Clément Leroy, newly-announced chef of FODC partner hotel Auberge du Jeu de Paume in Chantilly, designed delicious hors d’oeuvres for guests to enjoy upon arrival in the picturesque Anglo-Chinese gardens. A four-course traditional French meal followed inside the dining room, where the former Princes de Condé held extravagant festivities, and was topped off with tartes aux fruits – of course featuring our specialty, the famous Chantilly cream.
After the luncheon, guests passed through the vast gardens, including those designed by the legendary André Le Nôtre, landscape architect to the King throughout the 17th century. The afternoon concluded with a private tour of the new exhibition Le Grand Condé: Rival of the Sun King? led by Mathieu Deldicque, who curated the show. It provided fascinating insight into the life of Prince Louis II de Bourbon-Condé, cousin to King Louis XIV and one of the most brilliant figures in 17th-century France – not to mention one of the Château de Chantilly’s most notable former inhabitants. Over 120 works were assembled for this ambitious show, which together paints a vivid portrait of a man who challenged his royal cousin both in military prowess and artistic legacy, which is manifested in Chantilly today.
his special occasion served as a wonderful opportunity to highlight the Domaine de Chantilly’s artistic and cultural heritage with individuals from throughout Europe and the United States who possess a wide variety of interests and expertise. The elements that make up the Domaine are exceptional in many ways and are enhanced by a spectrum of prestigious events, including the Chantilly Arts & Elégance car show, the Chantilly Flower Show, and of course, the numerous equestrian competitions – the Prix de Diane (French Oaks), Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby), and exceptionally this October, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – that take place against the backdrop of the Great Stables. The guests who were present for this unforgettable outing shared their enthusiasm for Chantilly and were invited to return in the future to experience all that it has to offer.
Last edited by Admin on Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total
This article contains an interview of Prince AMyn, here are a couple of paragraphs:
How long have you been working with your elder brother?
Always! Thanks to our grandfather, the Aga Khan III. From an early age, we have represented him on many trips. After my studies at Harvard, I worked in the social and economic affairs of the United Nations. This experiment lasted three years. But it is difficult to see the fruit of its efforts in a bureaucratic structure. Then I thought that my brother needed me.
Does not your family relationship make it harder for you to work?
Our age difference is nine months minus one day. We are practically twin, and I must say that in our professional relationships, this creates a great deal of complicity.
Prince Amyn Aga Khan: "Chantilly est un vrai décor de cinéma"
Par Fanny del Volta, publié le 29/05/2017 à 11h39, mis à jour 23/05/2017 à 09h57
Il est l’un des principaux acteurs de la Fondation pour la sauvegarde du domaine de Chantilly, créée par son frère, l’Aga Khan IV, en 2005. Soucieux de faire du lieu un incontournable rendez-vous culturel, il y a transféré les légendaires Journées des plantes dont notre magazine est partenaire. Rencontre avec un amoureux de la nature.
Il prend place dans un salon de l’Auberge du Jeu de paume, qui jouxte les jardins du château de Chantilly. S’amuse de tout, de son café qu’il va recevoir froid ou de son "modeste niveau" dans les six langues étrangères qu’il parle! Quand il évoque le domaine, son regard pétille toujours mais révèle avant tout les passions d’un esthète. "Chantilly, c’est l’art et la culture!"
Le temple de Vénus, folie édifée au début du XIXe siècle. Courtesy of Luc Castel
Quand avez-vous découvert le domaine ?
C’était il y a bien longtemps, avant la création de la fondation. Les bâtiments m’ont fasciné. Les grandes écuries sont exceptionnelles. Quant au château, entre ses douves, son méli-mélo de tourelles et ses diverses influences architecturales, il possède un charme de conte de fées. J’admire le jardin de Le Nôtre, ses spectaculaires plans d’eau, son hameau… un vrai décor de cinéma.
Vous avez reçu un prix pour le transfert réussi des Journées des plantes, qui se tenaient auparavant au château de Courson, dans l’Essonne…
Cela s’est fait si simplement! Mon ami Patrice Fustier, propriétaire du domaine de Courson, était membre du conseil d’administration de la Fondation pour la sauvegarde de Chantilly. Son expertise pour la mise en valeur du lieu m’a toujours semblé précieuse. Sa femme et lui trouvaient que les Journées des plantes devenaient un événement trop lourd. En deux phrases, nous avons décidé de les organiser à Chantilly. J’adore ces rendez-vous. Je fréquente Keukenhof, aux Pays-Bas, depuis de nombreuses années. Cette exposition de bulbes est unique et fantastique.
