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Tantric Art

Tantric practices in the Indian subcontinent can be traced to begin from the 5th Century A.D. It is related to the ritualized practice of meditation via certain esoteric principles. Art in these realms are equally situated within the ritual practices with a symbolic representation of geometric patterns. Concentric use of circles and squares are used to form rich linear formations for practical uses of worship, meditation, death and birth ceremonies. Other tantric ritual practices have prolific history in South-East Buddhist history, in Vajrayana Buddhism and Tibetan Bon traditions. Ritualized art is made for sacred use and destroyed right after. Secular art practices have borrowed from these notions of tantric , particularly the style of their art and its connotation in all our practices.

Further Reading

Merriam Webbster, Sacred Texts tantra


S H Raza, Kundalini, 2006, acrylic on canvas, 39 x 39 in, meaning 'the coiled one' in Sanskrit, is usually represented as a curled serpent lying at the base of the spine. The snake-like coil of painted circles in Kundalini symbolizes this primal source of energy. In this piece, blue and black concentric rings spread out from two central, interlocking forms that recall the opposing, though balancing forces of yin and yang. At the very top and base of this coil lie the tails and heads of the two serpents that it is made up of.