Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s Photographs of Greene & Greene Architecture to Go On View for First Time in the U.S.

first_img Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Community News Community News Business News Make a comment Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Visual Arts Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s Photographs of Greene & Greene Architecture to Go On View for First Time in the U.S. “Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Bilingual Photography and the Architecture of Greene & Greene” features 52 works by the influential 20th-century Japanese-American photographer From STAFF REPORTS Published on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 | 2:03 pm 7 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy center_img EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS More Cool Stuff Yasuhiro Ishimoto, photograph of Greene & Greene’s Robert R. Blacker house interior detail, Pasadena, 1974, 20 × 16 × 1 in. © Kochi Prefecture, Ishimoto Yasuhiro Photo Center.Japanese-American photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s photographs of Greene & Greene architecture will be shown for the first time in the United States in a focused loan exhibition on view at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens from June 18 through Oct. 3, 2016. The influential photographer turned his lens toward the work of California Arts and Crafts architects Greene & Greene in 1974, producing a suite of images for the Japanese design magazine Approach. Before his death, Ishimoto expressed his wish to have these photographs shown in the United States. Now, more than 40 years after the photos were made, his wish will come true.Forty-six sumptuous black-and-white photographs printed by the artist and on loan from The Museum of Art, Kochi in Japan will showcase the Approach magazine commission along with six seminal photographs that Ishimoto made of the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa in Japan in 1954.“Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Bilingual Photography and the Architecture of Greene & Greene” coincides with the reopening of a refreshed permanent display of Greene & Greene furniture (organized in collaboration with the Gamble House/University of Southern California). The proximity of the two galleries will allow visitors to experience the designs of Charles and Henry Greene (known for principled, hand-crafted, and distinctive early 20th-century Arts and Crafts homes) just a few yards away from their photographic interpretations by Ishimoto.“Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s beautifully sensitive photographs of famous Greene & Greene commissions are extraordinary in their composition, texture, and perception, and will add new meaning for visitors, as they wander the galleries and explore our collections,” said Kevin Salatino, Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Collections at The Huntington. “We are seriously committed to collecting, and displaying, works that represent both the field of American Arts and Crafts as well as its predecessor, the European Design Reform movement. Being able to showcase Ishimoto’s work provides a fascinating, and exquisite, interpretation of that world.”Although the Japanese influence on the architecture of the Greene brothers has been widely acknowledged, this exhibition is the first in the United States to examine the influence from a Japanese perspective.“Ishimoto’s images represent a unique vision, fashioned by his birth and education in the United States and a subsequent career in Japan, where he ultimately became a naturalized citizen,” said Anne Mallek, former curator of the Gamble House, a 1908 Greene & Greene structure in Pasadena, Calif. “He developed a new and personal perspective, liberated from historical precedent or framework, so he could capture a 17th-century villa near Kyoto, or the Greenes’ work, in a manner bordering on the abstract. His images don’t set the works of architecture apart from the viewer, nor do they put them on a pedestal. One is pulled in, as if to observe with the photographer the details that only the architects and craftsmen may have cared about in creating the structure.” Mallek curated the exhibition with Edward R. “Ted” Bosley, Gamble House director.American post-World War II photographer Minor White called Ishimoto a “visual bi-linguist”—someone who, by circumstances of birth and education, became uniquely suited to interpret cultural links between Japan and America. Born in San Francisco in 1921 to immigrant parents, Yasuhiro Ishimoto grew up in Japan and returned to California to attend college in 1939. In 1942, he was removed to a Colorado internment camp, where he spent the war years nurturing an interest in photography. He later enrolled at the Chicago Institute of Design, founded by ex-Bauhaus instructor László Moholy-Nagy. Ishimoto returned to Japan in the 1960s.“Yasuhiro Ishimoto: Bilingual Photography and the Architecture of Greene & Greene” features a gallery booklet and wall text in both English and Japanese, with the installation organized into six thematic categories: pattern, rhythm, post and beam, details, views, light and dark.In a striking example of the photographer’s attention to architectural details, Blacker House with Interior Detail captures a portion of the staircase of the 1907 Robert R. Blacker house in Pasadena. The photograph focuses on the softness of a carved spiral, or whirlpool form—traditionally known in Japanese as naruto—bringing to life the velvety smooth texture of the hand-sanded teak, as well as the layers and insertions of wood members. The composition demonstrates Ishimoto’s sensitivity to the timeless artistry inherent in the Greenes’ work, in the same manner that his photographs of Katsura Villa 20 years earlier had translated the details of its 17th-century buildings for modern audiences.Another highlight of the exhibition is a view of the Gamble House’s west elevation. The photo captures the house in the late afternoon sun as it highlights the ends of projecting rafter tails, while throwing the undersides of the eaves and sleeping porches into deep shadow. “Ishimoto is playing with contrast here, and how light can transform a building graphically,” said Mallek. “He’s emphasizing its horizontality as the elongated shadow of the sleeping porch roof extends at an angle down the façade of the house.” The image also sympathizes with Charles Greene’s suggested purpose for the extended rafters on the house—Greene once said they were included “because they cast such beautiful shadows.”Such design elements may have been born of the Greenes’ interest in Japanese construction, and many of Ishimoto’s photographs of Katsura Villa and of the Greenes’ work would appear to authenticate this connection. In both groups of images, the artist focuses on the graceful intersections of vertical and horizontal lines in post-and-beam structures, as he does in Gamble House Sleeping Porch Detail. This photograph of a structurally complex porch corner of intersecting beams and distinctively shaped railings seems to have been made with a loving eye—planks of wood become soft and undulating, and the use of natural light makes smooth surfaces reflective while architectural shapes glow with a magical quality.“Ishimoto rarely made an image of a structure in its entirety, but chose rather to examine details and create abstractions, focusing on pattern, light, and structure,” said Mallek. “All of the images telegraph his sensitivity to material, texture, form and light.”CreditThis exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Steven and Kelly McLeod Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by The Rose Hills Foundation, Frank and Toshie Mosher, Harvey and Ellen Knell, Mr. and Mrs. Mark J. Ledbetter, Akiko Satsuma, and the Susan and Stephen Chandler Exhibition Endowment.About The HuntingtonThe Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about The Huntington can be found at huntington.orgVisitor InformationThe Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Summer hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day) are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. For more information contact (626) 405-2100 or visit huntington.org. First Heatwave Expected Next Week Subscribe HerbeautyRub This All Over Your Body And He’s Guaranteed To Swoon Over YouHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyDo You Feel Like Hollywood Celebrities All Look A Bit Similar?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThis Trend Looks Kind Of Cool!HerbeautyHerbeauty Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Top of the News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimeslast_img read more

