Slice of history, retold through art

A work by Saju Kunhan  

Saju Kunhan grew up in Kerala and his first exposure to television was to watch Mahabharata. “In the village, this was the only time I could have access to television,” says the artist. Now based in Mumbai, Saju is armed with MFA in painting from JJ School of Arts, Mumbai, and has also done a PG diploma in museology and conservation. The fascination with history remains and manifests in his work from time to time.

In his new series ‘History told, retold’, now on display at Kalakriti art gallery, Saju wants to draw viewers’ attention to the oral tradition of narrating episodes from history and mythology. “I used wooden panels that are about 100 to 200 years old. In a way, it’s a new incarnation for the wooden pieces. I worked on the wooden panels to give them different textures and what I do in the background has a bearing on the images displayed,” he says. The eight panels on display have images from the televised Mahabharata. Saju took screenshots from the videos and transferred them to the wooden panels. The dull look of the images is intentional and so are the fuzzy lines and markings. “My intervention shows on the images and through this, I wanted to show that when we narrate mythology, each one of us lend our thoughts and interpretations,” he says.

Along with Saju’s works, the gallery also displays sculptures by Janarthanan Rudhramoorthy. Janarthanan’s work, at first glance, look like a simple depiction of a human body. With a mesh like structure, the artist draws both physical and metaphorical representations. The artist equates the human body to a nest in which the soul resides, only to move on.

The two artists were commissioned by the gallery for an artist-in-residency programme.

‘The Deep Inside’ featuring works of both these artists, is on display at Kalakriti art gallery, Banjara Hills, till August 20.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 4:10:15 AM |

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