Wajihah Hamid travelled the road less travelled, following the footsteps of Marco Polo. For several months their paths must had intersected, albeit many years apart. Could Marco Polo have felt the same mysticism present in the ancient Silk Road cities? Did Wajihah tell the same stories Marco Polo told, to a disbelieving audience?
In the summer of 2007, Wajihah Hamid left the comforts of Singapore to volunteer with the Silk Road Foundation and Mongolian National Museum for an archaeology expedition in Takhilt, Khovd. There she experienced the nomadic lifestyle of the Mongols by living in a ger (tent) at the ancient crossroads of Takhilt. Upon completion of the expedition, she ventured overland across Mongolia. Her travels took her across the Gobi desert to China via the fabled Trans-Mongolian train where she began her Silk Road journey. After spending time in the ancient historic cities of China, she crossed over to Kazakhstan before finally reaching Uzbekistan, the mecca of the Silk Road
Wajihah’s journey through the Silk Road was the fulfilment of a childhood fantasy. The beautiful lakes and scenic parks dotting the landscape transformed her preconceived imagination of Mongolia and Central Asia as a terrain filled with arid deserts. She saw vast lands of greenery, picturesque mountains and even the sea amidst a celestial glow. The warmth nature of the people and their sense of contentment was a humbling experience.
Through this exhibition, Wajihah aims to show the exuberance of life and diverse landscape of the places she visited, and to share her experience of the ancient Silk Road. Wajihah also hopes to raise funds for the Mongolian NGO, Adolescents Development Centre. Do visit the exhibition to find out more.