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Borrowed Fire: The Shadow Puppets of Kerala: A film by Anurag Wadehra & Salil Singh

Date:     Thursday, January - 21, 2010
Time:    6:30 p.m.
Location:   Stanford University, Cummings Art Building, Lower Level, Room 4

Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco invite you to a special SACHI annual event:

Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University and SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India present:

Borrowed Fire: The Shadow Puppets of Kerala
A film by Anurag Wadehra & Salil Singh

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m.
Stanford University, Cummings Art Building,
Lower Level, Room 4
Free to the public
Film running time: 48 minutes

On the southwestern coast of India an extraordinary performing art has evolved over many centuries. It is known as Tolpava Koothu – “the Play of Leather Shadows”. Performed in special outdoor theatres facing temples of the goddess Bhadrakali, it enacts the story of the Ramayana, a sacred Hindu epic.

Borrowed Fire documentary, set in South India, exquisitely captures this tradition on film. The struggle of the last surviving scholar and master-puppeteer to practice and preserve an ancient performing art provides a rare and poignant glimpse of a flame on the verge of extinction. Q & A with filmmakers Anurag Wadehra & Salil Singh follows the film screening. For more information about this documentary and the filmmakers, visit www.kathanjali.com.

For inquiries call 650.918.6335 or email info@sachi.org
For directions go to campus map. For directions call 408.971.0323. Free Sunday street parking

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Colors of Punjab: Phulkari Embroideries of North Indiaby Shivi Singh

Date:     Sunday, December - 13, 2009
Time:    2:00 p.m
Location:   San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles 520 South First Street, San Jose, Ca. 95113

SACHI, Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India
and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles present:

Colors of Punjab:
Phulkari Embroideries of North India

by Shivi Singh

Sunday, Dec. 13, 2:00 p.m.
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
520 South First Street, San Jose, Ca. 95113

Free after museum admission
Reservations suggested at 408.971.0323, ext. 14

Phulkari (flower embroidery) is a craft unique to the Punjab that has been popular since the 15th century. Pieces of cotton or silk fabric are embroidered with elaborate baghs (gardens), formed by intricate geometric patterns in bright contrasting colors. To this day these beautifully designed phulkaris are worn during marriages and festivals, and are passed down from mothers to daughters as part of marriage dowries.

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Reincarnation: The Crazy Collage Aesthetic of India and Japan, November 17, 2009-February 7, 2010 at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, www.sjquiltmuseum.org.

Shivi Singh, MA, Art History, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India, is a recognized scholar for her writing and research on Rajasthani art and craft work. She lives in the Bay Area and lectures on the art and culture of India. She is an active member of SACHI. For directions call 408-971-0323. Free Sunday street parking

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Hybrid Lotuses: The Flowering of Indian-Related Culture in Siam and Burma

Date:     Sunday, November - 08, 2009
Time:    2:15 pm
Location:   Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, Ca. 94102

Hybrid Lotuses: The Flowering of Indian-Related Culture in Siam and Burma
by Dr. Forrest McGill
Chief Curator and Wattis Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Sunday, November 8, 2009, 2:15 p.m.
Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, Ca. 94102

Free after museum admission
Light refreshments

More than a thousand years ago Southeast Asian kingdoms adapted aspects of Indian classical culture, from the great religious traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism to mythology, astronomy, and royal ceremonial. In nineteenth-century Siam and Burma, the focus of the Asian Art Museum’s current exhibition, many of these traditions continued to thrive, though often in forms that would not be immediately recognizable from the Indian point of view. The epic of Rama was one of the most important subjects in dance-drama, the puppet theater, painting, and sculpture and the Pali and Sanskrit languages continued to be studied by monks and scholars. The talk will explore some of these Indic connections, as they can be seen in the artworks in the museum’s exhibition.

Enjoy a free 12 noon public tour of the exhibition
Free Sunday street parking

SACHI and the Asian Art Museum extend special thanks to Willis Deming and Lata Krishnan & Ajay Shah for generously sponsoring this event. This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma, 1775-1950, October 23, 2009-January 10, 2010 at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.

