Friday, 14 January 2011

The Sufi and the Bearded Man: Re-membering a Keramat in Contemporary Singapore


[Image credit: Nurul Huda B. A. Rashid, Singapore, 2010] 

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Date: 13 January - 2 December 2011
Venue: Visiting Exhibition Gallery, NUS Museum
Research: Terenjit Sevea, Wak Ali Janggut
Curator: Shabbir Hussain Mustafa
Photography: Nurul Huda B.A. Rashid
This exhibition re-members the keramat of a 19th century Sufi traveler from the Middle East who lives on in contemporary Singapore through her miracles and her shrine which was recently removed. Re-membering the keramat has involved a two-year long project of collaborating with Ali, an intermediary of the Sufi and custodian of the masoleum referred to by fellow devotees as "the bearded man". These conversations culminated in the keramat and its life-worlds entering a museum, a transition animated by the display of photographic evidence, material remains or artifacts, anecdotal histories and related documents. Considering alternative ways to recount and understand heritage, The Sufi and the Bearded Man, calls attention to devotional culture, lesser-heard narratives and esotericism in Singapore.

Click here for the exhibition brochure in PDF format.

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