MUKHAMUKHAM – Tripunithura and Tiruvannamalai

Thrippunithura or Tripunithura is a suburb of the city of Kochi in the state of Kerala, India and a part of the Kochi metropolitan area. Thrippunithura was the capital of the erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin. Project 365 MUKHAMUKHAM event was organised at Kalikotta, Tripunithuraon 26th and 27th December 2014 during Ekharya Performance Festival. Photographer and Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad presented his selected works from 1975 – 2014 with the audience on the first day. Abul’s series titled, ‘landmark of my memories’ – showcased the architecture of 70s and 80s Kerala. Senti-mental series, the kaleidoscopic view of life and personal history showed an impossible fusing of photos and graphics. Abul had worked on this series for almost five years (2005 – 2010). One of the recent series ‘Beatles in Rishikesh’, a simple black and white photographs portraying the abandoned Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram where Beatles had visited during the 1960s. The trajectory of Abul’s works was indeed mind blowing. Almost hundred photo enthusiasts enjoyed the works. The second Project 365 photographs were shown to the audience.

Theatre artist and photographer Ramesh Varma introducing photographer Abul Kalam Azad / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Theatre artist and photographer Ramesh Varma introducing photographer Abul Kalam Azad / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Ekharya Performance Director Ashok introducing Project 365 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Ekharya Performance Festival Director Dr. Abhilash Pillai introducing Project 365 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Project 365 Manager Tulsi swarna lakshmi introducing EtP and Project 365 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Project 365 Manager Tulsi swarna lakshmi introducing EtP and Project 365 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
2nd day Project 365 projection / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
2nd day Project 365 projection / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives

On 4th and 5th January 2015, Mukhamukham Meet project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad and Photographer Thierry Cardon event was organised at Kalai Illam, Tiruvannamalai. Thierry Cardon, photographer from France has visited Tiruvannamalai as part of Project 365. He decided to share few of his original cyanatype prints with the Project 365 photographers and local audience. Abul showed his early work on the first day and on 5th Jan, he share his ongoing long-term work with the Thirunangai titled ‘War Marriage Widows’. Some of the locally based Thirunangai’s also enjoyed the photographs. Anbalaki, one of the Thirunangai spoke with the audience and narrated the Koovagam festival and associated epical history.

Project Manager Tulsi welcoming hte audience / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Project Manager Tulsi welcoming the audience / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Two photographers Thierry Cardon and Abul Kalam Azad / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Two photographers Thierry Cardon and Abul Kalam Azad / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photographer Thierry Cardon showing his works / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photographer Thierry Cardon showing his works / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artist-sculptor Christian Uhlmann at the Kalai Illam / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artist-sculptor Christian Uhllmann at the Kalai Illam / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artists Chrisitian Uhlmann and Gayatri Gamuz / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artists Christian Uhllmann and Gayatri Gamuz / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photographer Thierry Cardon presenting his works / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photographer Thierry Cardon presenting his works / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artist-sculptor Chrisitian Uhlmann and Photographer Abul Kalam Azad / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artist-sculptor Christian Uhllmann and Photographer Abul Kalam Azad / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Poet Ananda Surya and Artist - sculptor Christian Uhlmann /Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Poet Ananda Surya and Artist – sculptor Christian Uhllmann /Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artist Wendel Field enjoying 'SEMA' / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Artist Wendel Field enjoying ‘SEMA’ / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Poet Ananda Surya talking on Abul's works / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Poet Ananda Surya talking on Abul’s works / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives

<to be continued>

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

‘SEMA’ – the whirling dance

'Sema' - solo show of Abul Kalam Azad
‘Sema’ mix-media print on painted hard wood / 30 cm x cm / 2014

What I may not see, let me not see;

What I may not hear, let me not hear;

What I may not know, I ask not to know…

Beloved, I am contented with both thy speech and thy silence !!!

‘Sema’, solo print show of Abul Kalam Azad is the third of the yearlong ‘Photography and beyond’ exhibition series organised by EtP as part of Project 365 – the yearlong public photo art project. In this recent works, Abul has fused found litho prints, archival pigment prints on painted hardwood… the show also features two digital print on silk.

