Here, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami is imagined by Sonia Chitrakar (India b.1998) as Kali, the goddess of death and destruction, devouring everything in her path. Kali is shown in the top frame of Tsunami and Ganga the river goddess calmly rides a dolphin in the lower frame, but in between are cars, helicopters, televisions and modern buildings.

Patachitra, or ‘pats’, are scroll paintings from West Bengal, intimately bound up with itinerant storytelling and songs. Historically, patachitra were cloth scrolls on which mythological or epic stories were painted as a sequence of frames. The artists (patua) would travel from village to village, slowly unrolling the scrolls and singing the stories. Patachitras have been compared to cinema frames or animation, and are said to be one of the oldest forms of audiovisual communication.

Exhibited in 'The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT8) | 21 Nov 2015 – 10 Apr 2016


  • Title: Tsunami
  • Creator: Sonia Chitrakar
  • Date Created: 2012
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 280 x 56cm
  • Provenance: Purchased 2016 with funds from the Estate of Jessica Ellis through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
  • Subject Keywords: APT8, India, Sonia Chitrakar
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © The artist
  • External Link: Kalpa Vriksha: Contemporary Indigenous and Vernacular Art of India
  • Medium: Natural colour on mill-made paper with fabric backing

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