The Body In Indian Art

Ipshita Sen of Saffronart introduces The Body In Indian Art, one of the exhibitions part of Europalia- India in Belgium

New York: Whether it is physical culture, dance, adornment, yoga, Ayurveda- no civilization has had a fascinating interpretation and thorough understanding of the Body as India.

A Late Gupta Mask in Silver from Al Sabah, Kuwait.

A Late Gupta Mask in Silver from Al Sabah, Kuwait. Image Credit: http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/evoking-india/article5171360.ece

Indian art uses a unique framework to examine and represent the intricacies of the body. Curator Naman Ahuja invites the viewer to explore the essential elements of the Body and what drives Indian bodies. Ahuja aims to answer questions such as where do society’s archetypes of heroism and valour rest? What motivates abstinence and asceticism? How does a civilisation view the rites of passage, death, and birth? To what extent do Indians believe that the body’s fate is destined / predetermined, and to what degree is fortune in the hand of those people who shape it for themselves?

An Egg Symbolising the Universe by Subodh Gupta.

An Egg Symbolising the Universe by Subodh Gupta. Image Credit: http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/evoking-india/article5171360.ece

Belinder Dhanoa, editor of the catalogue for the exhibition, says that the exhibition  “reveals the body not only as the subject of art, but also as the medium used to convey the values, preoccupations and aspirations of the times. Through sculpture and painting we’re going to showcase visualizations of concepts as diverse as the ascetic, the heroic and supernatural bodies; and display artworks that examine and record some of the philosophical and aesthetic threads that run through the centuries. Through art, the body will be shown as a site for defining individual identity, constructing sex and gender ideals, negotiating power, and experimenting with the nature of representation itself.”

A Painting on Display at "The Body of Indian Art" at Europalia 2013.

A Painting on Display at “The Body of Indian Art” at Europalia 2013. Image Credit: http://in.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/968976/sneak-peek-at-europalias-the-body-in-indian-art-show

The exhibition thus takes one on a journey from death to rebirth, forces of fate to power of human action and much more, encapsulating themes of religion, aesthetics, philosophy, and cosmology.

Surasundari, a Sandstone Sculpture from Indian Museum, Kolkata.

Surasundari, a Sandstone Sculpture from Indian Museum, Kolkata. Image Credit: http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/art/evoking-india/article5171360.ece

Go discover the 250 enchanted treasures of ancient India from temples, tiny provincial museums, archaeological institutes and private collections in the pursuit of discovering the multifaceted complexities of the Body.

The exhibition is on view as part of Europalia-India at the Centre of Fine Art in Brussels until January 5, 2014. More information about this captivating exhibit can be found here.

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Art, Exhibitions

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