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Beach Museum of Art immersive installation explores ancient art of India

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

Vishnu and Attendants

"Vishnu and Attendants," a 12th-century Hindu temple sculpture is featured in a three-screen animation in the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art's installation, "Transfigurations: Reanimating Ancient Art of India," opening Sept. 27 in the Ruth Ann Wefald Gallery. | Download this photo.



MANHATTAN — Visitors to Kansas State University's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art can explore ancient art of India through a captivating, immersive multimedia installation.

"Reanimating Ancient Art of India" from "Transfigurations: Reanimating the Past" by artist and experimental filmmaker David Lebrun opens Sept. 27 and runs through May 27, 2023, in the Beach Museum of Art's Ruth Ann Wefald Gallery. This installment is a companion to last year's "45 Paleolithic Handaxes."

Lebrun aligns and sequences high-resolution photographs of sculptures from Southern India. The featured sculptures include "Vishnu and Attendants" and "Shiva Nataraja," or "Dancing Shiva." By using intricate animation, Lebrun traces the development and interrelationship of artistic symbols and themes in ancient cultures. The experience is enhanced by music composed by Yuval Ron.

"Museums provide a place to travel through time and space to learn about others," said Kathrine Schlageck, associate curator of education. "This exhibition allows K-State students and faculty and the Manhattan community to visit ancient India. Lebrun's animations bring the ancient sculptures of Hindu deities Vishnu and Shiva to life, reminding us that our cultural roots are always alive."

Outside the gallery, an interactive exploration station offers the opportunity to learn more about the history and meaning of Vishnu and Shiva sculptures, the animations and the larger "Transfigurations" project.

Two events are planned related to the installation. "Diwali/Festival of Lights Celebration" will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the museum. Diwali is a major festival of India that symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. Visitors can explore the traditions of this holiday ,including making your own paper lanterns; Rangoli, or colorful sand patterns, demonstration; learning how to drape a saree; festival music performance; and special Diwali treats. The Diwali celebration is a collaboration with K-State's student organizations SPICMACAY, or Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth, and the K-State Indian Students Association. This event is part of the museum's Art in Motion annual program series and is free and open to the public.

A livestream conversation with the artist and composer, "Let's Talk Art: David Lebrun and Yuval Ron," will be at noon Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. The Zoom registration link will be available on the museum's website closer to the event.

The Beach Museum of Art, 701 Beach Lane, is on the southeast corner of the K-State campus. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Free parking is available adjacent to the building. To catch a livestream event or view exhibitions online, go to beach.k-state.edu, or watch videos of the museum's special programs and events on its YouTube channel, beach.k-state.edu/videos. For calendar of events in the Art in Motion annual program series visit beach.k-state.edu/calendar.


Beach Museum of Art


Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art


Download the following photo.

A single screen animation of "Shiva Nataraja," or "Dancing Shiva," a 10th -or 11th-century bronze sculpture from Tamil Nadu, India, is part of the immersive video installation, "Transfigurations: Reanimating Ancient Art of India."