Comment a commencé votre implication au sein de la Fondation pour la sauvegarde du domaine de Chantilly?
De façon très naturelle, mon frère, l’Aga Khan IV, m’a sollicité, notamment pour former le conseil d’administration, composé de partenaires privés et publics. Je préside aussi un comité culturel et événementiel. Plus il y aura d’événements, comme des expositions temporaires, plus les gens visiteront Chantilly.
Le prince admire, avec le jardinier en chef, Thierry Basset, la rose "Domaine de Chantilly", qui sera présentée offciellement lors des Journées des plantes.. Courtesy of Luc Castel
Depuis quand travaillez-vous avec votre frère aîné?
Depuis toujours! Grâce à notre grand-père, l’Aga Khan III. Dès notre plus jeune âge, nous l’avons représenté au cours de nombreux voyages. Après mes études à Harvard, j’ai travaillé aux affaires sociales et économiques des Nations unies. Cette expérience a duré trois ans. Mais il est difficile de voir le fruit de ses efforts dans une structure bureaucratique. Puis j’ai pensé que mon frère avait besoin de moi.
Ce lien de parenté ne complique-t-il pas vos relations professionnelles?
Notre différence d’âge est de neuf mois moins un jour. Nous sommes pratiquement jumeaux et je dois dire que dans nos rapports professionnels, cela engendre une grande complicité.
Quand est née votre passion des plantes?
J’ai toujours été entouré de gens qui aimaient la nature, que cela soit en Angleterre, avec ma mère et ses frères et soeurs, ou dans le Midi, avec mon père. Dans la villa du Cannet, chez mon grand-père, l’escalier était une rocaille admirable. Il donnait l’impression d’une cascade de fleurs jaillissant de façon ravissante d’entre les pierres. Puis à New York, dans la maison que je louais, se trouvait un petit jardin laissé à l’abandon. Je m’étais amusé à le recréer. Je n’ai pas eu une enfance urbaine. À Nairobi, où j’ai vécu pendant la guerre avec mes parents, nous avions un jardin. Mon père et moi y avons même planté de la rhubarbe au-dessus des égouts. J’ai appris que cette plante adorait ça! Elle a poussé, je ne vous raconte pas!
Sculpture et nature se marient à la perfection. Courtesy of Luc Castel
L’horticulteur Delbard dévoilera, lors des prochaines Journées des plantes, la rose "Domaine de chantilly", dont vous êtes le parrain. Que vous évoque ce spécimen?
Ses nuances me plaisent beaucoup. À l’éclosion, elle est rose et pâlit jusqu’à l’orangé. Elle n’a rien de quelconque. Elle s’ouvre de façon généreuse en une forme ravissante. Cette rose, extrêmement parfumée, est aussi robuste et dure longtemps… tout ce que l’on demande à une fleur.
La fondation a reçu pour vingt ans la gestion du domaine. Que se passera-t-il ensuite?
La gestion reviendra à l’Institut de France, propriétaire de Chantilly. Nous nous attachons pour l’instant à tout restaurer: bâtiments, oeuvres, parcs et jardins. Nous tenterons de préserver l’œuvre entreprise en laissant sur place les structures idoines. Grâce à mon frère, les avancées ont déjà été très rapides. Dans la grande galerie, tous les tableaux et cadres ont été restaurés. Les bâtiments, les canaux de Le Nôtre… le travail accompli est considérable.
Pouvez-vous nous parler du Réseau Aga Khan de développement, pour lequel vous travaillez également?
C’est peut-être le réseau privé le plus important au monde. Il emploie plus de 80 000 personnes et représente un groupement d’institutions travaillant sur le modèle du multiple input: un projet de développement qui crée des zones d’activités à la fois pour la culture, l’éducation, la santé et l’économie.
La rose "Domaine de Chantilly". Courtesy of Luc Castel
Le Réseau Aga Khan a créé de nombreux jardins…
Le plus connu est celui du Caire, composé d’un plan d’eau, d’un théâtre à ciel ouvert, d’une aire de jeux. Il a remplacé un inqualifiable terrain vague. D’autres jardins ont depuis vu le jour au Mali, au Canada, en Afghanistan, ou encore en Inde. Là où nature et culture se marient, la psychologie des gens s’améliore.
