Friday, April 26, 2013

Showcasing India’s rich artistic, philosophical and spiritual traditions

Two upcoming shows at the world’s most renowned and respected international institutions will bring to the fore rich artistic, philosophical and spiritual traditions of India. We give you a preview of the significant showcases:

‘From India East’
This will be a year-long exhibition presented and described by Rubin Museum of Art curators of the treasury of Asian works held by the Brooklyn Museum to let it present for the first time examples from far beyond the Himalayan region, including art from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, and Japan.

The Rubin Museum has made a careful selection of objects according to a concept that connects with its own collection: tracing back the origins of Buddhist and Hindu sculptural art in Asia to its roots, showing the stylistic evolution by both geographic distribution and time period. This means that the oldest examples of Indian art, be they Buddhist or Hindu in origin, have been chosen as various kinds of prototypes by which a more wide-spread evolution of Asian art can be identified.
‘Yoga: The Art of Transformation’
Through masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting, the show at Arthur M. Sackler Gallery courtesy Smithsonian’s Museum of Asian Art will explore yoga’s goals; its Hindu as well as Buddhist, Jain, and Sufi manifestations; its means of transforming body and consciousness; and its profound philosophical foundations. The first exhibition to present this leitmotif of Indian visual culture, it will also examine the roles yogis and yoginis played in Indian society over 2000 years. 
The presentation will include over 120 works dating from the third to the early 20th century. Temple sculptures, devotional icons, illustrated manuscripts, and court paintings—as well as colonial and early modern photographs, books, and films—illuminate yoga’s central tenets and its obscured histories. Highlights include an installation, reuniting for the first time three monumental stone yogini goddesses from a 10h-century Chola temple; ten folios from the first illustrated compilation of asanas (yogic postures), made for a Mughal emperor in 1602, never before exhibited together; and Thomas Edison’s ‘Hindoo Fakir’ (1906), the first movie ever produced about India.
The artworks loan for the ‘From India East’ has been made possible by the Brooklyn Museum’s temporary closing of its Asian art galleries. ‘Yoga: The Art of Transformation’ borrows extensively from more than twenty museums and prestigious private collections across India, Europe, and the US.

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