Heroes and Villains: The Battle for Good in India’s Comics
October 17, 2009–February 7, 2010
This exhibition examines the legacy of India’s divine heroes and heroines in contemporary South Asian culture through the comic book genre. Indian superheroes and their archenemies are visualized from ancient archetypes that have long been depicted in traditional painting and sculpture, and are deeply ingrained in India’s historical imagination. In the twenty-first century new incarnations of ancient Indian gods and goddesses are made manifest as modern superheroes brought to Earth to vanquish the evil forces. Demons take the form of modern villains, and raise havoc in today’s troubled times. Today comic book production takes place in a global cultural context and within a multimedia framework that combines traditional hand-drawn illustrations with computer design and animation technology. These issues are explored through a selection of vintage Indian and American comics, and contemporary pencil-and-ink-drawn character explorations by Indian artists from the Liquid Comics series Ramayan and Devi. To illustrate the continuity of the heroic narrative tradition in Indian art, a selection from LACMA’s historical collection of Indian paintings will also be on view. These include folios from Mughal illustrated manuscripts, paintings and drawings from the northern Indian princely states, and story-telling paintings from central India. Curators: Julie Romain, Tushara Bindu Gude.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA. 90036
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