In this section for D’s Art Takes, we pick one artist to showcase their work and creative journey so far. Today, we look at the Indian artist, Vijay Pichumani.
Journey of an Artist
Born in Tamil Nadu, India, in 1987, Vijay was always a keen observer. But when he spoke about the pursuit of his career –his parents of somewhat traditional mindsets were devastated. They had wanted him to follow a more stable career that would ensure a good financial return. But an engineer or a banker was not Pichumani’s calling and never would it be. He chose to make his own way in the world of art.
Vijay started his artistic career with a BFA and an MFA from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai. Predominantly autobiographical, his work emerges from the sights he sees in the city and incidents from his personal experiences. He is well known for his large wood blocks of owls and crows. In his most recent works, he visualises sound through lines, rendering them a tactile quality that resonates with a collective frequency embedded in our personal narratives. Unbound, Pichumani explores the world the way he perceives it. By exploring the space between the lines, his work is at once macro in its vision and micro in its depth. This is however a preoccupation with the artist the inverse he finds interesting and the study of co relations.
Although his father wanted him to be an advocate, Vijay decided to embrace his uniqueness. He acknowledged his strength in drawing and joined art school. Winning the best student award in printmaking while in college was a huge step for this shy artist, to be followed by a scholarship from Lalit Kala Akademi, and an award from Elango Foundation.
Finally a National Award for woodcut print, gave him the confidence to continue on the pockmarked road of being an artist, which no one from his village could accept as a profession.
Vijay Pichumani at India Art Fair 2019
India Art Fair has been the host of many artists who chose to take the road less travelled and those full of impediments and has provided them with a platform to perform. Consistently bringing to the fore an amalgamation of diverse talent from varied geographies.
Across Borders and Boundaries shows the tiger advancing slowly. The use of the tea stains and acrylic gives his canvas a unique colour tint. A realistic and yet a vintage palette. The Tiger is comfortably alone and yet all powerful. The other animals are peripheral to the pivotal position that Pichumani attributes to the Tiger. In a way it symbolises his difficult journey on the road to becoming an artist.
Vijay Pichumani is represented by Art Houz gallery in Chennai.
To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.