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Space Four & Five - Sacred Spaces

Sacred Spaces

On any given day, the Islamic call to prayer can be heard five times a day from many mosques across Pakistan. At gurudwaras, verses from the holy scriptures of the Sikhs - the Guru Granth Sahib - are recited. Lamps are lit and bhajans are sung by Hindu devotees while the sacred fire burns in Parsi temples. Church bells ring as their congregations gather for prayer.

The diverse spiritual traditions of Pakistan have co-existed peacefully and enriched one another through mutual exchange over centuries. The living expression of these traditions are found in mosques, shrines, temples, gurudwaras and churches across the country today.

More than one faith has found its birthplace in this country. Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion was born in Nankana Sahib, in present day Pakistan. Raised among its verdant fields, he later founded a commune in nearby Kartarpur, where he spent the last two decades of his life. The Vedic scriptures revered by the Hindu faith are also believed to have originated in the Indus Valley.

Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, is inextricably woven into Pakistan’s soul. At the many Sufi shrines that are scattered across the country, from the deserts of Sindh to the far reaches of the Himalayas, seekers and devotees of all backgrounds are welcomed. Some of the greatest Sufi saints hail from this region, their verses inspiring countless generations with their universal message of love, hope, acceptance and service to humanity.

The colours, sounds, rhythms, rituals and emotions experienced at Pakistan’s various spiritual locations are a testament to its syncretic culture. The harmony and plurality found here best embody the spirit of this land

Fresco Panel Patterns From The Wazir Khan Mosque

  • Craftsman: Ustad Naqqash Rafaqat Ali
  • Location: Lahore, Punjab
  • Medium: Pigment on lime plaster
  • Dimensions: 4.9m (L) x 2.4m (H)

Jaali Replicated From The Shrine Of Shah Rukn-E-Alam

  • Craftsman: Haider Ghulam (SAK International)
  • Location: Karachi, Sindh
  • Medium: White stain on mahogany
  • Dimensions: 9.9m (L) x 1.6m (H)

Phooljal

  • Artist: Affan Baghpati
  • Location: Karachi, Sindh
  • Medium: Stainless steel and patina

Imbued with the minarets present in various sacred spaces, this site-specific installation symbolises an ambiance of connectivity, embracement and consecrated nostalgia. A variety of substructures with fragments of domes, cones, prisms, a chaand-tara symbol and an intricate phooljaal (a form derived from the applicator of a kohl container) have been staked to augment the idea of unanimity.