Marking the 750th anniversary of Rumi’s passing, this show will take visitors on a journey through the life and legacy of one of history’s most renowned poets and mystics. The exhibition at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum will introduce visitors to the mystic behind the poetry, exploring his early life in Central Asia, experiences with displacement and migration, transformation into a master Sufi, and the multiple ways in which his words have and continue to impact arts and culture — from 16th-century painter, Sadeqi Beg to iconic pop star, Beyoncé.
The exhibition combines historical masterpieces with eye-opening contemporary artworks. The former include manuscripts, paintings, and artifacts from the Aga Khan Museum’s Collections, including a rare, illustrated copy of Rumi’s Masnavi, one of the most renowned works of Sufi poetry and a landmark of world literature. Rumi will also showcase objects from the collections of prestigious global institutions, such as the V&A, the Louvre, and the Met, alongside three art installations, commissioned by the Aga Khan Museum, by notable artists:
- Hangama Amiri — Distance Between Homes, a large scale textile installation by the Afghan-Canadian artist that references her own experiences with displacement, which mirror that of Rumi (see a collage of Hangama’s unique work below)
- Erdem Taşdelen — The Dream That Must Be Interpreted, an immersive audio installation that follows the story of four characters awakening from transformative spiritual experiences, echoing Rumi’s work
- Simin Keramati — The Elephant in the Dark, an interactive installation that casts a contemporary lens on one of Rumi’s most beloved tales.