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SACHI and the Society for Asian Art invite you to a special viewing of a private textile collection

Date:     Saturday, September - 12, 2009
Time:    10:30 am-12:30 pm
Location:   1330 University Ave, Palo Alto
(between Chaucer and Lincoln)

Saturday, September 12, 2009
10:30 am-12:30 pm

1330 University Ave, Palo Alto
(between Chaucer and Lincoln)

FREE ADMISSION
SPACE IS LIMITED, PLEASE REGISTER EARLY

Our host can only accommodate 24 invitees, 12 from each sponsoring group. Please sign up at your earliest convenience. SACHI members please call Anna Spudich at 650.941.4268 by August 15th or email info@sachi.org

Society For Asian Art Upper Level members only, please call the SAA office at 415.581.3701 or email saa@asianart.org

About the Collection: Harry Greenberg, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, has been collecting textiles for 30 years. He started with traditional oriental rugs (both village and tribal), but over the years has put together an eclectic group of several separate collections. His collection includes Andean textiles (both pre-Colombian and post-conquest), woven baskets from many cultures, African textiles, central Asian carpets and textiles, Indian Chintz and other Indian textiles. His primary objective throughout his collecting has been to identify objects that are both beautiful and uncommon.

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Water and Reflection

Date:     Tuesday, September - 01, 2009
Time:     6:00 p.m.
Location:  
Home of Margy Boyd
2619 Baker Street
San Francisco, 94123

SACHI, The Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India
is pleased to invite you to an evening of conversation and slides with San Francisco editor and writer, Zahid Sardar.

Water and Reflection
Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 6:00 p.m.
Home of Margy Boyd
2619 Baker Street
San Francisco, 94123

Water, central to the Indian cosmos and society, is reflected in Indian art and architecture as well as gardens. Zahid Sardar author of New Garden Design and other design books, and a journalist in San Francisco for over two decades, traveled recently to historic gardens in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Udaipur, as well as to the fascinating 1960s rock garden by Nek Chand in Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh. With slides and images, Zahid Sardar will discuss the cosmic and social ideas that underpin many of these beautiful spaces and how the concepts that shaped Indian paradise gardens have also influenced modern landscapes in the West.

Please join us for light refreshments and a book signing with the author on his recent publication, New Garden Design. Zahid Sardar is a San Francisco editor and writer who specializes in interiors, architecture and design. He is the author of New Garden Design and San Francisco Modern. He has also written the text of Textiles Arts of India and his articles about design have appeared in Metropolis, Architecture, Interior Design, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Western Interiors & Design and Landscape Architecture magazines. He was the architecture and design editor of the San Francisco Examiner magazine and has been design editor at the San Francisco Chronicle for a decade.

Rsvp required, Tel. 650.918.6335 or email info@sachi.org
Free Admission; Limited Seating

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An afternoon with Mrs. Asha Sharma author of An American in Gandhi’s India, The Biography of Satyanand Stokes

Date:     Sunday, August - 09, 2009
Time:    4-7 p.m.
Location:   Home of Gita & Ashok Vaish
88 Sunnyside Lane
Orinda, CA 94563

An afternoon with Mrs. Asha Sharma
author of An American in Gandhi’s India,
The Biography of Satyanand Stokes

Sunday August 9, 2009, 4-7 p.m.
Home of Gita & Ashok Vaish
88 Sunnyside Lane
Orinda, CA 94563

Mrs. Sharma will discuss her book which is a fascinating biography of her grandfather Satyanand Stokes, who went to India in 1904 at the age of 21 to work in a leper home. He eventually settled in the Simla Hills and had a tremendous impact on the lives of the local hill people. He introduced the American Delicious variety of apple to India, which resulted in many social and economic changes. On the national level Stokes actively participated in India’s freedom struggle and is remembered today as the only American who went to jail for India’s cause. Asha Sharma is the granddaughter of Satyanand Stokes and a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism. She has also been a fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research in New Delhi and a Research Associate at the University of California at Berkeley.

Space is limited and reservations are required.
For reservations call 650.918.6335. Carpools strongly encouraged

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Creating an Ethnic Statement by textile design artist Bina Rao

Date:     Sunday, June - 21, 2009
Time:    2:00 p.m
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Tel. 650.329.2366

The Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI), and The Palo Alto Art Center are pleased to present an illustrated talk: Creating an Ethnic Statement by textile design artist Bina Rao

Sunday, June 21, 2:00 p.m.
Palo Alto Art Center
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Tel. 650.329.2366
Free Admission and Open To The Public

Textile scholar and design artist Bina Rao merges contemporary design trends with traditional weaving and printing techniques using handspun yarn and natural dyes. As advisor to a number of state and central government agencies in India, Ministry of Textiles, and the World Crafts Council, Bina Rao is dedicated to the healthy growth of handlooms and handicrafts in India and Southeast Asia.