'Sema' mix-media print on painted hard wood / 30 cm x 30 cm / 2014
‘Sema’ mix-media print on painted hard wood / 30 cm x 30 cm / 2014
'Sema' mix-media print on painted hard wood / 30 cm x 30 cm / 2014
‘Sema’ mix-media print on painted hard wood / 30 cm x 30 cm / 2014
'Sema' pigment print on silk / 54 cm x 54 cm / 2014
‘Sema’ pigment print on silk / 54 cm x 54 cm / 2014

The Sema (whirling dance) of the dervishes is an expression of the cosmic joy experienced by the simultaneous effect of annihilation and glorification. Sema is the witnessing of the state of perceiving the mysteries of the God through the heavens of the divinity. It is to fight with one’s own self, to fight, to flutter desperately like a half-slaughtered bird, bloodstained and covered with dust and dirt. Sema is a secret. There is a time with god and during this time neither angel nor prophet can intrude. Sema is to attain that place where even an angel cannot go…

'Sema' - solo show of Abul Kalam Azad
‘Sema’ mix-media print on painted hard wood / 90 cm x 90 cm / 2014

P P Sha Nawas is an author / Independent writer based in Kerela. He has traveled much in South India and has written many articles in the field of art, archeology, theology, culture and photography. His articles have been published in several prominent malayalam newspapers and periodicals which has also been translated to English and published in art magazines across India. He has written the following piece about the ongoing SEMA show:

“Kalai Illam is a small space for art and photography at Thiruvannamalai. The house turned into a gallery space has witnessed many shows of eminent artists since its inception a year ago. Right now, ‘SEMA’ a print exhibition of photographer Abul Kalam Azad is being exhibited. In this recent series, Abul has used the found lithographic popular prints, fused on painted hardwood; digital pigment prints on silk, paper etc., . SEMA, the show titled, talks of a time when men and God communicated without a middle man, neither through the medium of a saint nor a prophet. SEMA shows the part images of our well known saints and gurus, printed in the wooden circles. Why part images of these revered personalities like Narayana Guru, Saradamba, Ambedkar, Vivekananda and God images of Hanuman and others? May be, it is connoting the current scenario of the lost faces of our saint teachers, in the ego driven greedy world of spirituality which is commercialized and marketed. The teachers’ teaching have been lost… instead their images are venerated and adored without any reasonable reason behind!!! Reign of the images, the age of spectacle, according to Debore, is the rule of the day. And, this desperate situation is depicted in a special way in these works. The technique of pop art is used to make an ambiance of sarcasm, as always a characteristic feature of Abul Kalam Azad’s works. Abul’s works for the last couple of decades have been transformed into capturing part images of the objects, instead of usual technique of framing and seeing the entire object. These part images invoke a bunch of memories which may lead the onlooker to his lost past. Photography always leaves traces of nostalgia, and Abul uses this characteristic of his medium to its height and breadth. These prints also provide a rich memory of our cultural past and renaissance fervor.

'Sema' mix-media print on painted hard wood / 90 cm x 90 cm / 2014
‘Sema’ mix-media print on painted hard wood / 90 cm x 90 cm / 2014

Two other prints, which is also round in shape, are marvelous works that Abul has done recently, in which the tiny image of TAJMAHAL and the gopura of Madurai MEENAKSHI temple is captured. The starry night and moon lit ambiance engulfs the images. The gopura of the temple is seen from the view of an arch, which invokes a Mughal architectural motif. And the tiny image of TAJMAHAL, is counter posed with a railway line under. What is meant by this subtle juxtaposition? Connoting something historical? Invoking some historical evolution of our tradition of seeing and viewing? These prints have many things to say, the architectural resemblance of TAJ and the Temple Gupura, the Persian and Egyptian influences and references of Indian architecture could be one way of understanding. It also could be interpreted through the ongoing process of political change that has changed our perception of viewing things. Dynasties and rules change the style and functioning of our viewing. A new ruling ideology may make paradigm shift in our seeing and viewing things. These part images of Gopuram of a South Indian temple and and Tajmahal are thus talking a story of changing political situation. It is like seeing reality through the ideology of the rulers. But the aesthetic aspect of these works should speak by themselves. Not by descriptive words, but by seeing and assimilating the visual itself…”

TO BE CONTINUED

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this post is a photograph of the prints of Abul Kalam Azad taken by project 365 photographer Arnav Rastogi and belongs to EtP Archives. Text (C) PP Sha Nawas. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP Archives. Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

“AGNI”

Karthikai Pournima 2014 Photography

On 5th December 2014, Karthigai Mahadeepam was celebrated in Tiruvannamalai. For generations, the Nattar family (fishermen), lights the fire on top of the Hill. During Deepam festival, the people from various walks of life contribute in different ways. The different caste groups have a role to play.

Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives
Deepam 2014 / Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 public photo archives

The procession of saint poets

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And, the saint poets and their gods are on the road… fully decorated in their various vahanas (vehicles)!!! Giving dharshan to the thousands of devotees and others… Many are touched by their own overwhelming bhakti, whilst others are moved by the sheer joy and faith of the devotees.. there are quite a few who would be silently enjoying the beauty of this artistic expression.. These priceless idols of our culture being shown to the public to look and experience is a celebration by in itself. Project 365 photographers have also been swept away by the festive mood of this ancient town… halogen lights and oil lamps warms up the chilled nights and the team gets ready for their ever fresh encounters…. Most of the photographers are using their smart phone to document this extensively documented festival. “Intimacy is the key”, said Abul Kalam Azad. “We are not mere witness to this festival, but we are part and parcel of the whole celebration. The smart phone makes it necessary for the photographer to be very close with their subject… it means a dialogue, a smile, a hug, a word or any form of exchange is a prerequisite to the photograph itself”, He added. Leading project 365 photographer Dinesh Khanna was supposed to lead the Deepam documentation. However, due to the sudden demise of his beloved mother, he is unable to join the team now. So, Abul is continuing to lead the team. He said,, “Amidst this overflowing mood of celebration, we have received this sad news from Dinesh… Let us salute and respect this loving mother and thank her for gifting this wonderful photographer to our world.”

The online feed of Deepam festival is also made in Project 365 page facebook page and instagram feed #etpproject365

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Periyapuranam chanting / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Drumming / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Manikandan, the sarathi of silver chariot / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
The procession / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
The women trumpeter of Sri Thirunavukarasar band / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Panneer Selvam / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Panneer Selvam / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

As the temple and its surrounding bubbles with the festival, there are many a preparation that had underway to ensure the peaceful proceedings.

Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Arnav Rastogi / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And the tireless work of the police department….

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

And the most awaited “Mattu Chanda”. Last year the absence of the mattu chanda (cow market) was very much felt and the upcoming mattu chanda is expected by the spectators and buyers alike… our neighborhood bulls getting ready for the chanda…

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 Public Photo Archives

For more deepam photographs check #etpproject365 and #deepam

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi  / EtP. Profile by Ami Jangal / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

 

Dosa, a photograph and an esoteric zen master

Gaundaramma / Lo-fi photography series (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC photo archives

Gaundaramma / Lo-fi photography series (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC photo archives

Two days back Abul Kalam Azad showed me a very short interesting video and photographs of Mookupodi Siddhar he had shot and asked me to find his name, detail of birth place, etc. My birth village is near Rajapalayam and Abul thought I would be in a better position to find. The search on net didn’t reveal much. I recollected a conversation that we had a few months earlier with a local person who had traveled with Mookupodi Siddhar to his birth village. This conversation happened between Abul and a local person at a dosa shop in Girivalam which is our regular breakfast spot. The shop keeper, a Gaunder lady is very welcoming and her home-made chutnies are a delicacy. This is also a hub were Saddhus eat and is one of the reason Abul goes there for breakfast as part of his ongoing project ‘unknown gods’ (Agni Shylam series). Today morning, we decided to go the long stretch along the girivalam path to have breakfast at the dosa shop. I noticed Abul was talking with somebody, but didn’t keep track of the conversation, until he alerted me and said, “This is Mookupodi Siddhar’s son. Get his details”. I was surprised by this unexpected flow of information coming our way for Project 365.

