The Fulfilment of a Mother’s Wish: Visiting the Aga Khan Foundation’s Together-Ensemble Exhibition in Vancouver

BY ABDULMALIK MERCHANT
Editor, Simerg

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Together-Ensemble Truck at the parking lot across from the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby, where over 300 visitors got a glimpse of the work of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

It was my mother’s fond wish to view the large 53 foot truck hosting the Aga Khan Foundation’s mobile Together-Ensemble exhibition at the Ismaili Centre in Burnaby. The truck with 1000 sq ft of space has clocked 19,000 kms across Canada in the past 13 months. For her, to climb the steps leading into the exhibition area would have been a little bit challenging, so seeing the truck and walking around it, she felt, would be fulfilling. What a treat, then, for her when we arrived at the exhibition site, and to be told that she would be lofted into the exhibition space on a wheelchair lift! Like hundreds of other visitors, we were welcomed into the exhibition by the tour manager, François Grenier. I visited the exhibition last year when it was launched in Ottawa, and found the latest version to be more inviting and aesthetically appealing. This was also noted by Grenier who granted me a short interview with some great insights (see bottom of page).

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This incredible piece of art work done by Shamya Jaffer is showcased at the entrance of the exhibition, along with two other winning entries, see below, in the Aga Khan Foundation’s art competition to complement the exhibition. Shamya has called her winning piece “Hidden Complexities” and notes as follows in her artist’s statement: “My piece of art work is a map of the world filled with different, detailed patterns that connect and overlap each other, symbolizing inter-connectedness between countries and continents. The patterns are inspired from Swahili and Indian designs. The incorporation of different forms of art into one piece is a representation of global diversity. At first glance, it may seem like a simple concept but it has depth and complexity just like global development and diversity.” Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

Gesture by Safira Lakhani, 2nd winning entry. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg. Note: Photo has reflective light from camera flash and exhibit lighting.

Gesture by Safira Lakhani, 2nd winning entry. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg. Note: Photo has reflective light from camera flash and exhibit lighting.

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Calypso by Queenie Wong, 3rd winning enty. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg. Note: Photo has reflective light from camera flash and exhibit lighting.

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Visitors, including my mother at foreground, learn about the work of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada at its mobile exhibition at the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby,on May 27, 2016. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

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“God created Man from One Soul. Everybody Should Help Each Other” – a thought by a visitor to the exhibition. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

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A visitor responds to a question in an interactive display exhibit that includes a large topographical map of the world. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

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A close up of the topographies of Africa, the Middle East and parts of Europe and Asia. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

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A visitor watches displays of Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s projects in Asia and Africa. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

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Voices of Change. Photo: Malik Merchant, Simerg.

An Interview with François Grenier, Tour Manager, Aga Khan Foundation Canada Together-Ensemble Exhibition

The truck was scheduled to leave on Saturday morning (May 28) for Stanley Park where thousands of Canadians are expected to participate in the  Aga Khan Foundation’s 2016 Partnership Walk.

Date posted: May 28, 2016.

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2 thoughts on “The Fulfilment of a Mother’s Wish: Visiting the Aga Khan Foundation’s Together-Ensemble Exhibition in Vancouver

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