5th Istanbul Design Biennial
Jawa El Khash, 2020
Hammam is a virtual-reality experience that takes place in a bath house. It is an opportunity to experience the majestic and romantic nature of Islamic architecture through the spiritual elements of water and light. In Islamic architecture, light is a sublime element that enlightens the soul within the space, evoking a sense of sanctity as it seeps in through the ceiling, gifting every object it touches with a luminous golden presence. Here, sunlight acts as a mediator that ties two worlds together – the visible and the invisible, the human and the sublime, blurring the distinction between the interior and the exterior, the real and the imagined. The music of water accompanies you in the form of fountains and pools, rhythmically pulsating, reminding you of the flow of the invisible river of time. Unlike bathhouses in real life, this hammam is absent of a human spirit. The living beings in this world are butterflies, prayer beads, lanterns, fog, water and light. Through these symbolic elements, the limits of physical reality are transformed into a virtual environment that breathes surrealism and solitude.