Kraunchamukha yantra with gold leaf (curlew)

Gold-leaf print 'Kraunchamukha yantra with gold leaf (curlew)' by Chila Kumari Burman, 2017, showing a black Kraunchamukha yantra ('curlew-shaped' forceps) on a gilt background. The frame embellished with mirror pieces.

The kraunchamukha yantra are drawn from an example in the Wellcome Collection, produced in the early twentieth century from descriptions in Ayurvedic medical texts. These are among the blunt instruments and inspired by the natural movement of a curlew's beak.

One of 29 works produced by Burman as a commission to accompany the Science Museum’s ‘Illuminating India’ season in 2017-18. The works respond to objects and narratives in the history of science in India particularly to the exhibition ‘5000 Years of Science and Innovation’, as well as to the wider religious and cultural history of the sub-continent. This was Burman's first significant engagement with the history of science and medicine, with the works ranging across print, collage, photography and mixed-media, including experiments with iPad technology.


Object Number:
hahnemuhle paper, gold leaf and gilding paste
overall: 310 mm x 450 mm x 40 mm,
Commissioned by the Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, 2017