Vasantha Yogananthan

Portfolio

Born in 1985, Vasantha Yogananthan lives and works in Paris. In 2014, he co-founded the publishing house Chose Commune and published his first book, Piémanson, which was nominated for MACK First Book Award and Kassel Best Book of the Year. In 2015, Vasantha Yogananthan was the recipient of the IdeasTap/Magnum Photos Award (category international) to help him fund A Myth of Two Souls, his project on the Ramayana in India. In 2016, he was awarded the Prix Levallois and in 2017, he was awarded the ICP Infinity Award as Emerging Photographer of the Year as well as the Foam Talent prize.

Vasantha Yogananthan →

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Myth of Two Souls is inspired by the epic tale The Ramayana. Drawing inspiration from the imagery associated with this myth and its pervasiveness in everyday Indian life, Vasantha Yogananthan is retracing the legendary route from Northern to Southern India. 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 offers a modern retelling of the tale. A Myth of Two Souls juxtaposes several sets of photographs: landscapes, hand-painted staged portraits and illustrated black and white photographs. The landscapes are mythical to Indians today as they were described in the original version of The Ramayana. In the portraits, inhabitants of these landscapes stage scenes that have left a mark on their imagination. Shot in black and white using a large-format camera, these theatrical portraits have subsequently been colored by an Indian artist using the ancient technique of hand-painting. Through classic color, hand-painted and illustrated photography, A Myth of Two Souls interweaves fictional and historical stories with a narration that takes viewers on an epic journey. A Myth of Two Souls will be published in seven photobooks between 2016-2019, one per chapter of the tale.

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