10 for 10th - Memory Lane curated by Che Kothari

Light upon Light! (Rendering), 2015

Suitable for all ages

Project Co-Producer: Toronto International Film Festival

Light upon Light!, 2015

Abdullah M.I. Syed - Karachi & Sydney , Pakistan & Australia

Sculptural Light Installation

This sculptural installation consists of a glowing spherical moon, whose surface is comprised of hundreds of prayer caps (taqiyah) emanating light from within.

The work rises from Syed's memories and fascination with the full moon, its reflection and his obsession of finding ever more perfect parables, shapes and materials that are praised throughout history for their purity and Divine attributes. The arabesque design of the caps follows Islamic tessellation principles repeated seamlessly, suggesting the remembrance of Divine unity.

As a light sculpture, it addresses Islamic consciousness using signs of divine beauty (jamāl) and majesty (jalāl). It reflects a lifelong pursuit of the transient nature of beauty and perfection, presenting the viewer with a physical experience of a concept that is sublime and abstract in nature.

These qualities are created as a halo, inviting viewers to both contemplate and be surrounded by the work, which is reflected in a pool of ocean-blue glass below. The suspended sculpture and the reflective surface on the floor are expressions of the balancing act and harmonious spiritual dualities of the Islamic concepts of beauty and majesty, in an era when Islam finds itself constantly drawn towards narrative extremes.

Abdullah M. I. Syed is an artist, designer and independent curator. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, he lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Syed has had seven solo exhibitions and participated in many international group exhibitions. He has been awarded the Individual Artist of Oklahoma Award for Installation, USA and UNSW's Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Syed holds a Ph.D. (2015) and MFA (2009) from the UNSW Art & Design, Sydney, Australia and M.Ed. (2001) and B.A. in Design (1999) from the University of Central Oklahoma, USA.


TIFF Bell Lightbox (Cinema 5)

350 King Street West

This project is indoors.