8 records
HEROES & VILLAINS: The Battle for Good in Indian's Comics

October 17, 2009–February 7, 2010

Contemporary Indian comics continue a long tradition of recounting the extraordinary deeds of heroic gods and goddesses. Their characters are drawn from ancient archetypes that have been depicted in painting and sculpture and are deeply ingrained in Indian culture. In twenty-first-century comic books these Indian deities are visualized as modern superheroes brought to Earth to vanquish evil forces. Demons take the form of villains who raise havoc in today’s troubled times. These comics are produced in a global environment through a process that combines hand-drawn illustration and computer imaging.

This exhibition brings together comic books and drawings with LACMA's permanent collection to illustrate the continuity of the heroic narrative tradition in Indian art. The great battle scenes between divine heroes and demonic villains are based on stories found in Indian epics and religious texts as the Ramayana (Adventures of Rama) and the Devimahatmya (Glory of the Goddess). Several works exemplify local storytelling traditions in adaptations from major Indian epics such as the Mahabharata (Great Epic of India).

- Julie Romain, South and Southeast Asian Art, (2009)