Recently I went to an exhibit at the Asia Society Texas Museum. The exhibit, Transcendent Deities of India – The Everyday Occurence of the Divine, features contemporary artwork but focuses on modern artists’ exploration of Hindu gods and goddesses. Throughout history religions have relied on imagery to evoke imagination and connect with spirituality. Indian culture and Hinduism are certainly no exception. The artists through their chosen medium are able bring a fresh perspective to an ancient religion.
I especially enjoyed the works of Manjari Sharma and Abhishek Singh. In her series Darshan, Sharma recreates traditional Hindu images and sculptures through intricate sets and carefully selected models. The large scale photographs invite the viewer to explore the story, clothing and environment of the different Hindu deities.
Abhishek Singh’s work includes a variety of illustrative styles from dark, moody environments to colorful Disney-like characters. A few of his books are featured in the exhibit. I’ve always wanted to explore Hindu religious texts but found it difficult to engage in the epic-length novels. The short form and highly visual graphic novel from Singh seemed like the perfect media to explore these tales. The images in this post are from the book I purchased, KRISHNA: A Journey Within.
The exhibit runs until September 14 in Houston. With only a $5 admission, it’s definitely worth checking out. I went on a Friday and the museum was very quiet. I was able to read the descriptive placards and really take in the artwork which can be difficult to do in crowded museums. If you’re not in Houston, I highly suggest checking out the artist’s websites (linked above).