Lack of evidence supporting medicinal cannabis benefits for arthritis sufferers – research

first_img“There’s certainly interest in it,” Ms Holloway told 1 NEWS. But scientific proof is another thing. There have been a number of trials on mice but human trials are scarce and not encouraging. Medicinal cannabis is now available with a prescription from your doctor and anecdotally, some say their most effective source of pain relief comes from cannabis products or medicinal cannabis. “We have a number of consumers who expressed interest or have used [it] themselves.”center_img TVNZ One News 23 May 2020Family First Comment: The science doesn’t always back the hype (or the smokescreen).“We found two trials that looked at cannabis based products in arthritis… and there was no evidence really from either of those trials that they made a difference in the arthritis condition” – Medical Research Institute of NZ#followthemoneySome arthritis sufferers claim cannabis products provide them the most effective pain relief, but new research says there isn’t enough scientific evidence to show it’s safe or effective.One in six New Zealanders has arthritis and Arthritis NZ’s Francesca Holloway says pain is one of the biggest issues. “We found two trials that looked at cannabis based products in arthritis… and there was no evidence really from either of those trials that they made a difference in the arthritis condition,” the Medical Research Institute of NZ’s Dr Irene Braithwaite says.READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/lack-evidence-supporting-medicinal-cannabis-benefits-arthritis-sufferers-researchlast_img read more