The survival of craft traditions is at a crossroad. Can natural yarns, colors, and going ethnic help to revitalize the rapidly disappearing craft legacy and its adverse impact on rural artisans? Hear Bina Rao discuss the revival of traditional techniques for creating unique design products, involving training clusters of rural weavers, and linking them to the Hyderabad based design studio, Creative Bee, begun with her husband Kesav Rao, a master dyer and accomplished artist. A sampling of designer fabrics will be available for sale.
Bina Rao received her MFA in Painting from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, and studied Textile Design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. She has been invited to lead workshops, teaching assignments, and lecture and design development projects in Australia, USA, Thailand, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.

Kabir Festival at Stanford

Date:     Friday, May - 08, 2009
Time:     4-6 p.m
Location:   Bldg 200, room 203

Four films and a concert open the worlds of a great poet of fifteenth-century North India, Kabir, and his living presence in South Asian music, religion, and society today. A provocative and challenging figure who can’t be pinned down by any religious label, Kabir is admired by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, secularists, and atheists, as well as by followers of the Kabir sect who claim him as a God. A profound mystic to some, a biting social critic to others, a Dalit hero to others, Kabir is all of these things and more. His presence today can be sought in multiple social locations and in vibrantly diverse forms of music.

Four new documentary films by Shabnam Virmani will be screened. The films highlight folk and classical musicians who sing and reflect on the poetry of Kabir; the films also tell stories, revealing issues that arise around Kabir’s presence in a variety of social, religious, and political contexts in India and Pakistan. The culmination of the festival will be the arrival of the filmmaker and of renowned Kabir folksinger Prahlad Singh Tipanya with his musical group on May 8, when we will screen the fourth film, followed by Q&A with the director, a dinner, and a live concert.

CO-SPONSOR: Society for Art and Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI)

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: Descriptions of the films can be found at www.kabirproject.org. For further info, contact Prof. Linda Hess, lionda@stanford.edu

Thurs., Feb. 12, 7 p.m., film in Bldg 300, room 300
Had-Anhad—“Bound-Unbound”: Journeys with Ram and Kabir (105 min.)

Mon., Feb 23, 7 p.m., film in Bldg 200, room 205
Koi sunta hai: “Someone is Listening”—Journeys with Kumar and Kabir (96 min.)

Mon., Apr 20, 7 p.m., film in Bldg 200, room 203
Chalo Hamara des: “Come to my country”—Journeys with Kabir and friends (97 min.)

Friday, May 8 4-6 p.m., location TBA
Kabira khada bazaar mein: “In the market stands Kabir”—Journeys with Sacred and Secular Kabir (94 min.), followed by Q&A with the director and singer Prahlad Tipanya, who is featured in the film

6:30-7:30 Outdoor dinner (reservations required, modest charge to cover costs)

7:30-9:30, Concert in Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building Prahlad Singh Tipanya, renowned folksinger of Malwa, Madhya Pradesh, with fellow musicians Ambaram Tipanya, Ajay Tipanya, Vijay Tipanya, and Devnarayan Saroliya

Program at UC Berkeley

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009, 5 pm – Film Screening – 10 Stephens Hall
Had-Anhad—”Bound-Unbound”: Journeys with Ram and Kabir (105 min.) Discussant: Vasudha Paramasivan (UC Berkeley)

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009, 5 pm – Film Screening – 10 Stephens Hall
Koi Sunta Hai: “Someone is Listening”—Journeys with Kumar and Kabir (96 min.) Discussant: Linda Hess (Stanford University)

Thursday, Mar 19, 2009, 5 pm – Film Screening – 10 Stephens Hall
Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein: “In the market stands Kabir”—Journeys with Sacred and Secular Kabir (94 min.) Discussant: Vasudha Dalmia (UC Berkeley)

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009, 5 pm – Film Screening – 10 Stephens Hall
Chalo Hamara Des: “Come to my country”—Journeys with Kabir and friends (97 min.) Discussant: Shabnam Virmani (Director)

Friday, May 1, 2009, 6 pm – Music Concert – Stephens Hall Terrace Prahlad Singh Tipanya and Party

PRAHLAD SINGH TIPANYA lives in Lunyakhedi village in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, near the cities of Dewas and Ujjain. A rural schoolteacher, he began singing in the late 1970s after being attracted by the sound of the folk tambura. His rare talent, passion, and insight have caused him to be increasingly recognized as a remarkable exponent of Kabir’s music and meanings. Among many other honors, he received the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2008. (Sangeet Natak, India’s national academy of music, dance, and drama, gives eight annual awards to musicians, only one of which is reserved for a non-classical performer.) Tipanyaji is one of the main artists featured in Shabnam Virmani’s films. A grant for the musicians’ international travel has been generously provided by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Award-winning filmmaker SHABNAM VIRMANI has spent the last six years producing four feature-length documentaries on living Kabir culture, focusing on music and musicians, all embedded in various social, political and religious contexts. Along with these films she has produced ten remarkable audio CDs and a set of beautiful books to accompany CDs and DVDs. This work has been generously supported by Ford Foundation and by Srishti College of Art, Design, and Technology in Bengaluru, where Shabnam is artist-in-residence. Two of these films were recently broadcast on NDTV-Delhi. Had-Anhad: “Bound Unbound” was one of two films selected to share first prize at the recent One Billion Eyes Film Festival in Chennai. For descriptions of the films and other creations, please visit www.kabirproject.org.

