The South Asia Collection

The South Asia Collection The South Asia Collection's objectives are to conserve a record of and to promote the arts, crafts a
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The SADACC Trust was established as a charity in 2010 (RCN 1137415). We are affiliated with the University of East Anglia through the Sainsbury Institute for Art. The Collection is housed in a restored Victorian roller skating rink in the centre of Norwich. Large architectural pieces are permanently displayed throughout the building. to display the diversity and range of the collection, a new exhibition is staged approximately every three months.

We had a brilliant time celebrating   ! It was lovely seeing so many people come through our doors and we hope you had a...
20/09/2023

We had a brilliant time celebrating ! It was lovely seeing so many people come through our doors and we hope you had a great experience, whether it was at one of our talks or wandering about taking it all in ✨

Here's some highlights from both our events. On the Wednesday our Curator Mansi S. Rao led an insightful walking tour, sharing stories, facts and more from one of our major research projects. On the Friday our Director Dr Philip Millward gave a fascinating talk about the colourful history of our grade II listed building, purpose built as a Victorian roller skating rink 🛼

Did you visit us during HODs? Let us know your highlights and if there are any events you'd like us to do in future - we'd love to hear from you! 💕

We're excited to be a part of   this year - England's largest festival of history and culture 🤩🩷 We have not one but two...
30/08/2023

We're excited to be a part of this year - England's largest festival of history and culture 🤩🩷 We have not one but two exciting talks and will be open as usual throughout with staff on hand to have a chat about our brilliant collection of international significance 🌏

If you haven't booked already - what are you doing! 😱 We only have a handful of spaces left for our talk with curator Mansi S. Rao about a new exhibition showcasing the everyday furniture of Northwest India. It's the result of a first-of-its-kind collaborative research project with Mansi being one of the principal researchers involved

Join her on a tour of our new exhibition that shares just a few of the stories the team uncovered and discover more about these often-overlooked crafts. This is not one you'll want to miss!

📍 Wednesday 13th September, 11am. More info via link in bio. Call or email to book

Happy   🐶Here are some furry friends from our collection to start your weekend off right! 🐕These clay dogs are handmade ...
26/08/2023

Happy 🐶Here are some furry friends from our collection to start your weekend off right! 🐕
These clay dogs are handmade by craft communities in southern India using locally available materials. Along with figures of other animals, domestic scenes, and dieties, clay figures like these are called golu dolls, golu gombe, or golu bommai. You can often see them in festivals like Navratri.
We love how much character they have. Which is your favourite? 🐶

On Muq’s last day of volunteering, she reflected on the collection objects that she has personal associations with:“Take...
10/08/2023

On Muq’s last day of volunteering, she reflected on the collection objects that she has personal associations with:

“Take note of the faded discolouration on the wooden prayer seat. The user's devotion is evident in the staining of the wood in areas where they would have knelt and prostrated five times a day for their daily prayers. Such low seats replace the mats and carpets found in most households. Used mostly by women, these cedar seats are stored upright once not in use.

It was a particularly hot summer's day in Khuiretta, Kashmir. I was staying over at my late Tayya Abu's house in a village called Thill. As I wandered around his house in search of a quiet, cool space I ended up discovering a similar prayer seat in one of the back rooms. It was elevated on top of a chest where it is used it to read namaz (prayer), away from the sun's glaring heat. Taking a closer look, I noticed that it was also discoloured from continuous use. It was evident that the prayer seat was cherished by my late uncle's family and had been an integral part of their daily practices for a long time.”

A low seat intended for praying on is made in a large rectangular shape with a pointed end called the Mihrab which is a reference from the shape of the prayer niche found in mosques and on prayer rugs. The worshippers orient the seat towards the Kabah during their daily prayers, ensuring that they are facing the correct direction.

The examples here are from the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Carved with intricate designs, styles, and colors that evoke the sanctity and beauty of the Islamic faith, they are often referred to as takhta-posh or paat depending on the language of the place. The inner area is always left uncarved so the devotee can pray on top of it and is enclosed by a decorative border with floral and geometric motifs connecting the mihrab.