Dutch manager begins life at Barcelona without Messi

first_img Loading… As talisman and club legend Messi was absent, the Dutchman was pictured alongside his squad in their first session together ahead of the new LaLiga season. The Barcelona players were pictured taking part in some basic running drills, with winger Ousmane Demebele pictured jogging in the club’s new training kit. Ronald Koeman took his first training session as the new manager of Barcelona as his feud with star Lionel Messi continues. After the sacking of Quique Setien, Koeman was appointed as the Catalan club’s new boss and took no time at all to ruffle a few feathers within the camp. Elsewhere, Gerard Pique was shown with a ball at his feet as he dribbled at a light pace in the Spanish sun. However, Messi’s absence was the main talking point as he stayed away from Barcelona training for a second-straight day on Monday as he kept up his strategy to force a move to Manchester City. So far Barcelona have not announced financial penalties for their striking captain although rules would allow them to suspend him without pay if and when he fails to show for Tuesday’s session.center_img Promoted ContentSome Impressive And Almost Shocking Robots That ExistPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your BodyBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldFascinating Ceilings From Different Countries18 Cities With Neverending Tourist-Flow10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way10 Most Praised Historical Movies7 Actors Who Had Ridiculous Reasons For Quitting A RoleNothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The WorldThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More Read Also: JUST-IN: Messi faces suspension at Barcelona amid events boycott An agreement between LaLiga clubs and the Spanish players’ union stipulates that a player who misses three days of training can be suspended without pay and lose up to 25 per cent of his monthly salary. The final decision over punishments is left with individual clubs however, and Barcelona appear unlikely to announce any action before a meeting between Messi’s father Jorge and club president Josep Bartomeu expected later this week. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Injury forces early halt to Clonmel – Kilfeacle clash

first_imgYesterday’s all-Tipperary clash in Division 1 of the Munster Junior League between Clonmel and Kilfeacle couldn’t be played to a conclusion due to a knee injury suffered by the referee.Clonmel led 20-3 when the match was stopped after 72 minutes.The other top flight side from the Premier – Clanwilliam – beat Muskerry 26-12 in Tipp Town.last_img

Top 25 basketball roundup: Florida’s outlook: Rocky after loss

first_imgThe Gators (25-5, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) continued a troubling trend for the defending national champions, who have lost three of four after a 17-game winning streak. “I don’t think people should look at us for slow starts. I don’t understand why Tennessee and Vanderbilt don’t get credit,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “When teams are playing against a team that’s won so much, teams are going to come out ready to play.” The Vols (21-9, 9-6) dominated Florida until the Gators started making a run late in the second half. Tennessee had a 17-0 run in the first half and were ahead by as many as 27in the second half. No. 12 Pittsburgh 80, West Virginia 66: The host Panthers (25-5, 12-3) remained in contention for the host Big East regular-season title. BYU 62, No. 25 Air Force 58: Austin Ainge scored 14 points as the visiting Cougars (22-7, 12-3) clinched at least a share of the Mountain West Conference title. Chris Lofton scored 21points, and host Tennessee pulled away from No. 5 Florida in the first half and held on for an 86-76 victory Tuesday night. “When we play at home, we’re hard to beat,” Lofton said. “It’s the crowd. You’re at your home gym and everybody is with you. I feel like we come out and play hard at home.” center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Inishowen councillor slams Sinn Fein’s “disgraceful’ insult to people of peninsula

first_imgInishowen Councillor Bernard McGuinness has accused Sinn Fein of being “disgraceful” over what he claims is an insult to the people of the peninsula last year.The Culdaff-based publican hit out at the party’s representatives over the Cockhill Bridge opening ceremony.“They (Sinn Fein) whinge and go on all the time,” McGuinness told supporters at his party’s North Inishowen Selection Convention in Ballyliffin on Monday night. “When I stood up in Donegal County Council in 2014 and 2015 and told the council that Minister Joe McHugh would deliver a new bridge at Cockhill they (Sinn Fein) laughed at me.“And of course Joe delivered the project. And when our Taoiseach came to Inishowen to open the Cockhill Bridge not one of them bothered to turn up; they couldn’t find any of their 9 elected members in Donegal nor any party members to be there. It was disgraceful behaviour.“Cockhill Bridge was the main issue when I came into politics. Lorries and cars were getting stuck there. I predicted we’d fix it in Government and we did. Sinn Fein boycotting that event was an absolute disgrace; they were disgraceful that day – and they did not serve the people of Inishowen that day.”Cllr McGuinness was first elected in 1979 and has served as a councillor for 40 years. Minister McHugh and European election candidate Maria Walsh were among those at the convention to see McGuinness selected to run unopposed for Fine Gael in May’s local elections.Minister McHugh praised Cllr McGuinness’s 40 years of service to Inishowen.“He has worked tirelessly on so many issues over the years, for farmers, for victims of the Inishowen floods, for those affected by Mica, for local people across Inishowen – and of course he was the voice behind calls for a new bridge at Cockhill,” said the Donegal TD.“I am delighted that Bernard is running again for council as he brings a wealth of experience to the role which is unmatched in this county.”Inishowen councillor slams Sinn Fein’s “disgraceful’ insult to people of peninsula was last modified: March 12th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

