Kailash Cartographies


March 13, 2017 - April 2, 2017

Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries

Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 15, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Kailash Cartographies is an exhibition of artists from India, China, Nepal, and the US exploring conceptions of sacred geography, particularly in the Himalayas.  Devotees encounter the sacred through ritual, art, and acts of pilgrimage and circumambulation of mountains and temples.  The artists in the exhibition pose questions about the nature of both the sacred and the secular by drawing on the points of connection with landscapes and lived worlds. The photographs, videos, works on paper, and installations, deploy cartographic modes that are both personal and political.

The title of the exhibition refers to Mount Kailash, the symbolic center of the Buddhist and Bön cosmos and the seat of Shiva for Hindus. Although associated with a multiplicity of geographical sites and religious representations, its earthly manifestation is most often located in Tibet. “It is the simultaneously singular and plural aspect of this sacred geography that caught our imagination,” said Sreshta Rit Premnath, curator of the exhibition and participating artist. “Every gesture within such a geography is both specifically located yet can be powerfully invoked elsewhere.”

The exhibition emerges from a three-year research project of The New School’s India China Institute focused on Sacred Landscapes and Sustainable Futures in the Himalayas.  In conjunction with this endeavor, a group of artists initiated creative explorations during 2015-2016.  Many of the works in this exhibition were the direct result of a creative workshop convened in Kathmandu in March 2016.

Featured artists include: Atul Bhalla, Kevin Bubriski, Vibha Galhotra, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Ashmina Ranjit, Nitin Sawhney, Radhika Subramaniam, Charwei Tsai & Tsering Tashi Gyalthang, Zheng Bo & Jiang Chao, and Qiu Zhijie.

Presented by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center and
The India China Institute.

Opening reception:
March 15, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries

Artist Talk: Bo Zheng with Steven Lam
March 15, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, 66 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003

Bo Zheng (born in Beijing, 1974; lives and works in Hong Kong) is an artist, writer, and teacher, committed to socially and ecologically engaged art. He investigates the past and imagines the future from the perspectives of marginalized communities and marginalized plants. He has worked with a number of museums and art spaces in Asia and Europe, most recently Cass Sculpture Foundation (Chichester, UK), TheCube Project Space (Taipei), and Villa Vassilieff (Paris).
He will be joined in conversation with Steven Lam, independent curator and Director of the School of Art and Design, SUNY Purchase. This talk is part of the AMT Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

Closing event:

Sacred Landscapes Talk
March 30, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, 66 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003

Come listen as New School faculty and ICI staff share stories about their fieldwork in India, Nepal and Tibet as part of a three-year Sacred Himalaya Initiative focused on religion, ecology and culture in the Himalayas. Several faculty involved with ICI will talk about their experiences traveling in these sacred landscapes and how this work has influenced their own artistic and academic practices as well as their teaching. A photo presentation highlighting some of the key areas from the field research will be featured.

Drinks and refreshments will be served. Presented by the India China Institute.

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