Aga Khan Museum: The Moon
The Moon: A Voyage Through Time pays tribute to our timeless fascination with the moon, exploring how it has inspired spirituality, scientific discovery and artistic creativity across the Muslim world. The exhibition is a wide-ranging survey of Islamic art.
- Aga Khan Museum
- The Moon: A Voyage Through Time
- 9,400 sq. ft.
- Exhibit Design, Graphic Design
- Toronto, ON, CA
- Year Completed
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the Aga Khan Museum asked R&P to design a gallery that would explore the thematic impact of the moon on Islamic art and culture. This exhibition was to be precedent-setting; an immersive and interactive gallery space displaying a broad range of artifacts, including historical and contemporary art. It would explore our enduring fascination with the moon and the role it has played in faith, science and the arts across the Muslim world and beyond. The experience would culminate with the “Moon” itself, a breathtaking, suspended sphere representing a 1:500,000 scaled version of Earth’s moon by contemporary British artist Luke Jerram. The art installation has travelled worldwide to international acclaim.
R&P delivered a stunning immersive gallery that pays homage to the peace and serenity instilled by the awe-inspiring orb that is our moon.
The exhibit takes visitors on an interactive journey of discovery through five thematic sections representing the five lunar phases of the moon—“the moon is ancient,” “the moon is wonder,” “the moon is knowledge,” “the moon is beauty,” and “the moon is eternal.” Just as the lunar phases transition from a new moon to a full moon, the gallery builds its messages and themes towards Jerram’s “Moon” sculpture. The gallery becomes a place of contemplation where visitors may reflect on their journey while gazing upon this illuminated art piece, losing themselves in the spectacular detail of NASA’s imagery of the lunar surface.
The lunar phases are used to create the immersive experience. Curved forms draw visitors through the gallery and create a sense of movement through the depths of outer space as they navigate closer to the “Moon” installation. In addition, a rich color palette and a quiet atmosphere and openness to the gallery design mimics the vastness experienced in outer space. Gentle cascading light and oblong wall openings are a reminder that the moon is ever present in this journey.
The Moon: A Voyage Through Time has been hugely successful, bringing new audiences and attention to the Aga Khan Museum. The project has been regularly cited as one of the must-see events in Toronto.
- It's being received really well. We're thrilled to see so many families. An exhibition focusing on the moon in Islam has never been done. So for us, it's a landmark exhibition.Christiane Gruber, Co-curator, Aga Khan Museum, CBC News