Australian-based Sunish Chabba has begun a new project to help promote Hindu symbolism and narratives around popular card games. Divine Art Playing Cards is the second project by Sunish from the stables of GPCC. It is inspired from Hindu Mythology. Wikipedia defines it as a large body of mythical narratives found in Hindu texts such as the epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, the Puranas, and the Vedas), Ancient Tamil literature (such as the Sangam literature and Periya Puranam), several other regional literature of South Asia.
Since time immemorial, storytellers and artisans have captured those stories and characters in the form of art. Some even tried capturing these stories & symbols in the form of card games and historical narratives point us towards Kridapatram & Ganjifa. From the 17th century onwards, one of the Ganjifa variants (known as Dashavatara Ganjifa) became the most popular card game in Rajasthan, Bengal, Nepal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Some other known Ganjifa variants include Mughal Ganjifa, Ramayan Ganjifa, Navgraha Ganjifa, Ashta Malla Ganjifa & Rashi Ganjifa.
Divine Art Playing Cards (DAPC) project takes the regular playing card deck and turns it on its head by combining it with Hindu Mythology. After Ganjifa, this project is one of the first that captures Hindu Mythology in a playing card deck.
The basis of the Indian world view is of Cosmic unity underlying the physical diversity of the world, through which man transcends himself. Since almost every Indian folk art form is based on Hindu mythology, for the Kings, Queens and Jacks of each suit, various Gods and Goddesses as well as their mounts (vahanas) are taken as inspiration. Millions worship these deities daily in India & abroad.
“We’re losing our connection to the past. I don’t want to document it or even glamorize it. I just want to pay tribute to it” – Cheryl Criss
Sunish is looking for backers for this new project on Kickstarter. You can find more details about the Hindu-based Divine Art Playing Cards here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sunishchabba/divine-art-playing-cards-relaunch