South Africa: keep flying!

first_imgWear the colours of South Africa’s flag or the shirt of one of the national teams – Bafana Bafana, the Springboks or the Proteas – every Friday.Fly the flag at home and in the office.Buy South African goods to help create jobs and grow the economy.Once a month, give an hour (or more) of their time to helping other people. “By continuing to stand together, there is nothing we cannot do,” Miller Matola, chief executive of Brand South Africa, said this week. “As our visitors go home, let us remind them to keep coming back to South Africa, because we are a nation proud of its achievements, and a country that is open for business.” The first Fly the Flag Friday will be on 16 June 2010. SAinfo reporter and MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. 13 July 2010 Brand South Africa is to keep the momentum of solidarity and national pride built up in the country during the 2010 Fifa World Cup by morphing its highly successful Football Fridays campaign into a new Fly the Flag Fridays initiative. The campaign, which already has its own website and Facebook page, was endorsed by South African President Jacob Zuma in a speech delivered the day after the final whistle of the tournament was blown. “The Football Fridays campaign became highly successful,” he said. “South Africans from all walks of life proudly wore national colours every Friday. It was a meaningful collective experience of a lifetime.” Zuma then reminded South Africa that while the Fifa World Cup was over, the country could still look forward to more sporting triumphs to come. “As we draw the curtain on the 2010 Fifa World Cup, we now turn our focus to the fortunes of the nation’s Springbok Rugby Team in the Tri-Nations Series,” he said. “Let me remind South Africans that we are the reigning Tri-Nations and Rugby World Champions. Therefore, do not pack away those rainbow nation flags just yet. National duty still calls.” Fly the Flag Fridays will be an ongoing campaign, with Brand South Africa encouraging South Africans to wear the colours of their flag, to keep flying the flag on their vehicles and at their homes and offices, and to embrace the spirit created during Africa’s first, full-colour World Cup. The campaign urges people to:last_img read more

Lady Eagles kick off bid vs Lady Bombers

first_imgRead Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES The Lady Eagles, who will play minus star setter Jia Morado and key spiker Michelle Morente, kick off their bid versus Jose Rizal University at 6:30 p.m. at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Morado opted to forego her final playing year, while Morente also left Ateneo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutArellano and St. Benilde clash in the other women’s game featuring two NCAA champions at 4 p.m.Jovielyn Prado banners the Lady Chiefs, who bagged the NCAA crown last season after dethroning the Lady Blazers in the Final Four. After losing two vital cogs, Ateneo hopes it still has enough tools for a title run as the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference gets going Saturday.“Like any other team, our goal is to win the championship,” said new Ateneo team captain Bea De Leon. “We’ll just do our best every game.”ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Mangulabnan, Mauricio out to pad bike leads SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Joining St. Benilde and Arellano in Group are University of the Philippines, Technological Institute of the Philippines, San Beda and Adamson.The top two teams in each group after the single-round eliminations will advance to the crossover Final Four. The finalists will battle in a best-of-three series. —JASMINE W. PAYO Regine Arocha, who saw action for the Power Smashers in the recent PVL Reinforced and Open Conferences, also hopes to beef up the Lady Chiefs’ bid along with Andrea Marzan, Anne Esguerra, Rhea Ramirez, Necole Ebuen and libero Faye Flores.Leading the Lady Blazers’ charge are Marites Pablo, Angela Enginco, Diane Ventura, Chelsie Umali, Ranya Musa and setter Pauline Cardiente.The tournament also serves as a collegiate preseason build up for the 12 women’s teams and 10 men’s squads.La Salle and St. Benilde open men’s action at 10 a.m., followed by the 1 p.m. match between University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas.Ateneo and JRU lead Group A that also includes National University, the winner of the last two collegiate V-League titles. San Sebastian, Lyceum and Far Eastern University round out the group.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo speaks out on racism after chants aimed at Kalidou Koulibaly

