The Brunei Gallery at the University of SOAS presents the exhibition: ‘Music, Faith, and Diplomacy along the Silk Road’, from 13 July 2017 to 23 March 2019. It explores the common themes of cultural exchanges that have influenced the construction of our cultures of today from Asian, Arabic, Persian, African and European. The exhibit highlights the idea of music as an emblematic symbol that represents different cultures, as well as an agent that promotes shared experiences and dialogues.
This exhibition displays historical objects such as paintings, scrolls, and manuscripts that are drawn from SOAS’s own collection. For instance, a stunning 17th century scroll of the Korean Embassy to Japan showcases the role of musicians and entertainers in cementing political relationships through cultural exchange; a rich array of manuscripts from the Middle East illustrates the cultural connections involved in the spread of Islam across Asia; and a beautifully illuminated collection of manuscript paintings and poetry show traditions of mystic Sufism that are still practiced today across Asia.
This exhibition highlights one of the most important elements of the Silk Roads – the passage of music and musical instruments throughout the many important cities between Far East Asia, through the Middle East and into Europe. The exposition is open to the public with free admission.