Journées des plantes de Chantilly, du 19 au 21 mai 2017.
Recevez chaque semaine l'actualité des têtes couronnées
Je souhaite recevoir par email les offres des partenaires de Point de Vue.
Par Fanny del Volta, publié le 29/05/2017 à 11h39, mis à jour 23/05/2017 à 09h57
Last edited by Admin on Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total
There are exceptional photos from GETTY on the net for Prince Amyn Aga Khan at Chantilly. One that we can notice is Prince Amyn with a rose in his hand. It reminds us of what Mowlana Sultan Muhammad Shah was saying when he was picking one to smell its parfum: "Ah, la rose!"
Here is a couple of dozen photos, mostly credit to GETTY [you will recognize by their stamp on the photo)
Earlier this week, the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum (LIF) hosted a special event in Paris to celebrate Prince Amyn’s 80th birthday.
In the presence of Mawlana Hazar Imam and members of his family, Prince Amyn was honoured for his long-standing service to the Ismaili Imamat, the Jamat and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
LIF Chairman, Dr Mahmoud Eboo, offered felicitations to Prince Amyn on this milestone occasion, and conveyed appreciation for Prince Amyn’s work in service of the Jamat and wider society. Chairman Eboo expressed “In celebrating your 80th birthday today, we offer our prayers, our gratitude, our felicitations and good wishes, for your good health and long life and that you may long stand by Hazar Imam. We wish you a very happy 80th birthday.”
Prince Amyn has been deeply involved in the work of AKDN for a number of decades, particularly in the establishment of the Serena brand of Hotels, and the focus on architecture and the built environment in societies where Muslims have a significant presence. As a connoisseur of heritage, music, and fine art, Prince Amyn has also been active in the inception of both the Aga Khan Music Initiative and the Aga Khan Museum, along with the many parks and gardens commissioned and restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).
Luis Monreal, the General Manager of AKTC paid tribute to Prince Amyn’s work for the Imamat, and noted his rare capacity as a man of many talents, stating “Over the years you have established a complicity with His Highness, and this has contributed, I think, enormously to the amazing breadth and multidimensional character of His Highness’ enterprises. You have been a creative advisor, you have been an active partner, and a faithful confidant.”
As part of the occasion, Prince Amyn was presented with the gift of a 19th century French gilt bronze and champlevé enamel clock, reminiscent of the form of an Ottoman fountain pavilion. In his remarks, Prince Amyn thanked guests for their generosity, saying “I do want to thank you very much indeed. You are all of course Hazar Imam’s spiritual children, so in a way you are my extended family, and that is the way I think of you.”
Reflecting Prince Amyn’s love of music, the event concluded with a unique performance of sama, the song and mystical dance of the Mevlevi sufi order. The Meshk Ensemble were present to recreate precious lost pieces of the order, originally penned by the scholar and mystical poet Jalal al-Din Rumi.
Prince Headlines Temple of Dendur (No, Not The Purple One).
by MICHAEL GROSS
Photographed by SEAN ZANNI/PMC
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017
Muslims have gotten bad press lately,” an Ismaili-American gala committee member at one table in the blue-lit Temple of Dendur said with considerable understatement at a gala on Wednesday night. The evening was, she added, a perfect corrective. For once, standard-issue frosted Upper East Side blondes were not in the forefront at a New York City gala benefit. And the range of women’s fashion on display ranged far beyond Madison Avenue looks.
The evening’s headliner, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, younger brother of Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, represented his sibling at the second biennial gala of the Aga Khan Foundation, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network. The event, held in the Great Hall and the grand temple pavilion of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, raised $2.5 million to support poverty solutions and make long term investments in education, from early childhood programs to universities, that benefit 2 million students in Asia and Africa every year. They are, said Aleem Walji, CEO of the foundation, “some of the most remote landscapes on earth.”
As chic as the guests were, the evening’s message was a more serious one than who wore what. Walji spoke of how one of the foundation’s constituents in Tajikistan had thanked him for giving her “the opportunity to dream.” Two scholarship students supported by the group spoke about values, principles, good fortune and responsibility. “A lot has been done,” one of them said. “I want to do more.”
