Gods, Heroes and Clowns

Performance and Narrative in South and Southeast Asian Art

Gods, Heroes and Clowns: Performance and Narrative in South and Southeast Asian Art explores visual and performance art inspired by the many narratives that pervade South and Southeast Asia, including the great Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and ballads describing the exploits of local folk heroes.

Art Exhibition previously on at NGV International in Victoria, Australia.
From Friday 01 May 2015 to Sunday 30 August 2015

Prabu Suyudana, wayang kulit puppet  image Maharana Jagat Singh II attending the invocation before a Raslila performance  image Illustrated manuscript of the Dewi Ruci  image Storyteller's cloth  image Gods, Heroes and Clowns

Published by National Gallery of Victoria - International on Monday 16 March 2015.
Contact the publisher.

Works on display come from India, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia and include storyteller’s cloths, shrine and temple hangings, manuscripts and paintings, masks and puppets. Historical and contemporary works in this exhibition use narrative as a means of exploring emotions, morals, and responses to contemporary events. The works were used in a wide range of contexts, including community processions and displays associated with religious festivals, as painted backdrops to storyteller’s performances and in lively puppet plays. Contemporary works include a patachitra (painted narrative textile) from Orissa, India, a sculpture by Indonesian artist Entang WIharso inspired by wayang kulit puppet performances, and a commissioned ‘soft sculpture’ by Cambodian artist Svay Sareth which critiques the message of the Buddhist Vessantara tale.