Eye Screamery: Eye Spy a Maharaja
Scavenger Hunt 8.5"x11"
Edible inkjet prints, ice cream from Bombay Ice Creamery

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Documentation by Albert Law

In this procession I want you to see
How splendid I am dressed in finery
I am perched above as though in a tower
Darshan is seeing and it holds great power

What am I riding?

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco hosted the exhibition "Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts." The items displayed included a life-size model of an elephant decorated with jewelry, Cartier-commissioned diamond necklaces, and a Silver Phantom Rolls Royce convertible. As with all objects of opulence, the question must be asked: at what cost? The supposedly independent maharajas of India played a critical role in ensuring British power and rule in the subcontinent.

In conjunction with the exhibition, I created a scavenger hunt that asked visitors to identify symbols of power. A magnifying glass appeared on one side along with the questions. On the reverse appeared an image of Shivaji Rao Holkar (c.1880s). As with many other dynasties, the Holkar were loyal to the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

While the scavenger hunt was available throughout the exhibit, Visitors were rewarded with a special treat during the Eye Screamery. Upon completing the scavenger hunt, guests were treated to the maharaja’s eye atop cardamom and mango flavored Eye Scream made by Bombay Ice Creamery.


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