During the excitement of March Break, the Friends of South Asia (FSA) hosted a tour of ROM’s temporary exhibit Embellished Reality: Indian Painting Photographs, on view in the H. H. Levy Gallery, Level 1, until June 17, 2012. ROM Curator Dr. Deepali Dewan led the tour of the 70+ objects on view, exploring different perspectives on this intriguing and visually stunning example of South Asian visual culture dating from the 1860s to the present day. She explained that the application of paint on the photographic image, while seemingly surprising to us in the 21st century, was a common practice in the early part of photography’s 150-year history. What is unique to India is the continuation of this practice after the invention of colour photography, particularly for matrimonial and memorial portraiture. This points to other, uniquely South Asian reasons that artists may have engaged in this practice as well.
In attendance were about 50 people consisting of FSA members and their guests, FSA volunteer committee, lenders to the exhibit, academics from the American Council of Southern Asian Art, and graduate students from the University of Toronto. The tour of the exhibit was followed by a wine reception where guests mingled with Dr. Dewan and other FSA committee volunteers. The event is representative of the many tours, receptions, musical performances, and various other programs organized each year by the Friends of South Asia.
NEXT EVENT! Join the FSA for their next event: a lecture by UK-based contemporary artists “The Singh Twins” on May 19, 2012, free for ROM Members and visitors with general admission. The artists will discuss their painting Sikhs in Canada, a special and not-yet-unveiled painting on the history of the Sikh Diaspora in Canada commissioned by the ROM for its South Asian collection. Become an FSA Member to enjoy privileged access to a post-lecture reception with the Twins, among other exclusive events at the ROM!