SOAS University of London

SOAS scholar consults and models for new collection of Yoga photograms

17 October 2017

Dr James Mallinson, SOAS’s resident Yoga expert and Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies, has worked on and been photographed for a new exhibition depicting yoga postures.

Yoga Photograms by Rob and Nick Carter includes of eight life-size works from the pair’s recent series of photogram portraits exploring a range of yoga postures.

Jim Mallison images

The meditative series investigates both the experiential nature of achieving each position as well as the technical transformation of the visual image. The Carters use new cutting edge digital technologies and traditional analogue mediums, including neon light drawings, luminograms, moving image, 3D scanning and naturalistic sculpture – each allowing the viewer to absorb and reinterpret compelling subject matter in an exciting and innovative way.

Dr Mallinson said: “These images depict 55 postures, nearly all of which can be found somewhere in previous descriptions and depictions of yoga — if never in such a hauntingly beautiful form. Some, like the downward dog (adhomukhashvanasana), are well-known. Others I had to trawl obscure Sanskrit yoga manuals to identify. A handful are previously unknown variations on known postures. And half a dozen or so I failed to find anywhere. But I have given them all appropriate Sanskrit names: even if I can't find evidence that they have been practised in the past, they have now been practised in the name of yoga, and perhaps they will continue to be so.”

The exhibition runs until 29 November 2017 at RN at 5A.