The people of Tiruvannamalai call him ‘Mookupodi siddhar’. This name was given to him as he was snorting tobacco (mookupodi) everytime. The sadhu community and devotees in Tiruvannamalai has this practice of giving a name based on their physical or emotional attributes, outstanding behavior traits, etc. A few people start calling by that name and eventually their real name is forgotten. Niether the sadhus nor the visitors are interested in revealing their real names. Their past is left behind, often without any mention. Occasionally, the sadhus do visit their family. During rare occasions, a member from their family might come to visit them. Some mystics are permanently here, whilst others travel to other pilgrim places. There is a strong community fold and news about each others’ whereabouts and well being is communicated with everybody else. Offlate, there has been one such topic that seems to be the subject of every conversation…. Mookupodi Siddhar and his unfathamable zen master practice and activities. He beats people with his lathi… which is in a way is his blessing as well his teaching. Every morning, several people gather near the Ner Annamalai temple to get beating from the mostly silent Mookupodi siddhar. They wait, some times hours, to get his dharshan and blessings. Alongside, the public will also keep watch. There are times, he would ask a certain visitor to pull out all his money and put in his towel. HE would then wrap this towel with money in his hip. There are certain days when several bundles hang in his body. At a later time, he would give this money to somebody else who is courageful with him. The sadhus think that his actions are strange, esoteric and at the same time shakes the shackles of the people.

Mookupodi SidDhar / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC photo archives
Mookupodi Siddhar / Lo-fi Photography series (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC photo archives

Mookupodi siddhar has been in Tiruvannamalai for almost twenty years now. He has become popular only during the last 8 years. He must be in his early 80s. A few months ago, he asked one of the local devotee to accompany him for a short trip. Soon, they both embarked on a journey to East Rajapalayam, near Salem. Near the lake, at Shivan Kovil street, he asked the taxi to stop in front of a house…. and waited. A man in his fiftees, came out of the house, looked at the old man in the car and recognised him as his father….. he asked Mookupodi Siddhar to to come inside the house… The locals informed that this was the ancestral house of Mookupodi Swamy whose birth name was Mottayan Gaunder. Farming is the usual practice of Gaunder community and they are in general powerful landlords. During his young age, Mottayan Gaunder used to spend most his time at the Veerapathiran temple where he served as the priest. He used to tie garlands for the presiding deity. At the age of 25, his mother forced him to marry Chadachi. The couple had a son, Periyaswamy. A little while after Periyaswamy’s birth, Mottayyan Gaunder left his birth village, only to return after twelve years. It was as if he knew what was going to happen. Within few days of his arrival, his wife Chadachi passed away. He stayed there for three months and whilst leaving, he asked his son to come with him. Mookupodi Swamy’s mother refused. She was quoted to have said, “You took that path. Atleast let me have my grand son with me…”. Last year, the villagers urged Periaswamy to do the last Kriyas for his father, as he had not return for a long time. Periyasamy had gone ahead with the kriyas, and was planning for the second year kriya when mookupodi siddhar appeared in front of his house. Periasamy, now in his fifties, with folded hands, requested him to come inside the house, once again. Saying nothing, the Mookupodi Sidhar had continued with his journey.

Periasamy, son of Mookupodi Siddhar / Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC photo archives
Periasamy, son of Mookupodi Siddhar / Lo-fi Photography series (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC photo archives

This story that was briefed by the Sadhu who had accompanied Mookupodi Sidhar was confirmed by his son Periaswamy who is right now in Tiruvannamalai visiting his father. “To my father, I am not any different. He is treating me like the way he does you…”. In the backdrop of the ever growing popularity of mookupodu sidhar, this claim by a farmer from the nearby area was received with a lot of speculation by the Sadhu community. However, a photo of young Mottayan Gaunder wearing a white attire like any shaiva saints, mudhra in both the hands and thiruneer in the forehead, which was carried with Periyasamy helped revealing his identity as his son. “I have come to be with him for few days. I have two chidlren, one boy and one girl waiting for me in my village”, said Periyasamy. For Project 365 / EtP, this is an interesting anecdote, protraying the specialness of photographs. The story of a photograph that stands as the only evidence of a family bond of a zen master is indeed an important dimension to capture and preserve. Since Mookupodi Siddhar’s last visit to his birth home, the villagers have geared up. The house which was once fondly called as ‘Mottayan Gaunder’s house’, is being reverred as ‘Swamy’s home’.

Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi

5th November 2014

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text research Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com/ FACEBOOK – Project 365

Director’s Anecdote II

Agni

Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC archives / 2014
Photography (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Project 365 PUBLIC archives / 2014

The word agni is the Sanskrit word for fire and light. Agni is called as Thee in Tamil. Agni occupies a prominent place in the Vedas and vedic Brahmanas works as a Hindu and Vedic deity. The ancient Indians recognized it as the power of heat and light and the will-power united with wisdom, they knew the human will-power to be a feeble projection of this power which they believed could be strengthened by the Rig Vedic chants to Agni. The Vedic people developed the worship of Agni, personified and deified Agni as the sacrificial fire, the priest of the gods and the god of the priests, who through yajna carries the oblations to the gods, the celestial controllers of the mysterious and potent forces of nature, to ensure the continuance of conditions favourable to mankind.  In Vedic deities Agni occupies, after Indra, the most important position. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, yet he is also immortal.

Agni is the first word of the first hymn of the Rigveda (Sukta I.i.1) revealed to Rishi Madhuchchandah Vaishvamitah in Gayatri metre. The Rig Veda begins with a prayer to Agni, the receiver, holder and distributor of energy, who leads the devtas to victory in their battles against the asuras, and confers wealth of various kinds to the performers of yajnas. According to Agni Purana, which is the eighth in the list of eighteen Puranas, no god is approachable without the medium of Agni, and no divinity is without the presence of Agni; his element is earth. At the command of Bhirgu, Agni was brought down from the heavens for man’s use by Matarishvan in the later writings Agni is described as a son of Angiras who happened to discover fire and its uses. Agni as the immortal guest is the witness of all actions, supremely powerful, all consuming and irresistible but who commands all earthly and heavenly riches i.e. all temporal good. As the most potent and visible form of energy, useful but destructive at the same time, fire was both revered and at the same time feared by the Vedic people. Cow’s milk and its derivatives such as ghee (clarified butter) are integral parts of Vedic fire sacrifices, which are conducted by Brahmin priests; That’s why the Vedic priests who are the keepers of fire worshiped the cow that provide ghee to feed the fire.

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis, Korkai and the Cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.

Disclaimer: All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text research Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

 

Life of a Librarian

J Jayaraman, a resident of Sri Ramana Ashram has been documenting his own life as part of Project 365 – the PUBLIC PHOTO ART project initiated by EtP. JJ is born in a South Indian Brahmin family. JJ is passionate about music and art right from his childhood. He fondly recollects his mother singing the catchy songs of Tayumanavar, Pattinathar, Arunagirinathar, which used to be a common practice in every family in our culture. He didn’t learn music but was initiated into the world through a direct exploration of the Octave. He plays several instruments, all of them palm-holdable and single-pitched, like the mouth-harp, didgeridoo, gopichand ektar, tambourine, taal, shakers. He is a ready enthusiast of any music, and chants. Jayaraman did his B.Tech from IIT, Chennai. Immediately after his graduation he joined IBM. Part of his working-life also took him to nearby Baroda. A voracious reader ‘JJ’ was a frequent visitor to an East West Book House. That’s when he read about Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in the book ‘Talks with Maharshi’ written by Osborne. After that he visited the ashram and since 1975 he started visiting Tiruvannamalai and the Ashram every year. In the year 1985 he quit his fancy job and became an inmate of the ashram, given the responsibility of being Librarian to its archivally unique Sri Ramana Centenary Library now [shifted into ashram area,] named Ramana Granthalayam. He had an early interest in observing photos. The long processing delay between Karma and Phala prevented him from exploring photography. In the year 2008, he started using smart phone to capture images of his daily life. When he discovered Facebook, it became his ‘real-time extension to share his mundane life images, unedited. To him, photography opened his eyes to light and to help him explore the connection with the sublime and eternal through the romance between darkness and light. JJ expressed his interest to be part project 365 and EtP was equally keen to have him part of the team. As an inmate of the ashram, JJ had more access to the ashram and was bound to bring out interesting visuals of the ashram and its surrounding.

