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
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.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
10:30 am-12:30 pm
1330 University Ave, Palo Alto
(between Chaucer and Lincoln)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Society For Asian Art Upper Level members only, please call the SAA office at 415.581.3701 or email email@example.com
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Admission; Limited Seating
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
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan
A Conversation with Curator Emeritus Terese Bartholomew
Sunday, March 15
11:00 am, Lecture
12:15 pm, Bhutan exhibition tour
Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
Free with museum admission
Space is limited and reservations are required
For reservations call 650.624.8888 or email email@example.com
Co-sponsored with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Providing a glimpse at the more than eight years of research, negotiation and preparation, curator emeritus Terese Bartholomew introduces the enigmatic kingdom of Bhutan and the objects on view in The Dragon’s Gift: the Sacred Arts of Bhutan.
The Dragon’s Gift is an unprecedented exhibition exploring the remote and mystical Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. On public display for the first time are sacred objects such as thangka paintings, sculptures and textiles, many of which are actively used in rituals and religious ceremonies. Making this exhibition unique, most of the pieces on display are from working temples and serve as consecrated objects of worship. Two monks from Bhutan accompany the exhibition, performing daily rituals and prayers, a required tradition for many of the sacred objects on display.
Humanities West presents
India Rising: Tradition Meets Modernity
February 27-28, 2009
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
India’s artists, in pace with their country’s rapid modernization, have adopted many contemporary techniques. Yet past traditions remain strong. Familiar themes and modern modes of expression interplay with fruitful creative tension. Abstract and surrealist artists incorporate images of legendary gods and heroes in their work, and musicians create exciting new sounds in collaboration with Western jazz and classical performers. Literature and cinema with rural village scenes compete with others featuring urban landscapes, Indian-American cultural fusion, and the seductive joys of Bollywood. The result: unique new delights for the eye, the ear, and the spirit.
In Partnership with the Center for South Asia Studies, University of California Berkeley and the Music Department, University of California Santa Cruz.
SACHI is a Cooperating Partner with Humanities West