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Faith to get an unconventional face

Faith to get an unconventional face
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Within an area of 6,500 square feet the exhibition will display 300-odd pieces from ancient to contemporary times.

The show delves into concepts such as birth, death, rebirth, heroism, asceticism, divinity, rapture and possession of the body, curated by the young art historian Naman P Ahuja and has the longest ever list of exhibitors at an Indian show of its kind.

The exhibition has items ranging from mythological characters to historical heroes to even new-era politicians. The event will also feature manuscripts, textiles, jewellery and similar articles of day-to-day use.

This never-seen artwork exhibition will be inaugurated by Culture Secretary Ravindra Singh in the presence of ICCR Director General Satish Mehta.

After a research of 18 months, Dr Ahuja and his small team have ensured that the show reflects the ethos of a broad prism of geography. The Body in Indian Art will thus have objects spanning from the Northeast to Rajasthan and from Kerala to the Malwa Plateau to the Himalayas.

Dr Ahuja notes that , ‘Beliefs and rituals are of no minor relevance when it comes to fundamental ways of thinking about the body.’

As for religions, the exhibits are from Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Christianity, while the images range right from the revered gods to the common man.

Besides the still visuals, the show also has video installations and music props for certain display pieces.

Overall, the exhibition has its eight galleries exploring how Indian civilisation has contemplated death, beyond the body (Nirguna, Arupa, Nirakara), birth and rebirth, the place of astrology and cosmology that Indians have given importance in determining the fortunes of the body, the nature of divine bodies, heroism, asceticism (including practices like healing and yoga), and the body in rapture. Head over!

When: 14 March - 7 June
Where: National Museum
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