An exhibition of a vast collection of antique objects used in Sufi Muslim dervish convents has been launched Monday evening at the Turkish American Cultural Center in the state of Maryland, near Washington D.C.
The “Dervishes and Their Belongings” exhibition, which will last until Oct.21, will feature 300 historical artifacts used in the daily life of dervish convents until 21 Oct.
Dervishes, or the Whirling Dervishes, are members who follow an ancient Sufi Muslim tradition, which dates back to the 13th century and takes its roots from Sufi mystic Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. Today's Sufism is highly influenced by Turkish customs and culture.
Hosted by the non-profit The New East Foundation, or NEF, the exhibit introduces 100-year-old calligraphy artwork, talismans, wands and traditional musical instruments in an exhibition room which is designed as a dervish lodge.
"There is a center, a modernized version of where invocation and circulation is made. You go around [the center] after you see the dervishes' belongings and end up at the contemporary part of the exhibition, which is designed to show the continuation [of life]," the President of the NEF, Atilgan Bayar told Anadolu Agency.
Seven contemporary works of art by Turkish painter Fatma Zeynep Cilek are also part of the exhibition.
Celik told Anadolu Agency that her contemporary art pieces were inspired by "convent drawing models", and aim to bridge the modern with the mystical world of dervishes.
"I'm inspired by the letters written on dervish belongings and try to reflect the deep meanings of these letters to my painting in an body_abstract way," Celik said. "The Arabic letters and Ottoman motives are very aesthetic and have deep philosophical meanings."
Alongside several American artists, Turkish diplomats, businessmen and several other art lovers attended the launch of the exhibition.
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