Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art

Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 111. The Navarasa Suite [9].

Property of a Reputed International Collector

Pushpamala N

The Navarasa Suite [9]

Auction Closed

October 26, 03:08 PM GMT


4,000 - 6,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property of a Reputed International Collector

Pushpamala N

b. 1956

The Navarasa Suite [9]

Sepia-toned silver prints

All signed, dated and numbered '9/10 Pushpamala 2000-2003' on reverse and respectively titled 'Raudra Rasa', 'Bhayanaka Rasa', 'Karuna Rasa', 'Adbhuta Rasa', 'Veera Rasa', 'Bhibhatsa Rasa', 'Hasya Rasa', 'Shanta Rasa', 'Sringara' also on reverse

Edition 9 of 10

Images: each approximately 61.5 x 45.7 cm. (24 ⅛ x 17 ⅞ in.)

Sheets: each approximately 68.5 x 50.7 cm. (26 ⅞ x 19 ⅞ in.)

Quantity: 9

Executed 2000-2003

Acquired from Bose Pacia, New York

A. Jhaveri, A Guide to 101 Modern & Contemporary Indian Artists, India Book House Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, 2005, illustration p. 136 (another from the edition)

"By using [JH Thakker's] early baroque style, I tried to enter into a neglected history of Indian photography, which deals with fantasy and story telling rather than realism."

- Pushpamala N 

('Bombay Photo Studio' (2003),

Pushpamala N is a pioneering photo and performance artist based in Bangalore, whose incisive and entertaining work focuses on themes such as feminism, popular culture and collective memory. In Pushpamala's The Navarasa Suite, a series of nine self-portraits personify the nine 'rasas' (emotions) of Sanskrit literature: Sringara (love), Adbhuta (wonder), Hasya (joy), Bhayanaka (fear), Bhibhatsa (disgust), Karuna (compassion), Raudra (anger), Veera (courage) and Shanta (tranquility). Part of the artist's Bombay Photo Studio series (2003), these photographs were shot in the studio of JH Thakker, iconic photographer to the stars of post-Independence Hindi cinema. With their sepia-tone, dramatic lighting, costume and theatrical poses, the Navarasa prints capture the witty narrative of Pushpamala's work and comment on the interaction between tradition and modernity in both 'Golden Age' Indian cinema and the country at large. An edition of 10, one Navarasa Suite is part of the Museum of Modern Art in New York's collection (Object number: 28.2018.1-9).