Introduction to Southeast Asian Forms of Mosque Architecture


About the webinar

What were the historical forms of the Southeast Asian mosque? How many different types were there and how are they connected to local building conventions, ornamental schemes and material practices that pre-date Islam? This lecture focuses on Southeast Asian types that are distinct from the domed forms introduced during the 19th century by colonial architects. It examines key examples that have survived, as well as those that have long disappeared but are depicted in historical illustrations, and how symbols and meanings from the region’s older cult buildings were re-worked for the new religious context of Islam. It explores the connections to local and regional building customary practices as well as adaptations of earlier Indic conventions. The talk also retraces the trans-cultural connections across different regions that can be seen in some mosque designs, and the debates surrounding origin and historical developments in mosque form in Southeast Asia. The discussion closes by looking at the last examples of the Southeast Asian mosque in the mid-20th century and their recent revivals.

For more information on the webinar series, click here.

About the Speaker

Dr Imran bin Tajudeen is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Malay Studies and the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore, where he teaches topics on identity and representation through the arts, urban history, and built cultural heritage in Singapore and the Malay World. He researches architectural encounters in Singapore and maritime Southeast Asia across the longue durée, and examines the vernacular city and its heritage tropes. His doctoral dissertation on this topic (NUS, 2009) won the ICAS Book Prize in 2011. He is co-editor of Southeast Asia’s Modern Architecture (2018), and was postdoctoral fellow at MIT’s Aga Khan Program (2009–10) and the IIAS in Leiden (2010–11). He has published on Southeast Asia’s mosques in transregional and vernacular-Indic translations and is currently working on a monograph on this subject. He is also Mutawa Visiting Fellow at OXCIS (Oxford).


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the panellists, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the panellist during the Q&A session.


Jan 05 2022


2:00 pm - 3:30 pm