J Jayaraman / Project 365 photographer / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / EtP Archives
J Jayaraman / Project 365 photographer / Image (C) Abul Kalam Azad / EtP Archives

In this project 365, JJ has sharing images of his own life in the ashram. He understands photography to be a two dimensional capture of a three-dimensional ‘frame’ flying past in pixels of 5-quanta [=sense-organ flow] then by adding metrical text ‘on the go’ to it, he adds a ‘third’ dimension to his unconventional images. And unconventional they tend to be, given his obsessive compulsive pattern-recognition. This autobiographical project brings us the protean maverick life of JJ to the light. It is appropriate to quote his words, “I entered my professional ‘ride’ when Woodstock was upon all. The ‘opting out’ was a strategy successfully demonstrated to himself by Henry David Thoreau, but would not suit a social movement like Hippyism, that need to find a structure so as not to be labeled parasite. It took time for me to realize that our own tradition allowed such a practice derived from the roots of individual temperament, and the universally present process of spiritual maturing. It has been a round trip for the Tenth Bull.”

Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives

JJ says, “The mind of a librarian who is primarily an engineer and a musician tends to gravitate towards super sets in classification and accommodation of knowledge within wholesome experience. So, much of the content of a library, its spectrum of knowledge, in some way reflects the persona of the librarian. There has been an openness in accepting all and any points of view. This fits in with Ramana Maharishi’s approach saying that, if the knower is apprehended, all else is known and if that is not done, no amount of knowledge is useful. And in the style of living accorded through him, which he called athyasrama (meaning beyond conventional human classifications), his followers and devotees are accorded a wide field for them to engage upon, should destiny move things that way for them. In my case, the invitation from Ekalokam Trust to be one of the photographers recording an aspect of Project 365 for the Arunachala, namely my life in the ashram, as a librarian, has indeed given me immense scope to capture in the visual and document the events in verse, that usually demands a revisit. The never tiring scenes of Nature’s beauty, manifest through its beings, moving and the unmoving, flying, creeping, and swimming and seeking through the verticals and the horizontals have been available to me in plenty day after day. There is an unchanging that connects all in any given theme that is captured. Put in reverse, any thing or any series that is captured can, contemplated upon sufficiently, reveal a theme. I daresay I find the subject practically inexhaustible in detail, but capable of manifesting a sturdy monotone of reality as it is, reality as it is suggested and reality as it is desired. Asti. Bhati. Priyam.”

Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian - Image (C) J Jayaraman - Project 365 public archives
Life of a librarian – Image (C) J Jayaraman – Project 365 public archives

(to be continued…)

Taking photo-art to rural india

Art events in contemporary India often get diluted into art houses and galleries that are situated in urban settings. The larger rural audience is often excluded from contemporary art initiatives. Even the most modern and democratic medium like photography, which has the inherent quality to express art to public in a simple, honest, everyday manner, is being capitalized. A prolonged effort is required to re-inculcate the interest of rural public in contemporary art. Taking art to rural India and rejuvenating traditional analog medium is the vision behind EtP’s Project 365.

EtP is set-up in the outskirts of Tiruvannamalai town, amidst rural settings. EtP has established Kalai Illam, a village space for art and organises several events targeted to attract the rural population. Week end ‘meet the artist’ gatherings, establishing photo-art clubs and organizing outreach photo presentations / art activities in schools and colleges; initiating poster campaigns; conducting photography and art workshops / seminars; ‘photography and beyond’ – year-long exhibition series, etc. are few of the activities under taken as part of Project 365. Due to this regular interaction, the public is getting interested in contemporary photography and art practices. Slowly and steadily, the number of people enjoying the exhibitions and participating in the week-end interactions is increasing.

19th October 2014, meet-the-artist event was organised. The special guest for the event was Sri. R. R. Srinivasan, photographer and activist. He presented his body of photographic works. R.R. Srinivasan has been actively involved in film appreciation movement in Tamil Nadu through film society movement and alternative film journals. He emerged from Kanchanai film society in Thirunelveli. Kanchanai film society has played a key role in bringing serious cinema to a non-metropolitan audience. He guest lecturers on film, literature and photography in universities and colleges. He has directed and produced several documentary movies on social issues including 28 documentary films on folk art tradition of Tamil Nadu. He has done several television interviews on artists and writers. His photographs have been exhibited n different parts of Tamil Nadu. He has published a photo book on Narikoravas, nomadic tribes of India. RR is one of the leading photographers in Project 365

