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Indian Ritual Art

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Item Code: NAY665
Author: Manjula Chaturvedi & Ajay Kumar Singh
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788177023275
Pages: 160 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 10.00 X 7.50 inch
Weight 590 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description

About the Book
The book Indian Ritual Art not only documents the vanishing tradition of vernacular art practiced in day today life of common people of India but unfurls forgotten potential moral and cultural values those were interwoven with simplistic aesthetic perception without any bourgeois utopia of creativity. The motif used in the simple art form and pattern bear great symbolic meaning towards integrity and dignity of social fabric that struggling hard to sustain even in fast converting industrial society.

These visual formulae tell tale of intensive humanistic relationship of organic life with environment and nature, amicable human behavior with cyclic order of seasons and sacraments, all demolishing the flimsy line between mundane and eternal. Every motif as an intensifier furthers the continuity of tale from one to all.

About the Author
Dr. Manjula Chaturvedi is a professor of painting and has been teaching fine arts for last thirty five years. She has learned folk arts from her mother in very traditional way and practiced in life style. She is recipient of several prestigious national and international awards namely Career Award UGC and twice DAAD and Indo German Cultural fellowships, besides she has delivered lectures in various European universities and participated in art events abroad. She has many books to her credit including poetry in Hindi. Presently she is Dean of the Faculty of Humanity at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi.

Dr. Ajay Kumar Singh is professor and head in the department of history of art and Director of University Museum Bharat Kala Bhavan at Banaras Hindu University. He is pioneer in the study of Western Himalayan Art and working in the Indo-Tibetan border region since 1976. Dr. Singh has worked in several international projects on Indo- Tibetan Bronzes in Kinnaur Valley, Norway and Art Heritage of Lower Sutlej Valley, DFG, and Germany. He has delivered number of lectures in many European Universities, participated in more than dozens of International conferences abroad and has numerous scientific research publications to his credit. Dr. Singh has been guest professor in the institute of Central Asian Studies (1996-97) and Institute of Oriental Art History (1999) at the University of Bonn, Germany.

Ritual art of India (of Braj region) is an album of selected ritual drawings and designs which are integral part of seasonal festivals and traditional ceremonies. This album contains genuine art of common people although extraordinary in execution and imagination. I have great pleasure in introducing two young and brilliant connoisseur of popular art Dr. Manjula Chaturvedi and Dr. A.K. Singh, who have extensively travelled in western Uttar Pradesh from village to village to collect the best specimens of ritual drawings whats still managed to survive as traditional expression practiced with gusto by common female folk.

The authors have attempted an in-depth study of the socio cultural milieu of the people for whom ritual, art and life are compounded into one. The authors are not mere collectors rather they express scrupulous understanding of the entire framework of ritual drawing which includes humane and divine aspects of existence and their mutual linkage and symbolization in imaginative way. The authors have taken great pains to give a succinct but elaborate description of the drawings and grammar of motifs used therein.

Nevertheless, the album profiles the vast universe of human consciousness, its spontaneous artistic creativity and subtlety what often misnamed as folk art. Professor Stella Kramrisch contemplating its inherent spiritual drive and genre called it "unknown art of India" unknown in the sense it has been uncared for long by the art historians and art critics.

I sincerely hope that this album could be a beginning of such fruitful Endeavour by the authors and by others also.

We owe our profound gratitude to Professor Vidya Niwas Mishra who actually inspired us to write this book and also gave his valuable time to correct first draft, share ideas, and appease many puzzles we encountered during the course of writing. His patience, good humor, and helpful anecdotes supported us to complete the book. Now he is no more with us but still we feel his gracious presence and we pay our highest tribute to his sacred memory.

This book likely to be published in 1992-93 from Norway could not reach to printing press for one or other reasons. There are several excellent books on Indian Folk Art dealing with the aesthetics, style and other aspects yet there is still scope for a book on ritual art which generally considered as folk art of popular genre of Western Uttar Pradesh which holds an important position in the history of Indian Art and culture.

This book presents a comprehensive examination and evaluation of the ritual art tradition specially painting in ocio-cultural context; it does so by discussing thematic treatment with special reference to the constituent, motifs which give a concrete meaning. But with the advancement of industrialization and consumerism, century’s old tradition faces threat of deletion, their relevance and meaning. Under such conditions this book fulfils the urgent requirement of the preservation of disintegrating and decaying tradition. At the very outset of the book introduction focuses upon the questions pertaining the nature and importance of ritual art, relevance in the life and characteristic features.

This also probe into the matter for the search of the source of continuity of creative tradition in the realm of aesthetic psyche of people.

For convenience and better understanding drawings are arranged in order of calendar sequence covering seasonal rituals observed on festivals and ceremonial rituals associated with sacraments (samskaras).

We hope this book would be endorsed by the scholars and art enthusiasts as a humble effort of documenting and preserving the heritage vanishing fast into hectic of time.

In Indian tradition, art in itself is a ritual interlinked with everyday life and behavior whether spiritual or mundane. In fact, there is no sharp line of demarcation between spiritual and mundane or sacred and profane. Art therefore, is essentially a rejuvenation of human existence and is analogous to sacrifice which according to the Vedic sheers, is described as punarutpad': means reproduction or rebirth or re-creation. In this respect art is a creative activity which requires total extermination of ego in the cosmic totality and generates oneness with the cosmic being.

Ritual art is not different from decorative art because the entire life is considered ritual in Indian tradition, and all rituals in some way or other are taken as an art because it involves aesthetic perception of microcosm and its transformation into macrocosm through lines, colors, sounds, movements in rhythmic patterns of different design concepts.

Ritual art has two types of manifestation, one through the scriptural and other through the oral, both remains in continuous interaction and are achieved by rigorous and meticulous practice. Both the traditions assume that originality lies not in introducing new themes and new techniques but in faithfully following the tradition and by perfection of arrangement and interplay of given forms creating a newly integrated world of aesthetic enjoyment. So what is given by the tradition is as important as what is being given back to the tradition as a work of art.

Every work of art is believed contemporary in the context of its own time and space, and the technique of production evolved within particular frame of time and space remains contemporary. But art being a creative activity and expression of human experiences embodies values which are not only transient but persistent and universal? This fact transcends art work from particular frame of time and space into realm of eternal and universal present. According to Indian school of thoughts life is constructed of material and the rituals are observance of living tradition, which at end unite people of different beliefs and bring them into oneness of spirituality.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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