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Bamboo Temple

New Delhi, India

The International Festival of Sacred Arts 



Project Team:

Naomi Darling - Principal 

Narinder Sarin - Project Manager

Darrell Petit - Site Manager

5 Indian bamboo Master Craftsmen

Pami Singh - Festival Organizer

Geetanjali Singh Chanda - Conference Organizer

Bamboo temple was a temporary sacred space created for the performances at the International Festival of Sacred Art, New Delhi.  The sacred space needed to resonate with performers from a multiplicity of cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs including: ‘Buddhist Chants from the High Himalaya’ by nuns from the Druk Gawa Khilwa Abbey, ‘Dancing to The Gods - Nata-Sankirtan & Vasant Raas’ by artists from the Manipur Dance Academy, ‘Sacred Music from the Eastern Orthodox Church’ by The Cosmic Voices from Bulgaria and ‘Sacred Music from the Steppe’ by Chirgilchin Maste Throat Singers from Tuva, Russia.    In designing the installation, the first question considered was “what are elements of the sacred that transcend religion and culture, and speak directly to the human spirit?”  Life, wind and light.   In order to bring life to the stage, bamboo was selected as a local natural living material.  It is a lightweight renewable resource, pliable and flexible with incredible strength.  The bamboo was individually selected from a local source for natural curvature.  In order to accommodate the variety of performances, the installation was composed of multiple prefabricated self-supporting tripod elements that were light-weight and could be arranged specifically for each performance.  Leaves were left on the upper sprigs which bent over to create a sense of enclosure on the stage.  The leaves also caught the slight movement of the dancers and lighting to create a variety of effects throughout the week-long festival.  To fabricate the project, I collaborated with a team of five master bamboo craftsmen who bent and lashed the bamboo pieces into place. 

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