Magnificent Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) Mosque in Brunei Darussalam

A completely unplanned road trip from Seria to Bandar Seri Begawan I made yesterday led me to the photo of the magnificent and historic Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Mosque, which is quite possibly the most photographed landmark of Brunei Darussalam. Leaving the house, I grabbed the Canon PowerShot G11 from the dry cabinet not realizing then that there wasn’t much battery power left. This photo is one of a series I managed to capture before battery power went out for good.

A view of SOAS Mosque from the Edinburgh Bridge on Jalan Tutong
SOAS_Mosque

Excerpt from The Brunei Times

“POSITIONED majestically on an artificial lagoon near the banks of the Brunei River, the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) Mosque stands as among the most magnificent mosques ever built in the world.

With its golden dome and soaring white minarets, the mosque is often pictured as an oasis of serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Bandar Seri Begawan. The celebration of its golden anniversary heralds the mosque’s unique long-standing status as the heart of the capital and the symbol of Brunei’s deeply-rooted Islamic faith.

The mosque also incorporates Italian and Renaissance architectural styles, but with craftsmanship that reflects classical Islamic architecture. This makes the mosque as one of the most unique Islamic places of worship across the world. The mosque took four years to complete, from 4 February 1954 until 26 September 1958. His Highness Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien is remembered as the “Architect of Modern Brunei”. During his reign from 1950 until his abdication in 1967, the Sultan steered Brunei safely through the turbulent years following WWII, establishing the foundation for the nation’s independence and sovereignty. Through his determination and dedication, he had implemented the foundation to build the infrastructure, society and economy of modern Brunei and also ensuring the preservation of an independent Malay Muslim Monarchy in the modern world.”

Dramatic Sunset Boardroom Photography

I have in recent years photographed great number of corporate offices including hotels and their business centres. An example from 2012 is Radisson Hotel Brunei’s Business Centre and Boardroom. It’s not everyday I get an assignment to photograph a boardroom that features a 180 degree panoramic view of its surrounding and from the first floor. Trouble is, beyond the windows is a landscape of concrete buildings, workshops and general conditions of surrounding that are still under development — not quite the breathtaking views I’d imagined. Instead of the usual brightly lit pictures of the boardroom, I chose and waited for direct light at sunset to pierce through the blinds casting light rays and shadows for a dramatic finish.

Boardroom_2012Click on image to view larger version © Jan Shim Photography