The Spatiality of Hindu Temples, Southern India

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Abstract
The village of Hampi in Karnataka was once Vijayanagar, City of Victory. Sited on the sacred Tungabhadra River it was the residence of a dynasty of Hindu kings who ruled over a fabulously powerful empire from the 14th century until 1565, when the city was sacked by Mogul invaders. It was never re-built. During January, 1996, I visited Hampi as part of my travels around Southern India to analyse the poetic, spatial qualities characteristic of Hindu temples as a reference for my work as an installation artist. The principal element of expression of the installation artist could be said to be the articulation of space. My primary purpose was to analyse and document the nonrepresentational, formal elements by which sacred Hindu spatiality is culturally encoded; how the Hindu architects have added in particular ways to the creative language of the corporeal, architectural, mythical, sculptural. The proposition of cultural and historical precedents for this sculptural genre, often described as uniquely contemporary, is of interest to me also.
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Author(s)
Ely, Bonita
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Publication Year
1997
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Journal Article
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