Designing Alternative Paradigm for Traditional Visual Storytelling

  • Saptarshi KolayEmail author
  • Shatarupa Thakurta Roy
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 34)


Indian art is formed in amalgamation of multiple cultural art forms. The visual culture of contemporary India is eclectic in nature with unification of many influences. Apart from the academic Persian and European style, the regional folk or vernacular art has played a significant role in operating its key characteristics. The aim of the paper is to identify the elements that are responsible in the retention of Indian-ness in Indian Art forms by conducting a thorough visual-analysis. It describes an in depth establishment of identity design by extracting the core elements from the age-old tradition of ‘Bengal Patachitra’. The process includes a transformation of the conventional paradigm into a new one that is popularly accepted among the urban mass. The paper describes the process of adapting the art style of the narrative scroll paintings by iconic, thematic and semiotic analysis beyond a cultural margin as well as finds its possibilities of adaptation into new media application. The ‘Bengal Patachitra’ is narrative scroll painting made on paper or mounted cloth using natural colour pigments. The story telling approach of the scroll painting and the corresponding song is an intrinsic part of rural-folk culture of regional Bengal. It acts as a vernacular comic Strip. It has all the potentialities to be translated into an animated film without losing its visual identity. The process of the work involves field research and survey to document the socio-cultural atmosphere. The study is duly meant for the knowledge preservation such as method, material and their use by the artisans (patuas). Instead of superficial adaptation, the identified features as an outcome of methodical visual analysis are readdressed for the alternative version. The attempt is to shift to a different yet appropriate paradigm that suits its present context. The deliverable of the design research culminates into a short animated film. The paper therefore unfolds the design process that is involved in creating a visual identity in reference of a habitual art form.


Identity design Paradigm shift Knowledge preservation Visual analysis Adaptation Alternative version 



The authors would like to thank Ms. Moyna Chitrakar and Mr. Dipak Barapanda, curator of Gurusaday Museum, Kolkata for their help and support. We are thankful to Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur for providing all the technical supports during research.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture and PlanningIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Design ProgrammeIndian Institute of Technology KanpurKanpurIndia

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