- I N I N D I A
S A C R E D & S Y M B O L I C
Series / Vector
For the month of January, I journeyed across Northern India. During that time, I experienced a myriad of experiences, drastically varied in nature. These artworks are the product of my experience... They represent five significant deities in the Hindu pantheon. Each artwork attempts to conceptually reduce the deities core components into a more understandable albeit abstract representation.
The artworks themselves were created initially by hand, utilizing a variety of media. Then, they were transferred to the computer and cleaned and embellished in Illustrator. The final works are vector based, with slight texture added in Photoshop.
- ~ V I S H N U ~
Vishnu is one of the three principal Hindu deities. In Hinduism, taken generally, there is the idea that there are three forces that comprise all of existence. These three forces are creation, maintenance, and destruction. Vishnu is the embodiment of maintenance and is the central deity who upholds the balance of creation and destruction.
- ~ S H I V A ~
Shiva is one of the most significant deities in the Hindu religion. Similar to Brahma, and Vishnu, he is considered one of the three principal deities that constitute all of creation. Shiva is a contradictory deity. He is believed to symbolize the destructive element of the universe. For many Hindus, this is not perceived as negative destruction, but instead destruction of personal sin, and universal evil. However, his meaning remains a paradox, and holds different significance depending on the individual worshipper.
- ~ B R A H M A ~
Brahma is one of the three central deities in Hinduism who is thought of as the divine creator. However, unlike Shiva and Vishnu, the other two principle deities, Brahma is rarely worshipped throughout India. As such, there is a strange paradox for Hindus who believe in the creative power of Brahma but do not worship the deity in the same manner as other important deities. Indeed, much of the writing on Brahma attempts to suggest why Brahma is not worshipped.
- ~ H A N U M A N ~
Although Hanuman is not a central deity in the Hindu pantheon, his presence is seen and felt across India. Hanuman, thought to be an incarnation of Shiva, is a monkey god. Hanuman is best known for his role in assisting Rama in the Ramayana. Hanuman is thought to represent the most loyal type of devotion to both the lord, and to human beings. At the same time, Hanuman is also worshipped for his deep understanding of the scriptures, which he is said to have mastered in 60 hours, and for his strength. During times of difficulty, Hindu’s often pray to Hanuman through chanting and repeating his name.
- ~ K A L I ~
Kali is a contradictory deity; she is thought to be both extremely malicious and universally compassionate. As such, Kali is particularly difficult for someone outside of the Indian culture to understand. However, there are certain aspects of Kali that are clearer than others. For example, she is savage in appearance, holding a human head in her hand, wearing a necklace of skulls, and usually standing on the body of her consort Shiva. Further, her eyes are almost always bright red, as is her exaggerated and dangling tongue that protrudes from her open mouth.