'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
'Meet the artist' / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan and American artist Wendel Field / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
‘Meet the artist’ / Photographer and activist R R Srinivasan and American artist Wendel Field / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

Meet the artist event has been regularly organised at Kalai Illam. On 12th October 2014, Project 365 photographer Bhagyashri Patki presented her works followed by a video documentary on Indian photographers Sunil Janah, Sohrab Hura and Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado.On 5th October 2014, Photographer Shiv Kiran presented his works followed by video documentary French Photographer Henry Cartier-Bresson who had visited Tiruvannamalai during the 1950s.

Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki presenting her works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki presenting her works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
The audience / Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki presenting her works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
The audience / Meet Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki  / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran presenting his works / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives
Project 365 Photographer Shiv Kiran / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP archives

This rural space is growing to be a place where artists, art lovers, art enthusiasts and public gather and celebrate art. Project 365 Director Abul Kalam Azad says, “We come from a lineage that properly knows that art is a symbol of our culture, and, therefore, has to be owned and protected by people. Join us in this effort to take art to Rural India”.

Thank you.

Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi

Project 365 Manager

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer: Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text (C) Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

Mystical verses, contemporary images

“Every photograph I take is an experience” says Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki. For Bhagyashri, her work speaks of spontaneity. It is a complete process of self-exploration, and an expression of her true nature.

Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives
Project 365 Photographer Bhagyashri Patki / Image (C) Arnav Rastogi / EtP Archives

After graduating in Computer Applications and having worked as a web designer, she studied photography at the Sri Aurobindo Center of Arts and Communication. In her study she was largely exposed to Photojournalism as well as documentary and conceptual photography. Soon, she worked on various projects that allowed her to explore her creativity. Her series on ‘Ladakh – The land of prayers’ has been published in the Sunday Guardian and another series ‘Photography’ was published in The Caravan Magazine. Currently, Bhagyashri is part of a team of photographers called Fseven Photographers, who take up commercial work including product, food, industrial and other photography. Her personal projects include a series called ‘Delhi above the noise’ which captures the many moods of this city from an elevation, among other vantage points. Bhagyashri has her own way of seeing things and her personal perspective is displayed in her work. Her photographs are all about what she feels and how something captivates or moves her. At Tiruvannamalai, she will depict the ancient hymns, ancient Tamil literature and devotional poems of the legendary culture through contemporary visuals. She will study the writings of ‘Thevaram and Thiruvacakam’ and express the life of the Nayanar Saints with abstract visuals. She will be using both digital and the analogue medium while experimenting with multiple exposures.

Bhagyashri says, “Consciously or subconsciously, we all want to attain liberation. We may all have a different idea altogether about the the means / paths to be free. In ancient times, the lives of people were simple and so were their desires. Its’ almost two months since I have come to Tiruvannamalai. The simplicity and the tranquil lifestyle seems to be influencing me in profound ways. I believe every place has its soul and few of my past projects have also been an exploration about the same. Here while my journey has just began, I am certain of undergoing my own spiritual journey breaking down the walls and being my true self. The first phase of my project is to create visuals representing the lives of the 63 Nayanmars (holy devotees), who dedicated their lives and few of which lives after lives in reverence to lord Shiva – the ultimate moksha for them was to serve the lord and be his companion.”

The Periya puranam (Tamil: பெரிய‌ புராண‌ம்), that is, the great purana or epic, sometimes called Tiruttontarpuranam (“Tiru-Thondar-Puranam”, the Purana of the Holy Devotees) is a Tamil poetic account depicting the legendary lives of the sixty-three Nayanars, the canonical poets of Tamil Shaivam. It was compiled during the 12th century by Sekkizhar, who (Tamil: சேக்கிழார்) was a poet and scholar of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, a Saiva saint contemporary with the reign of Kulothunga Chola. He compiled and wrote the Periya Puranam, 4253 verses long, recounting the life stories of the sixty-three Shaiva Nayanars, the poets of Shiva who composed the liturgical poems of the Tirumarai. Sekkizhar’s work itself became part of the sacred canon.

