Leela: An Exhibition on the Ramayana Tradition being held at the Twin Art Gallery, IGNCA, New Delhi has been extended till 28th December, 2017. The exhibition presents the Ramayana with a difference as it is not merely a retelling of the story of Dasharathi Rama, but explores some fundamental categories of Indian thoughts such as brahman, shabda, dhvani, nama, rupa etc. It then moves on to explore multiplicity of katha traditions, and Ramleela leading into bhakti and finally merging with the great silent cosmic void, the mahamauna.
More than 21 museums all across the country are participating in the exhibition by loaning precious and rare exhibits from their collections. The exhibition has specifically designed installations to explain abstract philosophical concepts. One of the highlights of the exhibition is the exhibits from the collection of Kashi Naresh of Banaras and original Ramlila paraphernalia from the world acclaimed Ramnagar Ramlila. Private collectors, individual artists and scholars have also loaned their objects and art creations for the exhibition.
Rare hand written manuscripts, stone and bronze sculptures, terracotta panels, rare miniature paintings, folk and tribal traditions, textiles, audio-visual projections and multi-media presentations are at display here. More than fifty versions of Ram Katha and Ramleela can be viewed in the audio-visual projection room. Manuscripts can be flipped through in the form of E-books. Audio-visual projections of Nakkataiya of Banaras, Agra Barat, Nati Imli Bharat Milap are other highlights of the exhibition. South East Asian traditions are explored through masks and puppets. Rare chitrakathi paintings, wooden and clay dolls of Mysore and Andhra Pradesh, Kalamkaris, Patachitra of Odisha, Patua scrolls of West Bengal, Kavad, the wooden story telling boxes of Rajasthan explore the multiplicity of Ramayana traditions. Folk and tribal musical instruments fill the dhvani section. In the shabda section, you can listen to hymns of Rg-Veda in the enchanting voice of Subhadra Desai. Miniature paintings, oleographs and rare stone sculptures, terracotta panels explore the aesthetic form, rupa. Ramnama data bank copies, calligraphy, mandalas, mantras, yantras, Ramnamavatis are at display in the Akara and Nama section. Specifically created music, sound and light make the exhibition an experiential journey.