The India China Institute puts on a series of events every year, ranging from speakers to exhibits to international conferences. Below is a list of our upcoming events. For the full calendar, please click here.

Upcoming Events

Kailash Cartographies Art Exhibition @ Aronson Gallery - The New School
Mar 13 – Apr 2 all-day
Kailash Cartographies Art Exhibition @ Aronson Gallery - The New School


Kailash Cartographies will feature artists from India, China, Nepal and the US who will consider this important peak in the Himalayan mountain range both as a location through which to understand issues of ecology and climate change, as well as a metaphorical and spiritual location that functions as a locus for grounding and identification for people who live far from the site.  This exhibition is a collaboration between members of the India China Institute, Parsons AMT, the School of Media Studies and the SJDC Gallery. The exhibit is part of ICI’s ongoing Sacred Himalaya Initiative research project focused on Mount Kailash in Tibet.

About The Exhibit

As an important source of glacial fresh water that feeds the Indus, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges Rivers, the effect of global warming on the Tibetan Plateau where Mount Kailash resides has significant consequences on the lives of billions of people in far flung regions in South and East Asia. While human-caused climate change in general forces us to think beyond national and racial identifications, Kailash serves as a specific case study through which to consider a politics of the Anthropocene.

In addition to the ecological dimension of the site, Kailash is of central significance to Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and Bön traditions and an important destination for religious pilgrimages. Mount Kailash therefore serves symbolically as a transnational spiritual nexus for Indians, Chinese, Nepalese and others, through which we may consider notions of national boundaries and their porosity.

Our symbolic, perspectival relation to a site has been historically depicted in forms like the map and the landscape painting, but might we not also consider the pilgrimage or circumambulation as cartographic techniques? Are they not aesthetic, somatic and spiritual technologies that trace and materialize realities in space in much the same way as other mapmakers drew the charts that determined an orientation in the world? Participation is the key to the mapping of sacred sites such as Mount Kailash—a participation that means not only the full involvement of the self, but also the multiple forms of agency, human and other than human, which inhabit a place.

The artists included in this exhibition will ask: What might we learn from cartographies such as these that resist mastery?  Can we conceive of modes of drawing, mapmaking and placemaking that manifest entanglements (social, political, sacred, secular and ecological) rather than delineate boundaries?  When is a map not a fixed diagram but a vector of mobility and an impetus for transformation?

Kailash Cartographies Art Talk – Bo Zheng & Steven Lam @ Kellen AUditorium
Mar 15 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kailash Cartographies Art Talk - Bo Zheng & Steven Lam @ Kellen AUditorium

Bo Zheng in conversation with Steven Lam

6:00-7:00 pm – Opening Reception and Gallery Tour
7:00-9:00 pm – Artist talk with Bo Zheng, moderated by Steven Lam

Join us for an opening reception and artists talk as part of a new art exhibition called Kailash Cartographies. The exhibit will run from March 13th to April 2nd at The New School. Artists Bo Zheng will be joined in conversation with Steven Lam, independent curator and Director of the School of Art and Design, SUNY Purchase.

About the Artist:

Bo Zheng (born in Beijing, 1974; lives and works in Hong Kong) is an artist, writer, and teacher, committed to socially and ecologically engaged art. He investigates the past and imagines the future from the perspectives of marginalized communities and marginalized plants. He has worked with a number of museums and art spaces in Asia and Europe, most recently Cass Sculpture Foundation (Chichester, UK), TheCube Project Space (Taipei), and Villa Vassilieff (Paris).

This exhibit emerged from an ongoing project at ICI focused on the intersections of the arts and humanities and climate change in the Himalayas. Learn more about ICI’s Climate Change Himalaya initaitive.

This event is  co-organized by Parsons Fine Arts and hosted in conjunction with the Kailash Cartographies exhibition at the SJDC’s Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries.


Mountains and Sacred Landscapes Conference @ The New School
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
Mountains and Sacred Landscapes Conference @ The New School

The India China Institute (ICI) at The New School, the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC), American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) are excited to announce an international conference on Mountains and Sacred Landscapes at The New School in New York City from Thursday April 20th to Sunday April 23rd, 2017. The conference will include the latest research on the intersections or religion, nature and culture and will also feature special presentation from the India China Institute’s three-year research project on Sacred Landscapes and Sustainable Futures in the Himalaya (Sacred Himalaya Initiative).

View the conference page

Diverse mountain communities from the Himalaya to the Andes to the Appalachians face growing pressures linked to social and ecological changes. Melting glaciers, shifting agricultural patterns, conflicts over mining and resource extraction, and risks to livelihoods, the consequences of increasingly erratic global climate change, pose unknown future challenges to many sacred landscapes, including mountain communities and ecosystems and those beings, human and nonhuman alike, who rely on these habitats. Scholars have even suggested we have entered a fundamentally new geologic epoch called the Anthropocene.

The conference seeks to critically explore how the idea of sacred landscapes is entangled with these communities, with a particular interest in topics related to mountain landscapes. Some of the issues we hope to explore include: major challenges and opportunities facing communities in the 21st century; religious conceptualizations of place and landscape; relationships between mountain spiritualities and peoples adapting to climate change; traditional ecological knowledge held by communities that can help address issues of social and ecological justice; the future of mountain and forest peoples; and the fate of more than human worlds inhabiting these diverse landscapes. What kinds of meanings shape and are shaped by the effects of climate change, mass extinction, human population growth and ecological degradation of mountains, forests, rivers and other sacred landscapes? How do ritual activities linked to sacred landscapes respond to environmental challenges, or not? How do mountains—as highly biodiverse ecosystems, as critical sources of water, energy, and materials, as repositories of tradition, and as sacred beings—remain vital components in ongoing processes of religious change? How do understandings of the sacred manifest within and across different landscapes, such as deserts, rivers or forests?

More details and registration are available on the conference website.