Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Colourful Indian Popular art

Neon green, bright orange, Rani pink, turquoise blue- bring on the COLOUR, we are Indians! Our temples, our clothes and our temperaments are decidedly colourful – we even marry off our brides in red
....and have an entire festival dedicated to colour.
Our films are a cornucopia of emotions, we like our comedy, tragedy, romance and thrills in one go And when we eat instead of sequential courses- ours is a spread that brings it all together
I needed to give this overview to context the brilliant unabashed colour that is now going to hit your eye :) Welcome to Indian popular art!

This is stuff that we’ve seen lining the pavements, as posters and wall calenders- The gods we worship are illustrated thus :

" Roadside display of poster and calendar art (Daryaganj, Delhi, 2000)"

"Dhanya Lakshmi. The goddess of wealth with tractor and tube-well in the background, signs of industrial agrarian prosperity.(Artist: Sapar Brothers, Publisher unknown)."

"Ya Ghaus-e Azam: a woman pays her homage to the shrine of Saint Abdul Qadir Jilani in Baghdad (Iraq) who is considered in high esteem by all Sufis in South Asia. The devotee wears typically north Indian dress while the saint’s miracles (of saving a drowning boat and others) are seen in the backdrop. It rare to see an Indian poster showing the persona of a saint.Artist: unknown, Publisher: Brijbasi, date: circa 1990"

When I was putting together this post I came across a site: Tasveerghar and a book on Indian popular art. 'India Bazaar' ( by Taschen Publications) is this beautiful book filled with posters, packaging, advertisements and calendars done in the inimitable Indian poster style. The Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati

The Favourite Elephant headed god, Lord Ganesha in an earlier illustration & a current version
Freedom Fighters all. Posters and charts- M.K Gandhi to the left and the many freedom fighters across generations
Firecracker packaging featuring Indian film stars to the left & a boy and girl illustrated in a style from the 60s.

"Tasveer Ghar is a trans-national virtual “home” for collecting, digitizing, and documenting various materials produced by South Asia’s exciting popular visual sphere including posters, calendar art, pilgrimage maps and paraphernalia, cinema hoardings, advertisements, and other forms of street and bazaar art." Tasveerghar is the place on the net to check out a serious and methodical approach to Indian popular art

A Hindi Film star Kajol used as decor on an Auto rickshaw

Filmposters with Muslim storylines. Note the predominant green.

Packaging.
Graphic design- Indian style.

There's a lot more which typically constitutes Indian popular art like 'Truck graphics& vehicle art' 'Signage graphics' 'Bollywood posters' but each of that will be a separate post :) Do tell me if you'd like to anymore in this space.

Images from GettyImages, IndiaBazaar, Tasveerghar.net & Streetgraphics India.

28 comments:

Vinita said...

Very Nice post Vineeta.. Brought a smile to my face. "Bring on the colors we are Indians" how very true.

vineeta said...

thanx vinita! I was just wondering about it- unlike my decor posts this one is rather 'in-your-face'- but well thats Popular Indian art for you. I really wanted to post about this for long :)

~ ॐ ~ said...

lovely lovely rang-a-rang post...

bhumika said...

A lovely spread of colours in this post vineeta. It's true, there's art all around us - be it on a matchbox or on the huge posters...

Smita said...

Can I say how lovely your post is?! Did u click those snaps yourself? I admit sometimes, too much colours seem garish, but when well done its a treat to the eyes.

vineeta said...

Prashant, Ab hum to Ranga-rang hi hain :) We are like that only :) glad you liked it

vineeta said...

Bhumika, thanx a ton :) Infact its so much around us, we take it for granted and don't see it as anything special- only once i started clicking pics and posting it in an international audience that I realised it is pretty unique.

vineeta said...

Smita, this is the one post that I haven't clicked a single image for :) All downloaded. At the end of the post I've given the credits of the visuals to Tasveerghar.net and gettyimages etc. And Im glad you enjoyed it :)

~ ॐ ~ said...

India is the THE most colorful and tasty country that i know of...

nothing even comes CLOSE !!!

i am proud of being an Indian and thankful to everyone to adds to this pride !!!

can't wait to come back to India and start clicking :)

vineeta said...

:) are u thanking me for adding to the pride? :))) Anyway- Im assuming that :) And Jaldi wapas aaja! Im sure your family misses u much.

~ ॐ ~ said...

without a doubt :)

Anil P said...

Colour pervades, surely. I'm not so sure if it always will as villages turn into urban centers.

amber said...

this post is so so pretty, your culture is so full of color & beauty! our neighbors are Indian and we are so lucky to have delicious traditional dinners with them, and we even celebrated Diwali with candles lit on our front porches. I laways check your blog and leave feeling very inspired, thank you!

vineeta said...

Anil P, I worry about that too- but travel across india often & you will figure- even if it does happen it will take some 3 centuries. I make the mistake of living in a city and I fear about our disappearing art, tradition & Indian-ness. For me its a choice but for an majority of India- its a way of life & will be for a long time.

vineeta said...

Amber, thanx for the appreciation- You celebrated Diwali!! wow. And what fun- sharing & exchanging cuisine of 2 countries sounds most exciting! :)

Elisa Day said...

Yes what a coincidence! I just love indian art. So I love your post! :)

I have not taken the photographs of the jewellry, they are taken from the internet. Glad you laked them, I would love
to have some of the jewellry.

vineeta said...

Elisa, your post just stopped me in my tracks :) And that jewellery can make anyone drool- great pics- whoevers taken them :) Thanx for sharing it!

gunJan said...

fills me with delight in being an indian - too much colour, too much life, too much spirit - lovely:-)keep capturing india in all colours vinee, keep making us feel happy about india

vineeta said...

Gunj, what you wrote is true really. Everything about India is unignorable if nothing else. We, our culture, our emotions, our smells, our colours are strong. Love it or hate it.

Bhavna said...

The best of Indian kitch! :-) love the colors!

vineeta said...

Thanx! And I like your new icon :)

Peggy said...

I adore these colors! I must have you send me some postcards!

Jay Cam said...

wow indian are is so intricate! beautiful!

vineeta said...

Peggy! I will if you want - just say the word :)

vineeta said...

Jay, You bet- Its almost like we dont believe in simplicity :)

Tanveer Farooqui said...

i got it,

kam said...

Thank you for sharing these wonderful images. I am researching Indian art for a mural that a wonderful Indian woman would like to have done in her home. She wants to marry several elements...abstract, traditional Indian motifs...and the images of her and her son's faces. It has been a wonderful experience to research Indian art and to see the traditional brought to the current day with such ease.

popularart said...

The picture really show the indian art, which is becoming more and more famous nowadays.