JEDDAH: The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is re-examining the relationship between ideas and Islamic civilization through a variety of activities at the Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah.
Ithra is displaying an art exhibition based on a reevaluation of Islamic visual culture at the event, which runs until April 23 at the Hajj Terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport.
Called “A Journey of Understanding,” the exhibition features items such as a historic kiswa, a rare mahmal, ancient copies of the Qur’an, manuscripts, and other artifacts connected to the region’s cultural heritage.
It also includes a video on Ithra’s oldest Qur'an manuscript, while two virtual reality experiences take visitors on tours of mosques from across the globe.
The center has also loaned contemporary art pieces from its collection to the biennale’s Hajj Exhibition.
Ithra will screen the world premiere of “In the Footsteps of the Prophet” at the site on March 9.
The documentary film was researched over two decades and focuses on the Prophet Muhammad’s hijrah from Makkah to Yathrib in 622. It seeks to increase public understanding of the event that launched Islam from a small, persecuted minority to a major religion.
The Ithra Academy is hosting a series of workshops and master classes in which art enthusiasts can recreate biomorphic patterns from historical manuscripts and learn to paint them using traditional techniques.
Farah Abushullaih, head of Ithra Museum, said: “At Ithra we ignite cultural curiosity, stimulate knowledge exploration, and inspire creativity through the power of ideas, imagination and innovation.
“Our Islamic Arts Biennale participation takes an innovative approach to capturing and showcasing the Kingdom’s cultural heritage.
“We present a range of significant historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind objects in a way that would appeal to a global audience, while our multidisciplinary approach is designed to elevate audiences’ understanding of Islamic art.”