“He is beyond the world’s thought
His tresses are decorated with the moon and rivers
Immeasurable brilliance;
Shiva, the Dancer in the Hall
Praise and worship his feet
That blossom as Grace.” – Shekkizhar

Lives of Nayanars / Image (C) Bhagyashri  Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Mystical verses, contemporary images / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

Sekkizhar (Tamil: சேக்கிழார்) was a poet and scholar of Tamil Shaiva Siddhanta, a Saiva saint contemporary with the reign of Kulothunga Chola. He compiled and wrote the Periya Puranam, 4253 verses long, recounting the life stories of the sixty-three Shaiva Nayanars, the poets of Shiva who composed the liturgical poems of the Tirumarai. Sekkizhar’s work itself became part of the sacred canon.

Lives of Nayanars / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

Mystical verses, contemporary images / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

Caption: As his heart was moved by love,
Marar of Iiayankudi settlement
Went with a basket on his head
To the fields where the fowls slept..
– Sekkizar

Lives of Nayanars / Image (C) Bhagyashri  Patki / Project 365 public photo archives
Mystical verses, contemporary images / Image (C) Bhagyashri Patki / Project 365 public photo archives

(to be continued…)

(to be continued…)

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer: Image (C) Bhagyashri Parki / Project 365 PUBLIC archives.

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Blog maintained by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi / EtP. Profile of Bhagyashri Patki by Ami Gupta / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365

Notes from a photographer #2

Wendel Field

American Painter who lives in Tiruvannamalai

Wendel Field / Photograph (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Photograph courtesy EtP Archives / 2013
Wendel Field / Photograph (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Photograph courtesy EtP Archives / 2013

Today, I would like to present Wendel Field, an American painter who has spent almost 15 years in India. Wendel Field is born in Indiana, United States. Wendel’s mother was an artist and his cousin was an art historian… the inherited art legacy was palpable in Wendel at a very young age, and he started painting when he was just 4 years old. Wendel didn’t opt for a formal art education until he was in his late 20’s and studied art in Indiana University. Meantime his passion for art grew exponentially and he says with a chuckle, “I can’t stop [painting]”. In the year 1970 Wendel visited India for the first time. He says, “Making a very long story short, one day, somebody came to my home and said, here is the money… Go to India … I came to Pondy and then heard of Sri Ramana and came to Tiruvannamalai. I stayed almost 9 months and didn’t return until 1990s. Since then I visited Tiruvannamalai every year. In the year 2012, I moved to Tiruvannamalai”.

During his first visit to India, Yogi Ram Suratkumar became Wendel’s best friend. They used to hang out every night. Those times Yogi Ram Suratkumar was living in the streets. Most often he hangs out near the temple. Almost everyday Wendel used to meet Yogi Ram Suratkumar and often travel with him to nearby villages. He fondly recollects, “Yogi never used to talk about spirituality. He was very funny, innocent like a child. He has the best laugh I have ever seen and heard…. Whenever people ask questions about spirituality rather than giving a straight response, he used to poke them. People often miss the pun”. When asked about Yogi’s interest in art, Wendel said, “He used to see and enjoy my paintings. I remember one of his comments. Once I was doing a painting of spiritual images of different religions.. he looked at it and said, ‘actually you should make those tits bigger’. Although I had a hearty laugh, it did make sense to me, as the full image of that woman goddess would look much better with his suggestion.” Wendel’s experience with Yogi along with one of his painting has been featured in a chronological book on Yogi done by a community in Arizona. The first four chapters discuss wendel’s memoir of the Yogi.

Painting by Wendel Field / Photograph (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Photograph courtesy EtP Archives / 2013
Painting by Wendel Field / Photograph (C) Abul Kalam Azad / Photograph courtesy EtP Archives / 2013

Wendel does a lot of commissioned works. Wendel did his first portrait of Ramana when he was just 19 years old. When asked about his repeated inclusion of the spiritual subjects in his paintings, he said, “To me, it is the Mystical Realism… a combination of what is in a photograph and also something more that is not in a photograph…”

Abul Kalam Azad

8th October 2014

Tiruvannamalai

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”

Disclaimer:

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the Abul Kalam azad and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Text transcribed by Tulsi Swarna Lakshmi (C) EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Project 365