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Image of the Week: Medicine and Healing in India

12 Feb, 2016

L0032173 Ascetics preparing and smoking opium outside a rural dwellin

Our image of the week is taken from Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India just one of the exhibitions featuring as part of Wellcome Collection’s yearlong multi-city art project, Medicine Corner.

The centrepiece of the Medicine Corner initiative, Tabiyat is currently on display at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) in Mumbai and explores India’s long and rich history, as well as the modern practices, of sustaining human health.

A huge array of exhibits, ranging from sculptures to manuscripts and medical instruments to board games (including snakes and ladders, which has roots in India), take visitors on a journey through medicine and healing.

Magnificent Indian works from the UK, including many from our very own Wellcome Library, are displayed in their country of origin for the first time, alongside exhibits from CSMVS and private collections across India. Specially commissioned modern vernacular artwork also features in the exhibition that expertly connects art, history, science and culture.

This particular painting, which has proven to be very popular, features ascetics preparing and smoking opium which has long been used in India as narcotics, but also for pain relief. The Indian tradition of ascetics wandering the countryside seeking explanations of human suffering may have formed the historical origins of Ayurveda, India’s most ancient and well-known form of indigenous medicine that is still practiced today.

Launched in January 2016, Medicine Corner is a series of major exhibitions and events across India that seeks to explore the country’s rich culture of medicine, healing and well-being. Alongside Tabiyat, Jeevanchakra exhibition at the Akar Prakar Gallery in Kolkata poetically examines the life cycle of the human body, and the British Council in Delhi will play host to a workshop and performance by BLOT!, an award winning Delhi-based music performance duo.

Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India is exhibited at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai until 28 March 2016. For more information about Medicine Corner, please visit the Wellcome Collection website.

Picture credit: Ascetics preparing and smoking opium outside a rural dwelling in India. Gouache painting by a follower of Chokha, ca. 1810. Wellcome Library, London

One Comment leave one →
  1. 18 Mar, 2016 12:52 pm

    Hiiii
    your Article is so nice.

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