THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For a software professional who decided to take a different route and nurture his creative streak, Vimal Chandran’s belief in breaking free of bonds and expectations comes obvious and rather unsurprising.
His affinity to celebrate freedom and fly off is evident in every single work of his, be it illustrations, photographs and paintings. The focus is always on this aspect.
Aptly, the exhibition of his works titled ‘Escape Velocity’, that is going on at Durbar Hall, Kochi celebrates freedom, uprisings and love. He would put it this way: “It’s about wriggling out of the norms that bind you. My work has always focused on concept of ‘break free’. Most of our thought process are controlled. My work plays up escape from the clutches,” says Vimal.
The idea is evident in the series of works. Almost every frame of his has a bird or a butterfly that readies to spread its wings and soar off to the vast sky.
It is this penchant to fly away that set Vimal on a journey through the unfamiliar roads of North India. Thus was born the series ‘Anonymous birds’ that showcases flocks of birds in a flurry of activity.
“These images are a result of my journey through Pushkar and Varanasi. I wanted to do a series on street birds that are so full of life yet escapes notice. The images were taken over a long period,” he adds.
His clicks include a lone birds perched on an age-old radio on a Haveli in Rajasthan, a flock of sparrows nibbling grains in front of a modest home at Varanasi, a sparrow precariously perched on a electric line and a bird sitting atop a camel.
In a striking contrast but somehow blending well with the series is an image of hot air balloons that soars, lighting up the sky.
The installations too say the same. An installation shows a few nests bound in cages amidst a lone one that breathes freedom. Another striking installation is that of astronauts who rise to rebel; with a fitting caption that indicates that even a shy astronaut will one day stage an uprising.
Faith and Fables
Another series titled ‘Faith and Fables’ has captured the weird and mundane faces of our faith. While a certain image shows Naga Sanyasis engrossed in their prayers, a few others capture the mundane nature of faith where people throng the holy places to carry on with their lives.
Vimal, who calls it ‘Primitivism’, captures the holy city of Varanasi and the dark and sacred halo it emits.
Another series on ‘Workers at Himalayas’ too shows the rugged terrains of Himalayas and faceless workers who carry on with their chores braving the weather.
The highlight of the expo and the most charming of his works that are full of life is ‘Unposted Letters’, the cute little illustrations that combines wit, fun and creativity in equal measure. The celebration of love that these works are, every single one can amaze you with its depth and meaning.
Every illustration has a red polka-dotted umbrella, a well-crafted metaphor of love, and little stick figures caught amidst the whirlwind that love is.
The letters have love, break up, hurt, defiance and much more that new-gen can identify and enjoy.
“The ‘love letters’ are something every Facebook -aficionado can identify and love,” says Vimal.