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Monday, 6 August 2012


The two murals are a part of a concerted effort in ‘gardening’ Al-Bukhary International University (AIU), to turn it into an OASIS (Of Art and Science Inspiring Sustainability). They are are more than just a mural in a conventional sense. They can be read as Virtual Information Electronic Walls, or in short, VIEW. They embody a shifting paradigm in managing, sharing and disseminating living and breathing information. They perform as an interface that informs, communicates and engages all AIU stakeholders with its Vision and Mission, its ‘humaniversity’ tagline and its core values. In doing so, they echo AIU’s value propositions, both tangible and intangible. 

The design approach compliments the architectural concept and look of AIU, inspired mostly by several icons of Islamic knowledge in science, technology and the arts. The murals are framed by a series of arches, placed at two elevated corridors at two wings of the administrative building. The corridors are separated by a pedestrian pathway, which links the building to AIU central square. The design of the building is inspired by a Mughal Palace in Northern India. 

The repeated motifs or visual invocations are based on two intersecting squares, enclosed by a circle, thus creating other interlocking shapes and patterns, such as a star. The star motif is rather prominently featured in many parts of the AIU buildings, both indoor and outdoor. The patterns can be related to Islamic Arabesque, Buddhist Mandala, Indian Kolam and many other forms of schematic design found in traditional Eastern cultures. They can be taken as an inter-connected quantum field, from which myriads of tangible but transient physical AIU activities (in this case, as embodied by the flat screens) are manifested in so many different ways. 

The physical patterns are complimented by the virtual patterns on the flat TV screens, occasionally appear as intervals between the screened information. All the AIU activities that will be screened in the future, will seem to manifest from this shared, harmonious, balanced and orderly quantum field. 

Such schematic design, that can be traced in many forms of traditional art in the East, embodies ‘local wisdom’ or a shift in consciousness that leads us to witness and experience ‘living’ in the most natural and harmonious way. The approach also aptly reminds us of several key states of a peaceful mind, such as simultaneity, variety, inter-connected, inter-linked, inter-dependent, non-linear, multiple centers, cyclical and dynamic. All are entangled in infinite probabilities (of seeing and experiencing) until the moment of ‘witnessing’ by a conscious audience. This design approach is an apt description of quantum waves function, of the relationship between the micro and macro and the working of our brain across the time-space dimension. 

Hopefully, the murals may remind us of our place within the larger and inter-connected whole. We share the same origin. We are all an inter-dependent part of the whole Universe. All the activities that our creative brain may churn out, are a part of a vast quantum field of infinite wisdom, within and beyond. The Universe is created for us to exist and bear witness, to unveil greatness that is already within all of us, everyday, every moment, every now. 

We are essentially the appointed gardeners in the diversified field of energy. We are the container of secrets within secrets. As we engage in myriads of activities in the unifying OASIS GARDEN of AIU, we will hopefully be awakened, to unveil greatness that already lies within everyone and everything. 

Hasnul J Saidon August 2012.

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