Pushpa Kumari and Pradyumna Kumar are Mithila artists. Dating from at least the fourteenth century, Mithila painting and drawing is an ancient art form traditionally practised by women in the Mithila region of Bihar in northern India and Nepal. For several centuries it was used to mark rituals and ceremonies, particularly weddings, and created mostly on the walls of homes. The Madhubani district is known for its artists, hence the form is sometimes referred to as Madhubani. The works are characterised by intricate line drawing, geometric patterns and elaborate symbolism.
Wind (the beautiful maiden with her flowing hair) address stories of love and union from Hindu mythology. Wind (the beautiful maiden with her flowing hair) illustrates the story of Sita, from the Hindu epic the Ramayana, in which Sita is abducted by the demon king Ravana, and the narrative follows Rama and his brother on their journey to find her. Sita’s birthplace was said to be in Bihar, the home of Mithila painting, and she is sometimes referred to as the princess of Mithila.
Prem Jalkida (The Intoxication of love and attraction) shows two lotus flowers with human faces bending towards each other. The lotus flower is very significant in Hindu culture, particularly associated with Vishnu, Brahma and Lakshmi. Growing from the mud to become something of supreme beauty, its perfect form is seen as a symbol of fertility, divinity and prosperity, as well as a promise of spirituality and eternity. Beneath the flowers, two peacocks (associated with love in Mithila symbolism) appear entwined, resting on the gently undulating water.
Bararsingha - The balance of Life shows two deer intertwined, with branches instead of horns on their heads. The theme of union is an important one in Mithila painting, and Pradyumna Kumar here explores the fusion between plant and animal forms, representing the interconnectedness of life and nature.
Since 1993, The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) has been the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art's flagship contemporary art series. APT has driven the Gallery's focus on the region and enabled the development of one of the world's most significant collections of contemporary Asian, Pacific and Australian art.
The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8)
21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016