Our Imaging 2 class recently went on a field-trip to the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) to view the Marvelous Creatures Exhibition (March 4 – July 31). The exhibition was a perfect introduction to the storytelling behind character design and helped guide the design process for the development of 3-D characters (our current project).

The Marvelous Creatures Exhibit: Animal Fables in Islamic Art

The exhibition focused on the real and mythical animals featured in the legends, tales, and fables of the Islamic world. Divided into the natural quadrants of earth, air, fire, and water, these marvelous creatures serve as introductions to stories such as beloved classics like the Shahnameh, Kalila wa Dimna, and Alf Layla wa-Layla (better known in English as 1001 Nights).

 The Museum of Islamic Art

Designed by celebrated Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei (Leoh Ming Pei), the MIA stands on an island along Doha’s Corniche. The Museum is a blend of traditional and modern architecture, designed to interplay with the sun and shadows of the hot Doha Summers by utilizing the cubic shapes descending from the top dome. The museum houses a collection of metalwork, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork and glass collected from three continents – and includes 600-year-old artifacts of ivory and silk inscribed with Arabic script.

“The Museum of Islamic Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of Islamic art in the world, and as well a centre of education and information in the field of the arts of the Islamic world.”