A Myth OF TWO SOULS
Dates2013 - Ongoing
- Topics Portrait, Landscape, Fine Art
- Location India, India
A Myth of Two Souls is inspired by the epic tale The Ramayana. Drawing inspiration from the imagery associated with this myth, Vasantha Yogananthan is retracing the legendary route from north to south India. This series is composed of classic color photographs and hand-painted photographs.
First recorded by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around 300 BC, The Ramayana has been continuously rewritten and reinterpreted, and continues to evolve today. Yogananthan’s series is informed by the notion of a journey in time and space and offers a modern retelling of the tale. A Myth of Two Souls is composed of different series dialoguing with each other.
The landscapes are mythical to Indians today as they were described in the original version of The Ramayana. Shot with a 4x5 large-format camera using color films, they immerse the viewer in a land where fact and fiction co-exist in a singular way.
In the theatrical portraits, inhabitants of these landscapes stage scenes from the tale that have left a mark on their imagination. Shot in black and white using a large-format camera, these portraits have subsequently been coloured by an Indian artist using the ancient technique of hand-painting. The artist has been given a carte blanche and has chosen colors according to his own sensitivity and imagination - his vision overlaying on Yogananthan's. Hand-painting was traditionally reserved for household portraits of wealthy patrons and has been subverted in Yogananthan’s photographs. He has applied this ancient art to depict the whole of society by using passersby as actors, regardless of caste, and by photographing outside of the studio he has expanded it into new territories – from modern metropolises to remote countryside.