Head to the South Asia Collection to learn more about how everyday objects are used in
South Asia.

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Image ID: image 1 shows the prayer seat stood up horizontally in a display case with other wooden items.
Image 2 shows a close up fo the top right corner of the prayer seat. You can see the elaborate details carved into the wood.

The Jumlo dress, traditionally worn by the Shin people of Kohistan is embellished with fine silk embroidery. The dress i...
15/07/2023

The Jumlo dress, traditionally worn by the Shin people of Kohistan is embellished with fine silk embroidery.

The dress is in a black fabric which consists of three main components: a bodice, long sleeves, and a full skirt with several triangular inserts called godets. Stitching adorns the bodice and sleeves as well as embroidery and intricate patterns. A particular feature of the dress is that it is covered with Pakistani coins dated from the 1950s. It gives the dress a substantial weight and produces a tinkling sound.

Kohistan is a mountainous region located in northwest Pakistan. Prior to their conversion to Islam the Shin community believed in the power of the natural world which can be seen via the motifs which are handstitched all over the Jumlo. An example of this can be seen on both the bodice and sleeves of the dress. Believed to symbolise the sun's power, sun discs are seen as life giving, and are depicted as circular shapes with rays emitted from their centre.

The abundance of jewellery and embellishments on day-to-day clothing was not merely a matter of aesthetics, but rather a strategic economic strategy in an uncertain and unpredictable environment, allowing the wearer to trade or sell goods.

This Jumlo is currently on display in the Permanent Collection Gallery at the South Asia Collection, Norwich.

11/01/2023
Dolls are hand made by craft communities using natural materials like wood, clay, textile, plant fibres and painted with...
03/10/2022

Dolls are hand made by craft communities using natural materials like wood, clay, textile, plant fibres and painted with natural dyes and colours. Many of these are made specifically for the festival.

The dolls in this display are examples from across India and date between late 19' century to late 20th century. There are a number of clay figures depicting people in various attires, and carrying out a range of activities which are made in Krishnanagar in West Bengal. The realistic features, use of textiles to depict the clothing, scenes from villages are some unique characteristics of these figures. The most common figures used in the festival are of deities, scenes from mythological narratives,
everyday life, and of animals. Commonly called kolu, bommal, such clay figures are made across craft clusters in Tamil Nadu. A variety of wooden animals crafted in Bassi, Rajasthan are also part of the display. The wooden
figures central to the display are the Marapachi bommai, or the Rattada gombe made from red sandalwood.

Images: The South Asia Collection Museum. From the exhibition, A festival of dolls.

Happy Navratri to all those celebrating! During this time, in southern India, especially Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and parts...
01/10/2022

Happy Navratri to all those celebrating! During this time, in southern India, especially Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh, families curate a display of dolls at home. Dolls that have been collected over generations. We have just set up our newest display which is an interpretation of this festival of dolls commonly called Golu or Kolu.

As we share the rest of our display over the period of the festival, we would love to see displays from those of you who are celebrating - please DM us pictures that you're happy for us to share

South Asia Collection Museum shared a post on Instagram: "Happy Navratri to all those celebrating! During this time, in southern India, especially Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh, families curate a display of dolls at home. Dolls that have been collected over generations. We have j...

Today marks Ganesha Chaturthi: a Hindu festival celebrating thebirth of Lord Ganesha, known as the remover of obstacles....
31/08/2022

Today marks Ganesha Chaturthi: a Hindu festival celebrating the
birth of Lord Ganesha, known as the remover of obstacles. We wish everyone celebrating, a Happy Ganesha Chaturthi!

Images:

1. A Madhubani painting, Ganesha, by 2014 national award winner artist Indu Devi, certified by Uttan Prasad Paswan, early 21st century.

2. A Molela plaque that depicts Ganesha seated cross-
legged with his vahana (vehicle), rat at his feet, early 21st century.