first_imgDerrick Rose returns to Chicago, leads Wolves over Bulls FILE – In this Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 file photo, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly leaves the pitch after receiving a red card from the referee during a Serie A soccer match between Inter Milan and Napoli, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. Cristiano Ronaldo has come to the defense of Kalidou Koulibaly after the Napoli defender was the target of racist chants during a match at Inter Milan. Next to a photo of him being marked by Koulibaly during a match earlier this season, Ronaldo writes on Instagram, “In the world and in football there always needs to be education and respect. No to racism and to any sort of insult and discrimination!!!”. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)MILAN — Cristiano Ronaldo has come to the defense of Kalidou Koulibaly after the Napoli defender was the target of racist chants during a match at Inter Milan.Next to a photo of him being marked by Koulibaly during a match between Napoli and Juventus earlier this season, Ronaldo writes in Italian on Instagram , “In the world and in football there always needs to be education and respect. No to racism and to any sort of insult and discrimination!!!”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Koulibaly had monkey noises directed at him throughout the Serie A game on Wednesday at Milan’s San Siro stadium. He was sent off in the 81st minute after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for sarcastically applauding the referee after being shown the first.Koulibaly earlier made a decisive goal-line clearance to deny Inter captain Mauro Icardi.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefAfter the game, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti threatened to lead his team off the field the next time one of his players was subjected to continued racist abuse. Ancelotti asked several times for the match against Inter to be halted after the chants, and announcements warning fans this would happen were made but no further action was taken.Koulibaly posted on Twitter of his pride of being born in France to Senegalese parents . Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño “I’m sorry about the defeat and especially to have left my brothers! But I am proud of the color of my skin. Of being French, Senegalese, Neapolitan: a man,” he wrote in Italian.Inter beat Napoli 1-0 as Serie A matches were held on Dec. 26 for the first time in nearly 50 years — since 1971.It was the latest incident of racism to blight Italian football.Sulley Muntari walked off the field during a Serie A game in April 2017 in response to racist abuse. The Pescara midfielder was infuriated after unsuccessfully trying to get the referee to halt the game at Cagliari.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid View commentslast_img read more

