Friday, November 17, 2006

India— the cradle of world spirituality

My next destination is India— the cradle of world spirituality—where, along with Nepal, I’m expecting to spend the coming six months. On Tuesday evening I’ll get on a plane bound for New Delhi (from Chicago) and get started on Phase II. India is in the throes of globalization and rapid economic development, and the majority of contemporary artworks that are garnering international attention deal with issues more common to the western art world—globalization, national and individual identity vis the media, gender issues, etc. According to many I’ve spoken with, there is a turning away from spiritual art, at the very time that the west is looking more intensively towards the East for spiritual inspiration and insight.
Nonetheless, I expect to find that those who continue to work on spiritual themes, with declared spiritual intent, and in communities of mystic and spiritual practice to have interesting things to say through their artworks. There is also a relatively large community of Western artists treating spiritual themes in their work living in India today, and these too will be an important component of this phase of work.My research on India suggests that the most active areas for contemporary spiritual art—at least that which is known in the West—is concentrated in Benares (aka Varnassi, Hinduism’s holiest city), in West Bengal (Calcutta and Santineketan), and in the area near Chennai (formerly Madras), where the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Pondicherry), the Auroville community, and the communities near Arunachala/Trivunamali have attracted and launched a number of recognized artists who create works dealing in spiritual themes...
I want to send out thanks to a couple of people who have helped get me prepared for this voyage. First, Debashish Banerji, Ph.D. a Los Angeles-based expert in Indian art expert who curated “Divine Carriers,” the last comprehensive look at Indian contemporary spiritual art in 1996. posted by Phil at 4:25 PM

1 comment:

  1. Hi Its John from Melbourne. You might like to check out this website which affirms your thesis re India as the cradle of world spirituality.