After a brief fundraising auction, Prince Amyn spoke eloquently, beginning with a reference to the evening’s keynote spoke, Vartan Gregorian, the Iranian-born Armenian educator and non-profit administrator who has headed the Carnegie Corporation for two decades. “Vartan told me I would be auctioned, but apparently there were no bids,” the prince joked. Then he turned serious as described how his brother’s philanthropic career began at age 3 1/2, “seventy-seven years ago,” and his foundation began “as a collection of desperate undertakings that were subsequently molded into an important entity dedicated to quality of life in the Third World,” stressing educatioon which “plays the most fundamental role in development.” The rebuke to the fundamentalism that has embroiled the Middle East was implicit.
The gala was held just weeks after two major awards were presented to the Aga Khan. The United Nations Foundation presented him with the Champion for Global Change Award. He later received the Asia Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award both honoring the Ismaili leader’s decades of work, improving the lives of millions. “Education and the cultivation of intellect plays an important role in society. Aqil, or intellect, is not something to be cultivated but an obligation, incumbent on the faithful.”
The Gala was co-chaired by Naznin Khimji and Karim Rehmat, M.C.’d by MSNBC’s Ali Velshi, and included a performance by Tony winner and Hamilton star Renée Elise Goldsberry. Among the guests were Mahmood Khimji, Vijay Dandapani, Jack Welch, Pardaman and Sant Singh Chatwal, Dr. Pia Britto, Marco and Alyssa Tablada , Shayne Doty of The Asia Society, Joan Hardy Clark, Navina Haidar, Dr. Barkat Fazal, Dianne Whitty, Kathy Calvin, Matthew Moneypenny, Cece Coffin and Jon Reinish. Sponsors included Blackstone, Highgate and HG Vora and Innovator Sponsors: Gencom, JP Morgan, Innventures, Rockpoint, Westmont Hospitality Group, Local Six, UNITE HERE and New York Trades Council.
Dreamy Art of the Islamic Worlds Gala gets a boost with $1 million gift
As attendees enjoyed a seated dinner catered by City Kitchen, including braised baby artichoke with labneh salad of arugula, beef short rib and grilled salmon with couscous pilaf, remarks were given by Prince Amyn Muhammad, brother of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, and MFAH director Gary Tinterow, who announced a $1 million gift by the evening’s honorary chairs, The Honorable Hushang Ansary and his wife Shahla, to establish the first permanent fund for the Art of the Islamic Worlds department, along with the acquisition of “Layla and Majnun” tile panel.
Swearing-in of President Kenyatta to start at 10am
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma said more than 43 delegations — groups of people representing countries or organisations — are expected at the ceremony.
Dr Juma said she could not give the number of heads of state and government who would attend the inauguration of Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
Among the dignitaries expected is Prince Amyn Aga Khan, who will represent His Highness the Aga Khan.
Prince Amyn is His Highness the Aga Khan’s personal representative to Kenya and is also in the country for meetings of the Tourism Promotion Services, which operates the Serena Group of hotels, lodges and resorts.
Wednesday Nov. 29, 2017 was a memorable day for the Goma, DRC (Congo) Jamat especially since Prince Amyn Muhammad landed at 10h35am at Goma international airport with the Highness Aga Khan IV personal jet. More on this news later.
Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) and CDC Group plc partner to mobilise over US$ 1 billion to enhance power generation in sub-Saharan Africa.
East Africa, 26 April 2017
The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (“AKFED”), its industrial and infrastructure development arm, IPS, and CDC Group plc, the UK’s development finance institution, today launched a joint power platform that will boost power generation in sub-Saharan Africa, accelerating economic growth and impacting millions of people in the region.
The joint platform will house IPS’s existing power projects in Kenya and Uganda, and will focus on new power projects in greater East Africa (including Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, and Madagascar) and West Africa.
The partners will invest US$140m and mobilise project funding of US$1bn for new power projects including the 147MW Ruzizi III project in the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC). The Ruzizi project is expected to double Burundi’s current capacity, increase Rwanda’s capacity by 26% and provide much needed baseload power in Eastern DRC a region that is otherwise isolated from DRC’s interconnected grid. It will also reduce reliance on thermal (fossil fuel based) generation in these countries.
Besides developing regional and national power projects, both IPS and CDC intend to partner on mini and off-grid projects that will directly provide reliable and affordable electricity to rural populations away from regional and national grids.