Stanford faculty member LINDA HESS has been translating and writing on Kabir for many years and has worked closely with Prahlad Tipanya and Shabnam Virmani since 2002. She is author, with Shukdeo Singh, of The Bijak of Kabir (Oxford University Press, 2002). Her book Singing Emptiness: Kumar Gandharva Performs the Poetry of Kabir is forthcoming from Seagull Books (http://www.seagullindia.com/books/forthenactment.asp), and a book on Kabir oral traditions in rural Madhya Pradesh is in progress. Prof. Hess will introduce these events.

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An afternoon of conversation and food with Niloufer Ichaporia King, anthropologist and award-winning author of My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking

Date:     Sunday, May - 03, 2009
Time:    4:00-7:00 pm
Location:   Home of Zarine & Neville Batliwalla 70 Tobin Clark Drive Hillsborough, CA 94010

Join SACHI in an afternoon of conversation and food with Niloufer Ichaporia King, anthropologist and award-winning author of My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking.

Sunday, May 3, 4:00-7:00 pm
Home of Zarine & Neville Batliwalla
70 Tobin Clark Drive
Hillsborough, CA 94010

In the relaxed setting of a private house on a Sunday afternoon, fellow Bombay-ite and SACHI friend, Kamini Ramani, chats with Niloufer about the historical and cultural background of Parsi cuisine and the stories behind her engaging book. Before we eat, drink and resume conversation, Niloufer will introduce the dishes to be served and talk about their role in both Bombay’s gleefully ecumenical food scene and the Parsi kitchen.

Anthropologist, scholar, teacher and cook, Niloufer Ichaporia King studies tropical cuisines, plants for food and medicine, and food as an expression of both cultural change and stability. Born in Bombay, now Mumbai, Niloufer King has lived in the Bay Area for over thirty years. In the course of studying Design and Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, she developed an exhibition, Sons of Vishvakarma: The Artisans of India for the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. She also compiled two collections which included rapidly disappearing ethnographic material from Hong Kong and from her own Parsi community.

My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking (University of California Press, 2007) chronicles the food of one Parsi family spanning three generations and two continents.

Kamini Ramani is a once-and-forever Bombayite who has sampled Parsi treats at the homes of her legendary professors at Elphinstone College. She is delighted to help SACHI provide Bay Area food enthusiasts a peek into a unique woman and a unique cuisine.

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Palaces of British India: Madras, Calcutta, Bombay, the Hill Stations & New Delhi

Date:     Sunday, March - 29, 2009
Time:    4:00-6:00 pm
Location:   Home of Bipin & Rekha Shah 91 Mount Vernon Lane, Atherton, CA 94027

Palaces of British India:
Madras, Calcutta, Bombay, the Hill Stations & New Delhi

An Illustrated Talk by distinguished architectural historian Robert Grant Irving

Sunday, March 29, 4:00-6:00 pm
Home of Bipin & Rekha Shah
91 Mount Vernon Lane, Atherton, CA 94027
Refreshments will be served; free admission

Political purpose and architectural splendor were closely allied in the palaces built for British-ruled India. Illustrations for this lecture will depict edifices in seventeenth and eighteenth century Madras and Calcutta, second city of the British Empire, and the “City of Palaces”; the High Victorian leviathans of Bombay; the remarkable Viceregal hillstation of Simla, celebrated by Kipling’s Tales from the Hills; and the swan song of imperial architecture, the impressive capital of New Delhi, created by renowned architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker.

ROBERT GRANT IRVING was educated at Balliol College, Oxford; King’s College, Cambridge; and Yale University. A Fellow of Berkeley College at Yale, he has taught at Yale, Wesleyan, Trinity College, and the University of Virginia. Dr. Irving has lectured worldwide, and has held research grants in India, Africa, Britain, and the United States, including a Fulbright Scholarship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. His book, Indian Summer, on the creation of New Delhi, won the British Council Prize as well as the highest honor of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award.

Special thanks to Rekha & Bipin Shah, Arvind Iyer, Helen & Raj Desai, and Michio Yamaguchi.