The Khalsa Heritage Museum is a space designed by Moshe Safdie, to enshrine Sikh Heritage. The museum is not artifact centered, as most of the exhibits are displayed in Gurudwaras (places of Sikh worship). The entire museum was therefore treated as an immersive environment, where all the elements within the space would be treated as artworks. To achieve this, all museum exhibits were designed to be created by practicing master craftsmen. This would make each gallery an immersive piece of art reflecting the traditional arts and crafts of the region.
The Khalsa Heritage Museum has an extensive footprint and the space was divided into galleries, assigned to different designers to keep the project manageable and possible to execute within given timelines.
CONTENT + NARRATIVE DEVELOPMENT
As one of the senior designers on the team, I developed the narrative, visual language and information layering within each gallery in co-ordination with the research team. After establishing the overall design strategy and narrative, I was instrumental in designing the installations, as well as the detailing, prototyping and guiding master craftsmen from across India in constructing the final exhibit pieces.
ABOVE LEFT : Colour explorations for hand crafted leather puppets.
RIGHT : Explorations for mounting and lighting of leather puppets.
For each of the galleries assigned to me, the craft technique, visual language, material, treatment and colour palette were selected for the exhibits on the basis of the content for the space. The research teams as well as art historians approved these before design detailing and prototyping.
Engraved steel and lighting used to depict the moment the last Sikh Guru left the earthly plane after having won a battle and crossing the Sirsa river. This is when the Guru declared the Holy Book as the next, eternal Guru, and is a momentous event in Sikh history.
The layered installation represents the sound of the hymns sung by the fifth Guru that traveled across the lake and purified the city of Amritsar. Lights slowly pulsate from the central pedestal towards the embroidered panels, while the audio guide plays clippings of the hymns.
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