Lutaf Kassam, Executive Director of AKFED, welcomed the partnership: “IPS has been investing and co-developing power projects in West and East Africa for over 20 years. We co-developed sub-Saharan Africa’s pioneering independent power projects in the 1990s and 2000s, namely the Azito power plant in Côte d’Ivoire, the Kipevu II (Tsavo Power) plant in Kenya, as well as the Bujagali Hydropower Project in Uganda. It has been an evolving journey, involving both public and private partners, which has seen a recent shift in focusing investments on renewable energy, taking advantage of advancement in solar and wind technologies, as well continuing to provide the reliable baseload power which many sub-Saharan African countries need.
“We see in CDC a likeminded partner that is strategically aligned to our values and mandate for contributing to development, and have partnered with them previously on pioneering power projects in the region. This platform, therefore, will build on this existing partnership, accelerating and scaling the development of new power projects, spreading our impact across the sub-Saharan region and, ultimately, improving the quality of life of communities.”
CDC’s Chief Executive, Diana Noble said: “Power infrastructure is vital for Africa’s economic growth and job creation and CDC has identified early-stage development as the area with the greatest need for investment in this priority sector. The market needs long-term, committed investors like CDC and AKFED to bring the capital, time horizons and expertise necessary to boost power generation for the continent.
“The partnership we’re announcing today complements CDC’s existing efforts in the sector. In 2015, we decided to take direct ownership and control of Globeleq Africa. With this new partnership launched today, we are tapping into the AKFED Group’s proven power sector expertise, including in hydropower, and excellent local relationships, with the aim of bringing reliable power to many millions of individuals, families and businesses across Africa.”
Prince Amyn attends The World of the Fatimids exhibition opening at the Aga Khan Museum
The World of the Fatimids, the newest exhibition at the Aga Khan Museum, launched on 12 March in Toronto. Prince Amyn delivered the keynote address for the opening of the exhibition, which explores the Fatimid period through artefacts and objects from the 10th and 11th centuries.
Drawing upon the rich history of the Fatimid civilisation — a nexus of knowledge, culture, and trade spanning the Mediterranean, southern Europe, and the Near East — the exhibition brings together pieces from over a dozen institutions from the United Kingdom, Spain, Greece, and beyond. The World of the Fatimids includes 37 artefacts from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquity’s collection, including five unfinished marble slabs which are on public display for the first time. In addition, the exhibition features luminous ceramics, intricate rock crystal carvings, Kufic calligraphy, decorated luxury goods, monumental architectural fragments, and drone videography of the site where the original Fatimid court originally stood.
Aga Khan Museum CEO, Mr. Henry Kim, introduced Prince Amyn, who highlighted the far-reaching impact of the Fatimid empire. “The Fatimids pursued a policy of tolerance and inclusiveness, of pluralism hardly matched by any other Muslim dynasty of the medieval period.” Prince Amyn further noted that the period was a renaissance, marked by ‘exceptional creativity’ and new discoveries in astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, and the arts. “Fatimid Cairo became a flourishing center of scholarship, the sciences, art, and culture to match its pre-eminence in trade and commerce.”
The Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, helped inaugurate the exhibition and celebrated the work of the museum, saying: “the Aga Khan Museum’s work is so vital because you blur the boundaries between disciplines. You build bridges between cultures through unique experiences and learning opportunities. You're a catalyst for mutual understanding and tolerance. The launch of this exhibition, the World of the Fatimids, is an example of what you do best.” She hoped that visitors, “will see within the territories of the Fatimid caliphate… a pluralistic society where arts of all kinds flourished and where, among the world's oldest and most celebrated universities and libraries, were fertile ground for social innovations that would forever shape humanity.”
Curator Dr. Assadullah Souren Melikian-Chirvani provided further perspective on the intellectual and artistic freedom of the Fatimid era by highlighting the 'staggering diversity of iconography’ and ‘permanence of fun’ in the art of the period. He cited as an example, a bowl featuring an eagle in heraldic posture, a noted royal symbol, where “the eagle actually grins and seems to be laughing like a living cartoon. Here we have a royal symbol which is treated with amusement.” Dr. Melikan-Chirvani added that such expressions were undoubtedly taken with the blessing of the Caliphs, highlighting the tolerance and support of open expression under Fatimid rule.
