BENGALURU: Artist Vijay Pichumani, known for his contemporary style of woodcut, is presenting his solo show, ‘Between black and white’, which showcases his early series of woodcut. Through the art show, the 30-year-old aims to create awareness about printmaking, among students. “Most students find easier media to work on and avoid printmaking or woodcut,” he says.
He has displayed 12 art works, which he has been working on since 2012. Interestingly, the cawing of a crow pushed him to work. Shedding light on this, he says, “In college, they usually ask you to see a subject, study it and then draw it, but I knew I couldn’t do that. My father would scold me because he wanted me to get a job and do something in life.
I once heard the loud caws of crows. It seemed similar to the fight in my family. When I went to see, I saw a dead crow hanging on a tree. Somehow, it drew my attention and I decided to draw it. I researched crows, their behaviour, how important they are for our environment, and their life cycle.”
The connection with crows continued even upon his return to Chennai. One day, he found a dead crow near a tea stall. He brought it back to the studio and started studying it. “For eight months, the other crows in the area would attack me. Later, I noticed that it stopped. The dried leaves on trees fell, giving way to new ones. I realised life moves on. This inspired me in my work,” he adds.
His work ‘Invincible’ is a 4 x 8 art work which uses the natural elements of sound through animals and birds. “I combine my thoughts and emotions in my work,” he says. His art works explore how sound travels in air – a family of crows, each bird with a different expression; a fox alerting all other animals of impending danger; and fast life in a city. One of his pieces show a bat hung upside down. Vijay says it’s inspired from the saying: One’s life turns upside down if he doesn’t listen to his mother.
Is printmaking and woodcutting easy? Not at all, says Vijay, revealing that it takes at least six hours. “I work on plywood since I get the feel of a cityscape from it. I use different tools for shades and use the texture of wood as an element in my work. Perfecting minute details is a task,” he says.
Vijay completed his bachelors and masters in fine art from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai. He is a recipient of the 56th National Award for Wood Cut Print and the Jennifer Neblett Memorial Award for best student in print making. Vijay’s show is on till October 27, at Art Houz, Vasanth Nagar.