The essays in this volume explore the role of popular imagery through various aesthetic streams in such diverse areas as religious and social symbolism, national identity, theatre backdrops, film poster art, photography, architecture and urban living. Exploring the issues of image and representation, the contributors to this volume move seamlessly between anthropology, performance studies, art history, and cultural studies within the broader frame of the new discipline of visual studies.
Jyotindra Jain, formerly Director of the Crafts Museum, New Delhi, is Professor at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. A Former Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow, Homi Bhabha Fellow, Visiting Professor at Harvard University at the Centre for the Study of World Religions, and recipient of the 1998 Prince Claus Award, his publications include: Ganga Devi: Tradition and Expression in Mithila Painting; Other Masters: Five Contemporary Folk and Tribal Artists of India; Kalighat Painting: Images from a Changing World; and Indian Popular Culture: “The Conquest of the World as Picture”. He edited the Marg volume Picture Showmen: Insights into the Narrative Tradition in Indian Art (1998). As Director of CIVIC: Centre for Indian Visual Culture he is engaged in creating a vast digital archive of Indian popular visual culture.