Kinnari (The Joy of Dance) – 55×32 Oils on Canvas

Kinnari are found in art and religious literature throughout India and Southeast Asia. they are frequently depicted dancing or playing music and shown as part woman, part bird. I drew my inspiration for this piece from Cambodia, Burma and Thailand. She is painted with Golden wings, referencing the Garuda, but also referencing the opulence in some of the glorious statuary. The Flag of Burma has a golden humanoid Kinnari on it with wings. Kinnari may also be depicted with the lower half of a bird or swan. The golden fans Thai dancers use when depicting Kinnari and an illustration from the Lotus Sutra inspired the wing ridges.

Kinnari use their wings to move between the mystical planes and the earthly. They act similarly to muses, inspiring others with their grace and beauty in dance. often depicted as mischievous, they are always alluring and beautiful, sometimes in a guardian capacity. They are a classical feminine ideal in many ways, strong, graceful and elegant. The male counterpart is the half-horse Kinnara. An excellent musician providing music for the Kinnari.

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