3. A Kalighat painting of Ganesha, early 21st century.

nearly a month into our latest exhibition and we’ve had amazing feedback! thank you 🙌🏽 Do keep visiting, sharing, and le...
06/07/2022

nearly a month into our latest exhibition and we’ve had amazing feedback! thank you 🙌🏽 Do keep visiting, sharing, and letting us know what you liked and what we can improve on ✨

‘A Different Idea of India: Two Sisters Painting South India 1801-1808' is a partnership with and , this exhibition showcases a series of watercolours by two sisters, Mary Symonds and Elizabeth Gwillim at the beginning of the 19th century. Their paintings offer a valuable insight into time, place, people, and experiences. On display: 11 June 3 December, everyday except Sundays and bank holidays 9.30-5

(Image Desciption: photo of the entry graphic to our exhibition with a glimpse of various sections.)

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brilliant interviews and speeches taking place at the launch 🎤🎥
04/07/2022

brilliant interviews and speeches taking place at the launch 🎤🎥

more scenes from the launch of The Festival of East Anglia & Punjab last Friday at our museum! Dancing, food, speeches a...
04/07/2022

more scenes from the launch of The Festival of East Anglia & Punjab last Friday at our museum! Dancing, food, speeches and more, find out more about the festival

04/07/2022
04/07/2022
earlier this month, we celebrated the launch of our exhibition ‘A Different Idea of India. Two Sisters Painting South In...
01/07/2022

earlier this month, we celebrated the launch of our exhibition ‘A Different Idea of India. Two Sisters Painting South India 1801-1808’. This exhibition explored the work of sisters Mary Symonds and Elizabeth Gwillim, their work offers a valuable insight into the place and people around them through their experiences.

on display: 11 June - 3 December, open everyday except Sundays and bank holidays 9.30-5 🙌🏽

(image description: two people looking at paintings on display on our exhibition special viewing)

Our new exhibition, ‘A Different Idea of India: Two Sisters Painting South India 1801-1808’ is open! 🎉A partnership with...
20/06/2022

Our new exhibition, ‘A Different Idea of India: Two Sisters Painting South India 1801-1808’ is open! 🎉
A partnership with , this exhibition showcases a series of watercolours by two sisters at the beginning of the 19th century. The watercolours offer a valuable insight into the world and people around them through their experiences.

On display: 11 June 3 December, everyday except Sundays and bank holidays 9.30-5 🔥

(Image Desciption: A blue graphic has a photo of a watercolour by Mary Symonds. In it, we see detailed river scene with lots of green foliage. Several people are talking and sitting on the bank to the right, a few people are standing in the water in the middle.
Text reads: A Different Ifea of India: Two Sisters Painting South India 1801-1808. A moment in time and place through the eyes of two sisters, far from home but close to the lands around them. 11 June - 3 Dec 2022. The South Asia Collection Museum Norwich. In the bottom right are three logos.)

06/06/2022

massive shout out to for installing our vinyls for our new exhibition opening 13th June! Stunning finish and a great team 😍🙌🏽

all coming together! keep your eyes peeled on this page as we as make the finishing touches on our new exhibition - who’...
14/05/2022

all coming together! keep your eyes peeled on this page as we as make the finishing touches on our new exhibition - who’s excited? 🔥🌸🌿

16/04/2022

chris wouldn’t let me use the framing gun 😪 anyway we are getting our heads down here for the new exhibition! 🔥🔥🔥 who’s excited??

