The photographer is exhibiting his work on the Ramayana myth, an Indian mythological epic which tells the story of a prince and princess condemned to live in exile for fourteen years. Vibrant, colourful pictures which can be seen in the Folia Gallery in Paris.
A very ordinary little wooden table. Some peculiar instruments are lined up on it: scissors, razors, combs and brushes... It’s the workshop of a makeshift hairdresser who’ll give you a haircut outdoors at the side of the road, the little mirror in which you can see your reflection hung on the trunk of a tree... This photograph resonates perfectly with the spirit of all Vasantha Yogananthan’s work, which engages with the little, absurd areas of daily life in relation to this philosophical tale which, even now, continues to feed our imaginations. Giving his series the title “A Myth of Two Souls”, the photographer fixes the moments when two individuals come together, such as the two children back-to-back on an immense beach, the two men watching a boat travelling off towards the horizon, the two birds sitting on a railing, a man and a woman looking at each other in the forest. Two beings who are making an intense verbal or silent confession one to the other.
This remarkable quality film work is complemented by the touch of an Indian painter who has come to colour black and white prints and bring a lively, contrasting palette to them. So, landscapes become colourful spaces distanced from reality leading us towards the boundaries of fiction. Finding a balance between sharp reality - the fixity of beings and things he photographs - and an intimate and imaginative narrative, the artist leads us into a universe of improbable inhabited spaces and incredible beings. The people he photographs appear to have come out of a book and are caught in a situation which is beyond them, heroines or heroes manipulated by an author while everything mingles with the entrancing landscape. A path through a kingdom of colourful thoughts.
By Jean-Baptiste Gauvin
Vasantha Yogananthan, A Myth of Two souls
18th January - 2nd March 2019
Galerie Folia 13 Rue de l'Abbaye, Paris, 75006 Paris