The evening was closed by a special musical performance inspired by the pluralism of Fatimid-era Cairo by the Al-Qahwa ensemble, a quartet of Egyptian, Iranian, Greek, and Hungarian-Irish performers.
The World of the Fatimids exhibition is on display at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto from 10 March – 02 June, 2018.
2018, May 18: Prince Amyn Aga Khan landed in Toronto at 5:00pm to attend the Architecture Pritzker Award ceremony at the Aga Khan Museum on Friday night and to attend meetings. Here his plane arriving on the tarmac of Toronto airport. There was only one Ismaili outside the airport to welcome him on behalf of the Jamat and Prince Amyn happily waved to that Murid
Last edited by Admin on Fri May 18, 2018 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total
Architecture’s Pritzker Prize winner Balkrishna Doshi puts the focus on people
18 May 2018
“What is architecture? It is not an object,” says Balkrishna Doshi. “It is like a living thing and it is an entity to contain life.”
The Indian architect, 90, is this year’s winner of the Pritzker Prize, the prestigious award that’s often called architecture’s Nobel.
Dr. Doshi is scheduled to accept the prize at a ceremony in Toronto on Friday night – the first time the global award has been presented in Canada.
“In selecting a city, we always look for one that offers vibrancy, livability and diversity,” explained Eunice Kim, the prize’s director of communications. The “architecturally significant site” for this year’s event is the Aga Khan Museum, designed by 1993 Pritzker Prize Laureate Fumihiko Maki.
Before the ceremony, “Doshi” – as everyone calls him − gave a public lecture on Wednesday at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.
In a conversation about his work and about the Pritzker, which for most of its 40-year history has been associated with high-art architecture, Dr. Doshi, physically slight but nimble, was palpably excited about sharing his ideas – which were more about ethics than about forms. This year, “the prize is going to someone who is expanding the scope of architecture’s usefulness,” he said of himself.
“The meaning of architecture is not for exclusive things,” he added. “It is not for objects to be put as museums. It is to make places for public good.”
Dr. Doshi is best known in the west for his associations with two important figures of 20th-century design, the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and the American Louis Kahn. He collaborated with both men, and developed an exchange of ideas, combining Western formalism with local urban patterns and local materials and techniques that suited the local culture and climate.
Architecture “cannot only be about the container, but it must always be about the content,” he told me. The background for this view became clear as he spoke about his life and work – subjects which cannot be separated. “I grew up in a big joint family with 25 to 30 people living together,” Dr. Doshi said. “You would see life, you would see death, you would see the world around – life would unfold in the street, and in the temple,” he recalled. This constant change, and the interaction between private life and the city around, animated his sense of the world and of how to build in it, he said.
Dr. Doshi explored such ideas through a series of workers’ housing and public housing projects. The 1989 Aranya Low Cost Housing development, in the city of Indore, created a network of streets and courtyards that mimic traditional Indian urbanism – and allow residents to adapt their homes to their needs.
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The Aranya low-cost housing project by Balkrishna Doshi in Indore, India, accommodates more than 80,000 people through a system of houses, courtyards and internal pathways.
Pritzker Architecture Prize
In his telling, Dr. Doshi found his path “almost accidentally.” He had expected to enter his family’s woodworking and furniture-making business in the city of Pune; instead he studied art and then, following a suggestion, to study architecture in Mumbai. Within a few years, he had followed a friend to London; talked his way into a meeting of the International Congress on Modern Architecture (CIAM) and promptly met the Modernist guru Le Corbusier, who hired him to work in his studio in Paris.
There, the young Doshi learned about architecture and life – at first through a barrier. “He spoke to me in French and I had no idea about that language,” Dr. Doshi recalled. “But I found that for that reason my capacity to learn was much greater. This was the way to go, because you don’t accept things as they come. My perception of light, form, space, structure, became very different.”
And the inverse became true for Le Corbusier in India, where Dr. Doshi worked as his associate − first on the planned city of Chandigarh and then on buildings in Ahmedabad. Le Corbusier is widely infamous for his radical urbanism, but Dr. Doshi remembers him as sensitive to place. “He had never worked in India and he was trying to figure out what would be appropriate,” Dr. Doshi recalled. “He looked around and drew, and he was looking at everything: a boy on a bicycle, people living in a family. He looked at animals and saw villages. He saw how people live, how they rejoice. And I came to see India through his eyes.”