progress on our upcoming exhibition is well underway. the walls are painted and our curators are busy working on framing...
13/04/2022

progress on our upcoming exhibition is well underway. the walls are painted and our curators are busy working on framing and text 🙌🏽 swipe for a few before pics 😉

we hope all who are celebrating are looking forward to the Easter weekend!  if you’re planning on visiting us, we’ll be ...
13/04/2022

we hope all who are celebrating are looking forward to the Easter weekend! if you’re planning on visiting us, we’ll be closed on both bank holidays but open as usual on saturday! 🐰🐣🌞

tomorrow is mother’s day! we wish all mums and maternal figures a good time 💕 this sculpture is of Yashoda, the foster m...
26/03/2022

tomorrow is mother’s day! we wish all mums and maternal figures a good time 💕 this sculpture is of Yashoda, the foster mother of Krishna, you can see the young Krishna in her left arm 👶

this votive figure (object offered to a god or goddess at a sacred place such as a temple) shows a mother carrying a chi...
21/03/2022

this votive figure (object offered to a god or goddess at a sacred place such as a temple) shows a mother carrying a child on her hip. expect more content like this coming up in the run up to mother’s day on sunday!

this brass nandi is from 20th century india 🐮  ‘nandi’ can translate to “giving joy” and it is the sacred bull of the Hi...
19/03/2022

this brass nandi is from 20th century india 🐮 ‘nandi’ can translate to “giving joy” and it is the sacred bull of the Hindu god Shiva

pancake day tomorrow! although these jugs aren’t used for pancakes, they are gorgeous and a part of our current display ...
28/02/2022

pancake day tomorrow! although these jugs aren’t used for pancakes, they are gorgeous and a part of our current display of copper work from Lahore. pop in to explore these and other beautiful utensils and domestic objects!

this is one of a pair of Sadhu statues from Kutch. Sadhus have been around for at least 2000 years, they are wandering h...
21/02/2022

this is one of a pair of Sadhu statues from Kutch. Sadhus have been around for at least 2000 years, they are wandering holy men who have renounced the material world to devote themselves to spiritual practice

Yesterday was Parinirvana day, a Mahayana Buddhist holiday. Buddhists remember the death of the Buddha where he reached ...
16/02/2022

Yesterday was Parinirvana day, a Mahayana Buddhist holiday. Buddhists remember the death of the Buddha where he reached a state of Parinirvana (Nirvana without end). Pictured is a reclining buddha statue in our collection made of marble

Happy Valentine’s day!We think these silver heart shaped pendants with floral motifs and tassels are perfect to mark the...
14/02/2022

Happy Valentine’s day!
We think these silver heart shaped pendants with floral motifs and tassels are perfect to mark the occasion 💕

11/02/2022
uh oh. this tiger mask seems to have escaped just in time for Chinese New Year of the water tiger! Tomorrow marks the of...
31/01/2022

uh oh. this tiger mask seems to have escaped just in time for Chinese New Year of the water tiger!
Tomorrow marks the official new year, and celebrations start from today for 16 days! To all those celebrating, have a wonderful time!

28/01/2022

We had brilliant freelance photographer and filmmaker Louis in taking lovely new pics of the collection for us!

28/01/2022

Earlier this week we had brilliant freelance photographer and film maker Louis in, taking lovely new pics of the collection for us!

This sculpture of the Buddha is actually made of papier mache! Earlier this week it was Bodhi Day: a celebration of the ...
15/01/2022

This sculpture of the Buddha is actually made of papier mache! Earlier this week it was Bodhi Day: a celebration of the Buddhas enlightenment. This Burmese Buddha heads style is from the Shan period. The first Shan images of the Buddha date back to the 17th century (this particular one is from the 20th). Distinctive Shan features include triangular faces with a wide forehead and high arched eyebrows, narrowly opened eyes, a pointed nose, thin pursed lips, elongate earlobes and a short neck.

happy new year! here’s to a good one for all filled with kindness and joy 💕 this Jain Panel titled ‘Live and Let Live’ s...
31/12/2021

happy new year! here’s to a good one for all filled with kindness and joy 💕 this Jain Panel titled ‘Live and Let Live’ shows a cow and lion drinking from the same tub of water. The title reflects the Jain concept of ahimsa, which means ‘non-injury’.