Fans no.1 Rank No.154

first_imgYou’ve got to love India for the way it loves football. There is no Indian team in the World Cup; and yet, for many Indians, life has ground to a delicious halt for the month-long duration of the tournament. Unlike in 2006-when Vikash Dhorasoo, a Mauritian descended from Andhra labourers,You’ve got to love India for the way it loves football. There is no Indian team in the World Cup; and yet, for many Indians, life has ground to a delicious halt for the month-long duration of the tournament. Unlike in 2006-when Vikash Dhorasoo, a Mauritian descended from Andhra labourers indentured in the 19th century, made his improbable way on to the roster of France-there isn’t a single player of Indian origin in any of the 32 squads on view in Brazil.Amid the legions of naturalised players representing countries other than the ones in which they (or their parents) were born, there are Congolese players playing for Belgium, Albanians for Switzerland, Jamaicans for England, Turks for Germany, Surinamese for The Netherlands, Senegalese for France, Guinea-Bissauans for Portugal, Icelanders for the United States. But there is no ethnic Indian in sight-on any team, from anywhere-even though there can scarcely be a country where Indians have not settled in numbers. And yet, India is agog, watching the World Cup through late nights and early mornings with a passion that is truly impressive, even slightly mad.At an emotional and spiritual level, this should make Indians a special people. At least with regard to football, we are not narrow nationalists. I wanted to set up a business call with a colleague in Delhi and he pleaded, “Please, no, not then, I’ll be watching Colombia. This was a country in which the man in question had never set foot, whose music (I can reliably state) he’d never heard, whose language he does not speak, and yet… missing even a small part of the game mattered. Colombia mattered because Colombia was playing football in the World Cup, and that was that. There is a purity of devotion in the heart of the Indian football aficionado that comes from being unsullied by merely patriotic impulses. This is what makes the Indian football fan so much more noble than the Indian cricket fan, who cares only for the Indian cricket team (a victorious Indian cricket team, preferably), and who would rather die a slow death than watch New Zealand play Sri Lanka, or England play South Africa.advertisementEvery four years, when the football World Cup starts to sizzle, Indian fans are faced with a question that fans in Brazil or England, Argentina or The Netherlands, do not ever face: Who to support? Not for Indians the electric pleasure of watching their team emerge from the tunnel, hair gelled, chins a-stubble, chests puffed with pride as the national anthem plays out to the world. Not for Indians the delight of having strangers from other lands come up to them, mouthing (and mangling) the names of Indian players in gestures of admiration and fandom. Not for Indians the panning of the cameras to Indian sections of a World Cup crowd, alighting on the faces of lovely Indian girls, painted Indian diehard fans, troops of men beating Indian drums. India, a billion-strong, is absent from the spectacle. We had a chance to be a part of all this, in 1950, when the Indian team was invited to the last World Cup held in Brazil. But the men who ran the Indian football federation, to their eternal damnation, chose not to send a team that would likely have acquitted itself well. They deemed the damage to their precious budgets to be too high. India-and Indian football-has been paying for that shortsightedness, that cosmic niggardliness, forever after.Those were years when India was the India of global under-confidence, of an inward-looking provincialism, when competition was frowned upon by the elites who governed the country. This aversion to competition afflicted our business, our industry, our trade… our football. And now that we are ready to compete with the world, we find that we cannot, except in those areas where we have a special advantage, such as cricket, with its small field of countries against which the game might be played.We are still appalling at most truly global competitions: Our universities aren’t world-class; our scientific R&D is mediocre, as is our defence technology; our industries are uncompetitive; our military fit for battle only against paltry Pakistan (and China knows this); our diplomats can barely speak English (let alone Russian or Arabic)… and our football team is ranked 154th in the world, one place above Singapore, one place behind Malaysia.But our football fans should be ranked close to, or at, No. 1, for they are the closest one gets to the platonic ideal of a football-lover. Not wedded to a team by blood or flag, they pick their favourites independently. An Indian family might have a father who supports Brazil, a son who shouts for a Spain, a daughter who swoons for Italy, a mother who admires Argentina. Brazil has long been an Indian passion, in part because its players play the game with such rollicking panache, but also because there is a sense that Brazil, somehow, is like India: A big, unruly, Third World country with colossal income disparity and cities seething with slums. It helps, perhaps, that some Brazilians even look a bit like us. But when we look at their football crowds, and their women, we know that there are few countries in the world that are as unlike India as Brazil. We gape at their sexual frankness, their startlingly different moral codes, and we know that all comparisons, all likenesses, have limits.advertisement  In the end, what the Indian fan looks for in a World Cup team is not an echo of himself or his country, but a history of excellence and a recognisable sporting idiom that appears to transcend national boundaries. Brazil plays football in a way that invites the whole world to watch. Recent Spanish teams have played that way, too, as have some of the more successful Argentine sides of the modern era. England, by contrast, and Germany (or, to be fair, the Germany of about 10 years ago) have both been teams that tailor their appeal to their own compatriots. Flair is an important part of global appeal, efficiency and grit less so. Which is not to say that Indian fans aren’t quietly envious of people from countries that aren’t in the top tier, and yet, by sheer dint of effort, send teams to World Cups: Costa Rica. Algeria. Greece. Bosnia and Herzegovina. South Korea. United States. Honduras. Iran.For the truth is that the Indian fan is acutely embarrassed every four years by the resounding absence of India from the World Cup, even as he is exhilarated by the matches between old favourites. Just as players from other lands are household names in his own country, the Indian fan yearns for the day when Indian players will command global attention, serving as better ambassadors for India than the legions of suits in embassies around the world. Watching football is a complex business when the World Cup comes around. We are uplifted by the play we see, by the rugged beauty on display. But we also feel very small as we watch, a nation cut down to size. Tunku Varadarajan is a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institutionlast_img read more