Feature: Photo exhibition of ancient Chinese architectural-styled Mosques enthralls Bangladesh audiences

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-23 20:37:34|Editor: An
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DHAKA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Islamic architecture in China is as rich and varied as the great continent of Asia itself.

Styles of ancient Chinese architecture are rich and diverse and include temples, imperial palaces, altars, pavilions, official residencies and folk houses, which greatly reflect Chinese ancient ideology which prioritizes the harmonious unity of human beings with nature.

Mosques in China are no exception.

The Department of Architecture of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), one of the most prestigious institutions for higher studies in the country, on Tuesday organized an architecture photography exhibition of great and ancient mosques in China.

The exhibition featured a powerful catalogue of striking images that depict various aspects of mosque architecture and introduced its students to the rich and varied architectural history of China.

The images showcased at the exhibition were taken over a period of eight years by Bangladeshi Md Tanveer Raza, a former associate professor of Jiujiang University in China.

Today more than 20,000 mosques in China have become a unique and integral part of Islamic history and culture, Raza said.

Mosques in western China reflect a central Asian influence while in the East there is blending of local Chinese architecture with walled country-yards and archways, said Raza, also a qualified physician.

Chronologically, he said newer mosques reflect facets of contemporary architecture.

Raza, who now teaches medical science at the University of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia, said he visited at least 60 Chinese cities and towns during his eight-year stay in China.

"I was amazed to see the ancient Chinese-styled mosques," he said.

"I started taking images of ancient Chinese architecture to introduce to people in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world to the rich and varied architectural history of China."

I hope the exhibition at BUET will help the top Bangladesh university students to explore China's vastness further in the future, he said.

The two-hour photo exhibition had to be extended by a number of hours as it attracted a record number of high-profile visitors including academics and students.

Photos of six big mosques located in Xi'an, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Beijing, Kunming and Jiujiang were displayed at the exhibition.

Tania Islam, a first year student of BUET's architecture department, said she was excited to see the Chinese-style mosques.

In recent decades, an increasing number of mosques have been built using the domes and minarets typically found in the Middle East, she said.

SM Nazmul Imam, an associate professor at BUET, said ancient Chinese architecture is an important component of the global architectural system together with European and Arabian architecture.

"We'll visit China with our students to further study some of these incredibly important ancient Chinese architectural miracles," SM Nazmul Imam said.