After a successful one-year run, the Museum of International Folk Art’s exhibit “Sacred Realm: Blessings & Good Fortune Across Asia” closes on March 19.
To mark the conclusion of the exhibition, which explores ways in which people across Asia seek and secure blessings and good fortune, artist and writer Piers Watson presents a lecture about luted crucible casting, a low-tech method of casting done primarily in India and West Africa, and demonstrates how it’s done in the museum’s outdoor fire pit.
At the end of Watson’s presentation, paper flowers that were made by the public as altar offerings throughout the run of the exhibit, will be burned in the pit.
An exhibition that was close to four years in the making and incorporates information gathered from Islamic scholars, Jewish rabbis, Buddhist monks and distinguished academics and artists from New Mexico and around the country, “Sacred Realm” looks at various rituals and objects through which people engage with sacred ideas and concepts.
With only a few exceptions, all the pieces in the exhibit-amulets, scrolls, masks, paintings, musical instruments and metal sculptures among others-are from the Museum of International Folk Art’s (MIFA) vast collection of approximately 17,000 Asian folk art objects. iPad stations located throughout the exhibit offer additional information about the items on display.
“The exhibition is organized thematically, not geographically,” explains Felicia Katz-Harris, MIAF’s Curator of Asian, Middle Eastern and Oceanic Folk Art. “Asia is an incredibly vast and diverse place. All the major religions, as well as local and tribal religions throughout Asia, are represented. Even though there are diverse ways in which people engage with the sacred realm for blessings and good fortune, there are many similarities between them in form or function.”