hindu temple


Life is a Time-Based Medium

Life Is a Time-Based Medium (2015)—the most recent work included in the exhibition,  Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imaginationwas filmed at the Galtaji Temple (a Hindu pilgrimage site) in Jaipur, India. A monumental installation, it conflates the projected architecture of the temple with that of the gallery in which it is shown. Focusing on the behavior of the resident monkeys, Thater’s work questions distinctions between the tame and wild by reference to the divine status of the animals in Hinduism. 

When asked about this particular work Diana responded, "I’m very interested in the scale, intricacies, and simplicities of architecture. I’ve worked with very complex and very simple architectural spaces. For Life is a Time-Based Medium, I filmed a Hindu temple, which was idiosyncratic, asymmetrical, and interesting for any number of reasons. The most interesting thing was that it was just a façade built on a cliff. There is no inside. The temple actually has a door that doesn’t go anywhere. So I brought it into the installation—I cut out this beautiful scalloped doorway and gave the temple its own interior, a projection of a little tiny movie theater, with a screen. On the screen is a video of monkeys. The temple is a temple to Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, and it just happens to be inhabited by wild monkeys. A friend of mine went on vacation to India and showed me a photo of it on his iPhone and I thought, I want to go there. Because a temple to a monkey god inhabited by monkeys—who made this for me? Rhesus monkeys, known in the West as the subjects of torturous scientific experiments, are sacred in Hindu culture and allowed to run wild in the temple. I examine the spaces inhabited by animals and those inhabited by humans, as well as how these intersect. The space within the image, the space of the temple, and the space of the museum itself merge.”

Text excerpted from Unframed and “Diana Thater Sympathetic Imagination Brochure”

FREE Lecture— Roy Scranton Responds to Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination

On February 16, Professor Roy Scranton, alongside artist Diana Thater, will discuss specific works in relation to rhizomatic identity, geology, and the complex relationships that Thater creates in seeing animals as reflections of ourselves. Details: http://bit.ly/23V9SvN

This series examines highlights from Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, on view at LACMA through February 20, 2016. Follow #DianaThater on Tumblr for upcoming posts, or check out an overview of the exhibition on Unframed.  

Hanuman statue, Sri Krishnan Temple
Photo by Phua Mei Pin
Singapore (2016)

Chinese New Year at a Hindu temple in Singapore. Happy Year of the Monkey!

My friend Mei Pin reports:

At the Hindu temple on Waterloo Street. Many Chinese people offering joss sticks outside the Sri Krishnan Temple, before or after doing their thang at the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple next door. The Hindu temple folks put a special stand for the Buddhists to stick their joss sticks.

Akshardham, New Delhi, built 2001-2005. By most measurements the largest Hindu Temple in the world.

It is dedicated to Swaminarayan (1781-1830), the founder of the Swaminarayan sect of Vaishnavism, who is considered an incarnation of Purushottama (the supreme deity) by his followers. The name Akshardham refers to the divine abode of Swaminarayan, where the soul goes to attain moksha (liberation).


The city of Madurai in the South Eastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and has been a functioning metropolis for over two thousand years.

At its heart lies something extraordinary – a temple to the Hindu Goddess Parvati and her husband consort, Shiva.  

1) Meenakshi Amman Temple Tamil Nadu India - Image Credit Flickr User Natacha Cornaz

2) Meenakshi Amman Temple Tamil Nadu India- Image Credit Flickr User Muvare

North Carolina Hindu Temple Sign Found Riddled With Holes From Shotgun Blasts
A North Carolina sheriff’s department says there’s no evidence that shots fired through the sign for a planned Hindu temple is anything more than simple vandalism, but it has nevertheless sent reverberations

A North Carolina sheriff’s department says there’s no evidence that shots fired through the sign for a planned Hindu temple is anything more than simple vandalism, but it has nevertheless sent reverberations of concern through the U.S. Hindu community.

The sign, located at a building site of the Om Hindu Organization of North Carolina in the village of Clemmons, was found riddled with more than 60 holes from shotgun blasts earlier this month, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Law enforcement found empty shell casings that indicated someone had fired a shotgun at the sign two to three times.

“We as American people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance, respect and inclusion,” Om Hindu said in a statement released Friday. “We have no doubts that in the long run we will be able to practice our religion and live peacefully in this region and work towards a pluralistic society.”

Manujunath Shamanna, a member of the group’s board of directors, told the Journal the incident was “disappointing,” but said the holes could have been caused by “just some kids playing.”

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department has no suspects or leads in the investigation, but Chief Deputy Brad Stanley told the Journal that “it appears just to be vandalism.”

Not all members of the Hindu community are so sure. Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, said in an article he wrote for Fox 8 that “Hindus nationwide are highly concerned” about the incident.

Zed points out that this is not the first Hindu temple in the U.S. to be vandalized this year. In April, a Texas temple was covered with graffiti and “hateful images,” WFAA reported at the time.

Two Seattle-area temples were hit by vandals in February, according to the LA Times. In the first incident, someone spray-painted “GET OUT” on a temple wall, while the words “Muslims get out” were painted on the side of a nearby school. Eleven days later, someone smashed the windows of another temple in the area and spray-painted the word “FEAR” on the wall.

Construction for the Clemmons temple is set to begin later this year. It will be the first Hindu temple in Forsyth County, where about 500 Hindu families live.

Ancient Hindu Temple Resurfaces After Water Level Dips

The Director of Archaeology and Museums in the South Indian state of Telangana has announced plans to dismantle and move the ruins of Sri Shambulingeshwara Swamy Temple to another location.

The temple was built in the 11th-12th centuries CE by the Kunduru Cholas and was dedicated to the Hindu deity, Shiva. The temple is located in the present day town of Panagal, and was submerged in a local reservoir over a decade ago. The remains resurfaced as the water level went down in the reservoir.

The Temple has remained intact and will be moved to a new location that has yet to be determined. Archaeologists excavating at the site have also found statues of the Hindu figures Nandi and Vinayaka (also known as Ganesha). All artifacts found during the dismantling of the temple will be taken to the local museum at Panagal.