The British Museum Is Doing A Whole Exhibition On Tantra

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 7 months ago

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The British Museum Is Doing A Whole Exhibition On Tantra
Sutapa Biswas, Housewives with Steak-Knives, 1985. © Sutapa Biswas. All rights reserved, DACS 2019.

There's more to Tantra than sex.

That's the point that the British Museum aims to prove with its upcoming exhibition, Tantra: enlightenment to revolution. The radical nature of Tantra will be explored, from the philosophy's transformation of Hinduism and Buddhism in the sixth century, all the way through to its role in 1960s counterculture.

Kali striding over Shiva, probably Krishnanagar, Bengal, 1890s. © The Trustees of the British Museum

Tantra is a philosophy that centres on the power of divine feminine energy — which sounds like an extremely 2020 Twitter bio if you ask us. Across history, Tantra has challenged political and sexual norms globally. Yep,  that's right, sexual. Just because this exhibition aims to prove that Tantra's about more than sex, doesn't mean it will skip over its carnal side completely.

The exhibition's curator Dr Imma Ramos, said:

This major exhibition will capture the rebellious spirit of Tantra, with its potential to disrupt prevailing social, cultural and political establishments. Tantra is usually equated with sex in the West, but it should be understood as part of a broader philosophy of transgression. We will demonstrate Tantra's enduring potential for opening up new ways of seeing and changing the world.

Tantra: enlightenment to revolution runs 23 April-26 July 2020 at The British Museum. Tickets cost £15 and booking ahead is recommended.

Last Updated 23 January 2020