The Ramayana Revisited exhibition organised in Singapore brought alive the epic with puppets, idols and paintings.
The name ‘Rama,' it is said, grants moksha; it exudes timeless charm. It is no wonder that India is so blessed, for here Rama walked the land, beguiling all who came in contact with Him, personifying all that is good, becoming an eternal example of the perfect son, perfect brother, perfect husband, perfect friend, perfect king, and the ultimate saviour. He stood for Truth. His word, once spoken, was the last word. Sita became the exemplary woman, looked up to as the ultimate in feminine virtue.
The Ramayana Revisited exhibition at the Peranakan Museum, Singapore, brings this immortal epic to life, through paintings old and new, puppets and rare idols.
Colourful Cheriyal paintings from Andhra Pradesh look attractive in their bright colours, the characters drawn beautifully.
With the spread of the epic to S.E Asia and Japan, Oriental influences crept into the narrative, well brought out at this display through Indonesian, Thai and Cambodian artefacts and paintings.
Little alcoves make for story-telling corners, with young visitors crowding on the floor, eager to listen to episodes relevant to the particular display. Kolam, and face painting in the Kathakali style enchant children of all races, making up as demons or gods, of which the epic has plenty.
A Chinese ‘wayang' dances the episode of Ravana abducting Sita, in the small foyer, while a giant flying Hanuman is suspended above.
The exhibition, curated by Dr. Gauri Krishnan and her team, is drawing local Indians in plenty, especially South Indians, and numerous tourists from far and wide, who are so savvy about India, and all things Indian.
The Indian pantheon is particularly attractive to them, and the Ramayana is exercising its magnetic attraction in this splendid interactive manner in Singapore. A great effort, of an inspiration that has always touched epic proportions.