Later, Dr. Doshi worked with the influential Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn. In the 1960s Dr. Doshi brought Mr. Kahn to collaborate on the campus of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Their fusion of Indian traditional architecture, local brick and monumental, abstract forms was and remains powerful: It is adaptable; modern yet sensitive to context, offering places for social encounters and open to the community.
And building for the public, with a sense of the public good, Dr. Doshi suggested, is what matters most. “An architect must be an activist and think always of the larger society,” he said. “We do not forget about aesthetics,” he added. “But this idea of an icon. … Think of a mosque or temple or a church – are they not iconic? But are they not also serving something for the society?
Ahmedabad Mirror | Updated: May 20, 2018, 02.00 AM IST
Veteran architect BV Doshi was honoured with the Pritzker Architecture Prize – the Oscars of architecture – at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada on Saturday. He received a bronze medallion (inset), which is based on designs of famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan. Doshi, the first Indian architect to have received the award, was joined by dignitaries and family. In the picture: Daughter Radhika Doshi, great granddaughter Ananya, business magnate Ratan Tata, and granddaughter Khushnu Panthaky-Hoof.
Doshi joins a roster of impressive, if not legendary names among architects who have won the Pritzker since it was established in 1979, such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, IM Pei and Oscar Niemeyer.
world Updated: May 20, 2018 17:50 IST
Hindustan Times, Toronto
For Prof Balkrishna Doshi, there is a sense of fulfilment: After over six decades of inhabiting the space, he received the field’s highest honour, the Pritzker Prize at a ceremony in Toronto, making him the first Indian to be awarded the so-called ‘Nobel of architecture’.
“It is one of the rarest things one could expect in life,” he said in an interview the morning after receiving the award at a ceremony in the Aga Khan Museum. “What more do you expect? This is a crowning glory. So at the age of 90, if I get that kind of a thing, what more can I expect? I’m fulfilled.”
Doshi, who was born in Pune and lives in Ahmedabad, has collected numerous accolades during his distinguished career but the Pritzker is special since it also brings recognition to Indian architecture.
“That will be extremely significant in the Indian context because architecture as a profession doesn’t have a kind of status in India today except marketing. I mean, architect is synonymous with developers.
“First time, there is the recognition that architecture is a discipline which is extremely important in a civilised society. So there will be respect for architecture,” he said.
Doshi joins a roster of impressive, if not legendary names among architects who have won the Pritzker since it was established in 1979, such as Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, IM Pei and Oscar Niemeyer.
He became aware of the selection when the Prize’s executive director Martha Thorne called him in January. Thorne said she was in a “delicate way” seeking to inquire if he could travel to collect the award in Toronto since that is among the mandatory conditions for recipients. Doshi responded, “Of course I can travel. I was happy about the award, so I could have gone to the moon or to the deserts.”
Doshi was born into a family running a furniture business and he said he came into architecture “by chance”. He started studying the discipline as India gained Independence. “Favourable coincidences helped me in my life,” he said. Among those was being associated with Le Corbusier, the visionary French architect renowned for his projects in creating the modern city of Chandigarh and in Ahmedabad. Doshi describes Le Corbusier as his “guru”. In his official statement accepting the Prize, Doshi said, “His teachings led me to question identity and compelled me to discover new regionally adopted contemporary expression for a sustainable holistic habitat.”
His work is described as a “symphony”, engaging the elements.
His work “explores the relationships between fundamental needs of human life, connectivity to self and culture, and understanding of social traditions, within the context of a place and its environment, and through a response to Modernism,” a release from the Pritzker Prize noted. “Childhood recollections, from the rhythms of the weather to the ringing of temple bells, inform his designs.”
Among his multiple endeavours are the Aranya low-cost housing project in Indore, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology in Ahmedabad as well as “cultural spaces” such as Tagore Memorial Hall and the Institute of Indology, also in that city, as well as his own studio, Sangath. He continues to be with Vastushilpa, the consultancy he founded.
Doshi is hopeful this award will have a “long-lasting impact” rather than one that is momentary. As India looks for affordable and quality housing for its population, there is a role for creative solutions.
“In the condition in which we are now, talking about urbanisation, planning, rural development, economy, employment, this is the discipline through which other countries have worked and taken their guidance,” he said.
“So now perhaps the government and authorities will look at architects, and significant architects, not necessarily foreign architects, and ask them to work with them.”
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