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Ayurvedic Man: Encounters with Indian Medicine

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Photograph of visitors exploring the exhibition, Ayurvedic Man: Encounters with Indian medicine at Wellcome Collection.
Ayurvedic Man: Encounters with Indian medicine exhibition, Michael Bowles. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Thought-provoking and visually gorgeous

The Times

Taking its name from an 18th-century Nepali painting, this exhibition showcased material from Wellcome’s historical collections: Sanskrit, Persian and Tibetan manuscripts, vibrant gouache paintings, erotic manuals and animal-shaped surgical tools.

Ayurveda or ‘the knowledge of long life’ is a centuries-old but ever-evolving set of medical practices from South Asia, which continues today to be transformed by biomedical and cultural exchanges. But critical questions remain: who owns medical heritage, and what is the contemporary relevance of collections built from colonial encounters?

Featuring new commissions from artist Ranjit Kandalgaonkar and filmmaker Nilanjan Bhattacharya, ‘Ayurvedic Man’ invited visitors to explore and question our collections.