The Art of Spatial Flexion in Ancient Indian Sculpture Fabrication
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
The ancient sculptural tradition of INDIA has a significant characteristic. The images, whether they are in seated, standing or reclining postures, are invariably composed in a manner that reflects the grace of dance movements. Dance forms of this country express emotions in a lucid, richly flavored, aesthetically pleasing manner which lingers on in the heart of the observer. Dance communicates various feelings by the way of changing expressions on the face; flexions and posture of the body like bending curving and supplicating; and lastly through the gesture of the hands. The shilpī-rishis (Master sculptor), perceiving the sensitivity and richness of the expressions of dance, have absorbed this methodology of communication into the sculptural forms. As a result, the sculptural tradition has become invested with dynamism and vigour. The sculptures thus augmented with dance forms evoke an aesthetic response of a very high order. The flexions of arms and legs, and the arching of the body represented through very difficult method in stone sculptures. The stretching and extending of limbs has to be much more subtle and held closer to the main body (this is the constraint of the material itself), and yet evoke a response in the observer. The grammar of the flexions in dance takes on a different meaning and connation in the eyes of shilpī (Artist). The main divisions of the grammar are bhaṅgaor body flexions and curves, āsana or postures and mudra or gestures.