By Sanjukta Nair
Photographs by Ines Pandzic and Matthew Roberts
Due to the vast collection of artefacts that our local Oriental Museum holds in storage, it is impossible to see all that there is to see in a single trip. Hence it is customary for the UIF to organise multiple museum visits in an academic year, drawing out previously unseen objects according to a particular theme. Our second visit this year focused on Power; something that created and destroyed dynasties, controlled the dissemination of ideas and thoughts, and dictated the way of life for most (particularly women). The event began with a quick trip around the cultural galleries of the museum, with special attention being given to objects that portrayed power in some form. This included a special hood made for hawks that were owned by the rich, a small yet powerful Egyptian mace that would be used for ceremonial purposes, and an example of Japanese block prints that could include subtle messages with hidden meanings to avoid being censored and rejected by the government at the time. One could have easily gotten lost in time looking at the museum’s collection, so it was important to hold a quick tea break before getting on to the part that makes every UIF trip to the museum special; personally handling some of the museum’s artefacts!