Medicine Corner was a programme of cultural activity in India from Wellcome Collection, the public cultural venue in London of the Wellcome Trust. It ran from January 2015 to the end of March 2016.

From the ancient and continuously evolving knowledge systems of Ayurveda and Unani to cutting-edge advances in modern surgery, Indian medicine is as richly diverse as Indian civilization itself. In homes and villages, and on the teeming streets of India’s great cities, healing practices are a pervasive feature of everyday life.

Health commerce is integral to India’s vast street economy in which lay healers sell an astonishing range of goods and services. These co- exist, often uneasily, with the elite biomedical hospitals in which India now conducts some of the world’s most advanced medical research and development.

Medicine Corner showcased and celebrated this rich, diverse pluralism. It interrogated and illustrated the many fascinating practices – modern, traditional and alternative – and the challenges and opportunities they present for individuals and for Indian society. Through exhibitions, music, media arts and live events across India, incurably curious audiences encountered a rich mix of art, science and the extraordinary in everyday life. 

'Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India’ examined the history and contemporary practice of sustaining human health in one of the world’s great civilisations. The exhibition featured dazzling antiquities and modern vernacular art in an aesthetically seductive, intellectually rich mix of art, science, history and the ordinary made extraordinary.

Tabiyat was held at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
(formerly Prince of Wales Museum) between 11 January and 28 March 2016. Exhibits from Wellcome Collection in London included the only known historical illustration of the interior of the human body as understood by Ayurveda.
Other exhibits included loans from museums and private collections in India as well as newly commissioned work. 

 

Birth, aging, disease and death are universal phenomena. However, they also have aspects that are deeply culturally specific. 'Jeevanchakra' explored the life cycle of the human body and historic, economic, social and political conditions in India that have shaped the relationship of the body with medicine and healing. 

Healers of Dharavi was an exhibition in the Alley Galli Biennale, a three-week arts  festival that took place in early 2015 in Dharavi, Mumbai’s largest informal settlement. It featured a series of eight portraits made by four local artists who often work making hand-painted signs.

Evoking Bollywood poster art of the 70s and 80s, they showed purveyors of health and healing options available to the people of Dharavi. The works highlight the abundance and variety of medical practices and offer an intimate insight into the working lives of the practicioners who provide its residents with affordable relief in an increasingly crowded, expensive and stressful city.

BLOT!, or Basic Love Of Things, is a one-of-a-kind live mixed media and AV performance ensemble. Since 2007, Avinash Kumar and Gaurav Malaker, the two  Delhi-based artists who form BLOT!, have been exploring urban culture through electronic music, film-making, art, design and installations. 

BLOT! received a Wellcome Trust International Engagement Award 2015 for their project ‘Trick or Treat’. The award provides funding for innovative public or community engagement projects that explore biomedical research or health in Africa and Asia. ‘Trick or Treat’ investigated street medicine in India.