Journey through the life and timeless legacy of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Balkhi (d. 1273), known as Rumi, in an inspiring exhibition celebrating one of history's most famous poets, on the 750th anniversary of his passing. Join us as we explore Rumi's enduring impact through an examination of artifacts, manuscripts, and contemporary art.
Rumi will take you on a visual voyage through his early life in Central Asia, his experiences with displacement and migration, and his transformation into one of the most important mystical poets of the Persian-Islamic tradition. The exhibition will take a deep dive into the ways in which his words have inspired arts and culture, both past and present.
Explore the rich historical, visual, and literary environment Rumi was immersed in, as well as his journey from Central Asia to the Lands of Rum (present-day Türkiye). Uncover the experiences and personal relationships that shaped his worldview and his poetry through a close examination of artifacts and works of art.
Renowned for his vivid stories and meditations on perception, Rumi often explored the relationship between seeing with the eyes, understanding with the mind, and sensing with the heart. Delve into works of art from the Aga Khan Museum and other collections that explore the visual nature of his poetry.
Experience the timelessness of Rumi's wisdom by taking a close look at the ways in which his writings have been translated through time and how they continue to resonate with audiences today.
For the exhibition, The Aga Khan Museum has commissioned three new major installation works by leading contemporary artists.
Distance Between Homes
Afghan-Canadian artist Hangama Amiri invites you to consider how lost objects can give shape to feelings of in-betweenness and fragmentation. The textile installation references Amiri's own experiences with displacement, which have often mirrored that of Rumi.
The Dream That Must Be Interpreted
Contemporary artist Erdem Taşdelen taps into the collective experience in this immersive installation that places you at the centre of an audio drama. Contemplate the varied ways in which Rumi has been translated, interpreted, appropriated, and appreciated as you listen to four characters weave through their transformative dreams.
The Elephant in the Dark
Engage your curiosity and sense of wonder with multidisciplinary artist Simin Keramati's interactive installation. The Elephant in the Dark uses touch-based technology to bring one of Rumi's most beloved tales to life.
Take a closer look at Rumi’s story by engaging with interactive stations developed in partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University Libraries. Each station provides additional layers of interpretation, focusing on Rumi’s place in global history, taking you on a deep dive into the meanings behind some of the paintings and drawings inspired by Rumi.
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This exhibition is in compliance with provincial FCOISA regulations. Learn more.
Curator: Dr. Michael Chagnon
Financially assisted by