What does it mean to see and be seen by the divine? What does it mean to see the divine in new ways? These are the questions underlying Transcendent Deities of India: The Everyday Occurrence of the Divine, an exhibition of more than 70 works of art by Raja Ravi Varma, Manjari Sharma, and Abhishek Singh.
For Hindus in India, images of gods and goddesses are an integral part of religious practice. These images inspire worshippers and artists alike, populating the art of the region for thousands of years and demonstrating their power through hundreds of millions of daily encounters as part of rituals at temples, shrines, and other settings within India and the broader diaspora.
Transcendent Deities of India explores the visual communion between human and divine. Through prints, photographs, graphic art, paintings, and illustrations, Varma, Sharma, and Singh offer modern and contemporary interpretations of traditional imagery that position Hindu gods and goddesses within viewers’ frame of reference, ensuring their seamless applicability in new eras.
Vishnu, the preserver, comes to earth in times of distress in order to maintain the cosmic order. Dr. Harshita Kamath, Koppaka Assistant Professor in Telugu Culture, Literature, and History, will discuss the conception of Vishnu in the Hindu pantheon and his role illustrated by the works in the exhibition Transcendent Deities: The Everyday Occurrence of the Divine and the Carlos’s permanent collection
Proof Bakeshop, whose sour cherry scones are a beloved feature of AntiquiTEA programs at the Carlos, has provided a recipe from pastry chef Mike Carmody, so you can make them at home, and have them warm from the oven when the program begins.
Of the hundreds of Hindu deities, the elephant-headed god Ganesha is among the most beloved. Known as the “Lord of New Beginnings” and the “Remover of Obstacles,” his familiar image can be found near the entrance of Hindu homes, temples, shops, restaurants, and even on the dashboard of cars both in India and here in the United States.
This is a part of the South Asian collections of Emory’s Michael C. Carlos Museum which represent living religious traditions that originated in India thousands of years ago and spread throughout Asia and around the globe. As the third- and fourth-largest religions in the world, Buddhism and Hinduism have millions of followers, not only in Asia, but here in the United States, and even in Atlanta.