year 1, Issue 1 (Fall & Winter 2016)                   Firooze Islam 2016, 1(1): 101-108 | Back to browse issues page

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Zekrgoo A H. Emergence of Eclecticism as Style; New Approaches to Mosque Architecture in Malaysia. Firooze Islam. 2016; 1 (1) :101-108
URL: http://firooze-islam.ir/article-1-71-en.html
Professor International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) , ahzekrgoo@gmail.com
Abstract:   (3133 Views)

Eclecticism, the subject of this paper, manifests when elements from different structural, spatial and decorative forms and styles, carrying features representing specific and distinct cultures combine in a single work, chiefly in architecture. The term ‘eclecticism’, however, in the mindset and literature of societies with ancient artistic heritage, is imbued with negative denotations. This is because “artistic styles” in such societies are often associated with “identity” and “originality”, both of whom designate a long progress in the passage of time, while eclecticism appears to lack such “valuable” process.

In the process of deliberating eclecticism a few questions seem fundamentally relevant: How can then we define “identity” and “style” in the art and architecture of younger societies? Is modern religious architecture “without identity” if it does not follow the traditional trend? To what degree can architects incorporate imported alien elements in designing of local religious buildings? And finally, can eclectic architecture reach the status of a proper “architectural style”?   

Eclecticism gained rapid momentum in the field of Malaysian mosque architecture during the past two decades. Significant eclectic mosques that have transformed the scene and skylines of major Malaysian cities have often been heavily financed by the government – an indication of conscious choice of direction. The subject is yet to be studied and deserves a systematic research. This paper aims to present an analytical study of the concept of ‘eclecticism’ and ‘identity’ in the context of Malaysian contemporary mosque architecture.

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