Over the weekend Asia Society hosted artist Joe Mangrum as part of the Family Day celebration of the festival of Diwali. Over the course of the afternoon, he created a beautiful rangoli out of colored sand on the floor of the lobby.
Traditionally, rangoli are designs made out of colorful grains and spices in the form of geometric patterns or images of gods. During Diwali they are made outside of homes, with the hope that they will attract good fortune.
Joe was first exposed to the folk art at age 16 when he traveled on an Asia Society sponsored trip to India along with four other students and their teachers. He went on to get a BFA and has lately been seen producing sand paintings all around New York.
Here are some photos of the process of making the piece. Joe takes fistfulls of colorful sand and sifts them through his fingers to make the designs. He says he doesn't have a final product in mind when he starts, but he just sees where the design takes him.
Asia Society's celebration of Diwali will continue in Washington, DC, where we will be hosting a festival luncheon on November 12. For more information on the event or to buy tickets, see the event listing.
To learn more about Diwali, visit here.