Thursday, February 23
1:00–3:00 p.m. PT
Speaker: Forrest McGill, Wattis Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Asian Art Museum (San Francisco)
The lecture focused on the major exhibition Beyond Bollywood: Dance in the Arts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayan Region opening in late March at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
Learn about the different meanings and ideas that dance has conveyed over the last two millennia in the Indian cultural sphere, where dance has played—and continues to play—an especially meaningful part in religion, mythology, courtly life, and ceremonies. Representing five possible answers to the question “What is dance accomplishing here?”, the included artworks are grouped into five sections: Destruction and Creation; Devotion; Subjugation; Glorification; and Celebration. The lecture addresses how each of these ideas has been embodied in artworks representing dance.
The lecture also shows how the elaborate exhibition design reflects the dynamic and emotionally engaging nature of dance itself. The exhibition space of each section includes an evocative environment in which visitors are invited to experience an immersive journey of sensation. Whether the mood is reverent, awed, or celebratory, each section elicits a unique response.
Forrest McGill, Wattis Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, has worked at the Asian Art Museum for more than twenty years. Previously he was a museum administrator and a teacher, curator, researcher, and writer in Asian art. Major exhibitions he organized or co-organized include The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe (2016); Gorgeous, a joint project with SFMOMA (2014); Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma, 1775–1950 (2009), A Curious Affair: The Fascination between East and West (2006), and The Kingdom of Siam: The Arts of Central Thailand, 1350-1800 (2005). He edited or co-edited the catalogs for all these exhibitions.
For the last several years McGill has been co-organizing with the Cincinnati Art Museum the major exhibition Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in the Arts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayan Region, which will be at the Asian Art Museum March 31-July 10, 2023. The 272-page associated publication appeared in fall 2022.
Please note, this session will be conducted virtually via Zoom.
Please save your spot by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link via confirmation email with instructions once you secure your place. Space is limited.
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Sponsored by the Asian Arts Council.
Featured: Dancing Hevajra surrounded by dancing yoginis (detail), Northeastern Thailand; former kingdom of Angkor, ca. 1050–1100. Bronze. Cleveland Museum of Art, gift of Maxeen and John Flower in honor of Dr. Stanislaw Czuma, 2011.143.