Vasantha Yogananthan’s (b.1985, France) second solo exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery, AMMA, completes his extensive body of work, A Myth of Two Souls (2013-2021), inspired by the Indian legend of the Ramayana.
AMMA – meaning ‘Mother’ in Tamil language - is the seventh and last chapter of Yogananthan’s ambitious long-term project. First recorded by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around 300 BC, the epic tale The Ramayana has been continuously rewritten and reinterpreted and still continues to evolve today. In his work, Yogananthan draws inspiration from the imagery associated with the myth and its pervasiveness in everyday Indian life, retracing the legendary route from north to south India and offering a modern retelling of the tale.
AMMA centres around the princess Sita and the concept of ‘purity’, taking us from the seacoast of Sri Lanka, to the city of Ayodhya to the jungle of Bihar, India. Composed exclusively of colour prints hand-painted by the artist with inks and acrylic gouache, their chromatic scale recreate a world where civilization gradually disappears to leave room to a purely metaphysical space.
Since Yogananthan’s first solo exhibition at TPG in 2018, he has been awarded the Prix Camera Clara (2018), the Rencontres d’Arles Photo-Text Book Award (2019), as well as the prestigious title of 2019 laureate of Immersion: a program by the Foundation d’enterprise Hermes. Yogananthan will carry out his residency in the USA in 2021 and exhibit his work at the SFMOMA (USA) and the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson (France) in 2022.
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