Did you know we have a mailing list? If not, you’ll be happy to know signing up to exclusive content and news is only a ...
13/12/2021

Did you know we have a mailing list? If not, you’ll be happy to know signing up to exclusive content and news is only a click away! ✨ simply go to our bio and access our news, objects in focus and more wherever you are int he world 💕

This low chair is an example of lacquer work found in the Chiniotdistrict of the Punjab.The lac is applied in layers and...
08/12/2021

This low chair is an example of lacquer work found in the Chiniot
district of the Punjab.
The lac is applied in layers and
then the design is engraved by
scratching through the lac, creating
the different coloured patterns.

Look at this gorgeous Kalamkari from India. These types of textiles are paintings made straight into cotton. The flower ...
01/12/2021

Look at this gorgeous Kalamkari from India. These types of textiles are paintings made straight into cotton. The flower motifs were made using a kalam (pen) and by using printing blocks. Swipe to see more of this beautiful tree filled with life 🌳🐯🐰🦌🐟

Address

The South Asia Collection, 34-36 Bethel Street
Norwich
NR21NR

Opening Hours

Monday 9:30am - 5pm
Tuesday 9:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 9:30am - 5pm
Thursday 9:30am - 5pm
Friday 9:30am - 5pm
Saturday 9:30am - 5pm

Telephone

+441603663890

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We had brilliant freelance photographer and filmmaker Louis in taking lovely new pics of the collection for us!
Earlier this week we had brilliant freelance photographer and film maker Louis in, taking lovely new pics of the collection for us!
Celebrating the Buddha's Enlightenment 🌟 - https://mailchi.mp/bcd449fa4cf9/celebrating-the-buddhas-enlightenment
This sculpture of the Buddha is actually made of papier mache! Earlier this week it was Bodhi Day: a celebration of the Buddhas enlightenment. This Burmese Buddha heads style is from the Shan period. The first Shan images of the Buddha date back to the 17th century (this particular one is from the 20th). Distinctive Shan features include triangular faces with a wide forehead and high arched eyebrows, narrowly opened eyes, a pointed nose, thin pursed lips, elongate earlobes and a short neck.
happy new year! here’s to a good one for all filled with kindness and joy 💕 this Jain Panel titled ‘Live and Let Live’ shows a cow and lion drinking from the same tub of water. The title reflects the Jain concept of ahimsa, which means ‘non-injury’.
Did you know we have a mailing list? If not, you’ll be happy to know signing up to exclusive content and news is only a click away! ✨ simply go to our bio and access our news, objects in focus and more wherever you are int he world 💕
This low chair is an example of lacquer work found in the Chiniot
district of the Punjab.
The lac is applied in layers and
then the design is engraved by
scratching through the lac, creating
the different coloured patterns.
Look at this gorgeous Kalamkari from India. These types of textiles are paintings made straight into cotton. The flower motifs were made using a kalam (pen) and by using printing blocks. Swipe to see more of this beautiful tree filled with life 🌳🐯🐰🦌🐟
the team had a bit of fun this morning arranging and photographing some of the collection! 📸 These hand painted animals from Bassi, India are placed in front of a julla on the birthday of Krishna or the Jhulan Yatra Swing Festival 🐇🐘🐟🐓🐄
We have a brand new display case up about Thai ceramics from our collection🏺 Here are some stoneware plates with beautiful illustrated narratives. The case has even more so come into have a look! ✨
Happy Diwali to those who celebrate! We hope you had a wonderful day yesterday and continue to enjoy the rest of the festival 🪔✨🎉

Translating to ‘rows of lighted lamps’ Diwali is the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. It marks the start of the Hindu new year. Lakshmi is believed to enter home and bless people with good fortune. Oil lamps called diyas 🪔 are lit as well as candles and lights. Families exchange gifts and gather ti celebrate. Tango li is also used in the festivities, drawn in coloured rice and sand in front of doorways to welcome the gods and bring good luck!
It’s nearly Diwali! 🎉🎊 For many, this festival honours the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and good fortune, Lakshmi. On diwali, she visits her devotees and bestows gifts and blessings upon each of them. Diwali is also known as the festival of light ✨ these lights help Lakshmi find her way into peoples homes 🌸