Category - Architecture

The beauty of Islamic Architecture: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

6887385701_2d45b51b77_bNo building captures the true essence of Islamic architecture like a mosque. There are many beautiful mosques in the world including The Great Mosque of Mecca, The Blue Mosque, Faisal Mosque, Imam Reza Shrine and many more…. one of these is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque located in Abu Dhabi. It is the largest and the most beautiful mosque in United Arab Emirates.27635789125_c851b6825d_bHistory: The construction on the mosque started in 1996 by the late and great president of UAE Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan. The mosque was completed in December 2007. It took about $545 Million to complete the construction. The materials were imported from different parts of the world: crystals, marble, stones, ceramics and all other materials were imported from more than 15 countries. Almost 3000 artisans from all over the world helped to shape one of the most beautiful mosques in the world.Water_mirror_and_columns_in_Sheikh_Zayed_MosqueFeatures Of The Mosque: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque holds a number of different records including the world’s largest carpet which was imported from Iran. The carpet is made from wool and was designed by a popular Iranian artist by the name of Ali Khaliqi. The carpet weights a total of 35. To enhance the beauty of the mosque seven chandeliers have also been imported from Germany. The mosque can accommodate around 41000 worshippers at a single time. You can spot the mosque from miles away due to its wonderfully constructed minarets. The mosque has a total of 4 minarets. Domes are a big part of Islamic architecture and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has a total of 82 domes which is one of the many unique features of the mosque. There is also a special area in the mosque for female worshippers. It can hold up to 1500 female worshippers at any given time.Inner_court_yard_of_Shekh_Zayed_MosqueMillions of people visit the mosque every year including celebrities and royalty. It is necessary for everyone to wear modest clothes. Both men and women should never wear revealing clothes while visiting the mosque. You can also sign up for a free guided tour of the mosque. If you are visiting the mosque then you should definitely sign up for the guided tour. It will help you learn about the history and magnificence of the mosque. If you forgot to bring your modest clothes with you then don’t worry. You can get Abayas and robes from the mosque which you can return upon exiting the mosque. Other than modest dressing, you have to take off your show before entering this spectacular landmark.inside-the-abu-dhabi-mosque-united-arab-emirates-uaeSheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a jaw dropping site to visit. It is one of the most beautiful places in UAE. Like millions of other people, you can also visit the mosque free of cost. The mosque can entertain thousands of tourists at any given time however it starts to get crowded near important Islamic events like Eid and Ramadan.   Sheikh_Zayed_Grand_Mosque_Interior

Cui Jie and the Collision of Sound and Art

From a very early age, Cui Jie was obviously a very gifted artist, and she continues to develop her style now that she is in her mid-30’s. Jie was born in Shanghai, China and eventually ended up studying and honing her craft at the China Academy of Art in the Oil Painting Department. While she now lives in Beijing, China, she is not a total unknown to the Western world, with the Wall Street Journal going as far as to describe her as one of “China’s rising art stars.”guyv7Over the years, the style and subject matter of Jie’s work has changed a little, with her latest work perhaps being the most intriguing. She has spoken about synesthesia, which is essentially when people see a color when they hear a specific sound. She is looking at introducing that idea into her current way of working as opposed to going off on a totally different tangent to explore the connection between sound and visuals. tgbjkh6People unfamiliar with the work that Jie delivers may be interested to hear about how she comes up with her ideas. The art for which she is best known involves looking at sculptures and buildings within the parts of China where she has lived and worked, and then creating a painting of those structures, but from a very different viewpoint than what you would get from looking at them at street level. She often talks about the texture and surfaces of the structures and buildings in question, but rather than taking a hands-on approach, Jie will let the reflections off these surfaces, and the feelings and emotions they invoke, guide her once she decides to put paint to canvas. kbyu7The end result of this truly Modernist approach to art are pieces that are stunning to look at. With your first look, you can clearly see the sculptures and buildings as separate pieces, but the more you look, the more they seem to merge and become one and the same. There is a familiarity there, especially for those who have been to those cities and seen the subjects, yet you also feel as though you are viewing these pieces from an angle that you couldn’t get to in the real world. CaptureJIe is of the belief that architecture experiences the passing of time in much the same way as humans do, so she sees here take on the structures that she uses in her art as a way of re-shaping that history. It’s an incredibly exciting concept that very much shines through in every piece that she creates. Given her past, we can certainly expect her to start incorporating new styles and techniques in the future, which is a truly exciting thought for lovers of her art.    ygvy6

Wat Rong Khun: The mesmerizing White Temple of Chiang Rai

There is a temple in Thailand, in the Chiang Rai Province that stands out from all other temples in the country. This stunning architectural masterpiece is known as the Wat Rong Khun and it was built by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. His intention was to build a temple where people can practice meditation and learn about Buddha and his teaching. All around the world is dubbed as The White Temple because it is built from white plaster mixed with thousand little glass pieces inside that sparkle in the sun. 1024px-Chiang_Rai_Thailand_Wat-Rong-Khun-02 1280px-Chiang_Rai_Thailand_Wat-Rong-Khun-01 It is different from the other Thai temples first of all because it’s white and not golden like it should be traditionally, and it was built by an artist who used his own imagination to create his own visual understanding of the Buddha teachings. To date, the temple is not finished and Kositpipat is still adding parts to make it even more stunning. It is considered more like an art exhibit because there are so many unusual things to be seen inside and around the temple which make the visitors’ tour even more interesting. 1024px-020_Disciple_(9214657134)Chiang_Rai_-_Wat_Rong_Khun_-_0002The main building is known as the ubosot and it can be reached by crossing a bridge installed upon a small lake. The bridge is dubbed as the cycle of rebirth and in front of it is one of the most bizarre art pieces in the place. Hundreds of hands are reaching out trying to grab something. This piece represents the suffering souls in hell who were greedy during their lifetime. After crossing this remarkable scene the visitors stand in front of the ubosot and have to cross the “Gate of Heaven” to enter. 006_Purgatory_(9214719914)Wat_Rong_Khun_o_el_Templo_blanco_de_Chiang_Rai,_Tailanda._(17199615247)The most unexpected and fun part begins when they go inside. There are many murals that depict famous people and fantasy characters. Michael Jackson, Harry Potter, Neo from The Matrix, Captain Jack Sparrow, Hello Kitty, Elvis, Superman, and even Freddy Krueger are gathered together on the walls which makes the temple even more unusual. Kositpipat decided to add his favorite characters in the temple because they are also a part of who he is. His plan is to add more buildings around so they will be nine when he finishes the place completely. One of the planned buildings will be reserved for Buddhist monks who can use it whenever they come to visit the Chiang Rai Province.1024px-025_Dragons_(9214634354) 1024px-White_Temple_IOn 5th May 2014, the temple was damaged by an earthquake and Kositpipat wanted to close it indefinitely for safety reasons. But, after a team of engineers came to inspect the place and confirmed that the structure was not that damaged from the quake, he continued with work as before. Some buildings are still not open to the public like the ubosot, but the owner allows visitors to come and see it from the outside. Hopefully, he will finish his project as planned and it will be even more exciting to visit.White_Temple_III