About the Medicine Corner:
Medicine Corner is a project that explores India’s rich plurality of cultures in medicine, healing and well-being through a series of cultural activities that include electronic music, live events and exhibitions.
The centrepiece of this programme is a major exhibition titled "Tabiyat" that explores the history of medicinal practice in India through the ages at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai, in early 2016.
About "Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India": an exhibition of historical approaches to medicine in India at CSMVS, Mumbai
Through an array of antiquities and contemporary material culture, the exhibition (12 Jan - 28 March, 2016) explores the history and modern practice of sustaining health in India. The exhibition spans four locations: The Shrine – to encounter the role of spiritual belief in healing; The Home – examining lifecycle and the family as the key transmitter of values and practical knowledge for living well and living long; The Street – charting public health, the hidden histories of health commerce and cultural practices such as chewing paan; and The Clinic – treating India as a key site in world history for enquiry into the nature of body for different analytical models of treating the body.
The exhibits include: sculptures, clothing, textiles, decorative wrestling clubs, manuscripts, intimate personal items such as combs and foot scrubbers, medical instruments, domestic utensils, oil paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, plaques and board games (including a snakes and ladders board from late 18th century - the game has Indian roots).
About Jeevanchakra: modern influences to interpret Indian medicine- at the Akar Prakar Gallery, Kolkata
This exhibition (18 Jan - 15 Feb, 2016) looks at the work of contemporary Indian artists between the period of 1990 to 2015 to interpret Indian medicinal practices. It consists of photographs, video, paintings and multi-media installations. A set of exquisite silver gelatine prints by photographer Gauri Gill shows the key, intimate moments as a child is born on the sandy floor of a desert home in remote rural Rajasthan.
The child is born at the hands of a dai, a traditional midwife. One of these photographs, showing the moment the umbilical cord is severed, is exhibited at majestic scale at Tabiyat in Mumbai, both to resonate with the sequence shown in Kolkata and as a work in its own right, highlighting the role of the dai in Indian civilisation.
Trick or Treat by BLOT!: British Council, New Delhi
A day-long event will kick off with a series of sessions and workshops that look at inviting medical practitioners, scientists and researchers to discuss key findings about the future state of healthcare in India.
The workshops will culminate in a multimedia musical evening with BLOT! and other artists. Two media installations will be presented, which have been created using documentation from the project.
Each installation features audiovisual art presented within a unique artefact inspired by the context of research.
About the Welcome Trust Collection
Wellcome Collection is the free visitor destination for the incurably curious. Located in central London, it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. The newly expanded venue offers visitors contemporary and historic exhibitions and collections, lively public events, the world-renowned Wellcome Library, a café, a shop, a restaurant and conference facilities as well as publications, tours, a book prize, international and digital projects. Wellcome Collection is part of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health.
They provide more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
The CSMVS in Mumbai
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, is one of the premier art and history museums in India. The building is listed as a Grade I heritage building and was awarded the '2010 UNESCO Asia – Pacific Heritage Award' for Cultural Heritage Conservation. It has also been awarded first place for Heritage Building Maintenance by the Indian Heritage Society.
The aim of CSMVS is to create awareness and sensitivity towards our rich heritage through a visitor-friendly museum for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment of the public. CSMVS is a dynamic institution, buzzing with cultural activities, rotating exhibits, outreach and educational programmes. It is actively engaged in collaboration with international museums and cultural organisations.
Akar Prakar Gallery in Kolkata
Reena and Abhijit Lath have supported fledgling and more established artists alike through their Kolkata based Akar Prakar Gallery for 10 years. Their shows cross a variety of mediums and aim to give their audience a varied programme throughout the year whilst striving to make a difference in the artistic community through their many shows with museums and institutions but also through their catalogues, art journals and books on important artists.
As the gallery celebrates its 10th year, it now also has a presence in New Delhi via an art advisory. The dual intent of the advisory is to bring a new focus on contemporary artists from all over the country, while simultaneously expanding viewership for the existing artists.
The evolution of Medicine Corner through 2015:
Medicine Corner was first previewed in New Delhi at the UnBox 2014, the British Council supported design and innovation festival, with a performance based on specially shot documentary footage from Avinash Kumar and Gaurav Malaker. Avinash and Gaurav together are India’s leading audiovisual collective, BLOT! The programme launched in Chennai in January 2015 with a BLOT! pop-up exhibition and new video montage for dance sets in festivals and clubs.
In 2015, their multi-media project for Medicine Corner will see them take an inter-disciplinary journey through research, participation, collaborations and engagement with communities of users and providers of informal medicine leading to a showcase of performances, discussions and displays at UnBox 2015 in December.
Over the course of the year, incurably curious audiences in India will, like those at Wellcome Collection in London, encounter an aesthetically seductive, intellectually rich mix of art, science and the extraordinary in everyday life. The programme culminates with a major exhibition in Mumbai at the CSMVS museum which opens in January 2016.