BENGALURU: Acouple of months ago, in a small village near Pattambi, Palakkad, a curious teenager was wandering at dawn, collecting baby coconuts to make a little toy car out of. As he looked up, he saw something hiding in the shrubs — eyes shining, its fluorescent green camouflaged against his village’s greenery. When he saw the sports car smiling back at him, the boy almost believed he was dreaming.
Kerala-bred, Bengaluru-based artist Vimal Chandran’s entire village woke up to this visitor from the future that day – a Lamborghini Huracan in Verde Mantis, an acclaimed 5204 cc sports car from the Italian manufacturer. Vimal is the only Indian artist to be part of ‘With Italy, For Italy’, a global photography and art project by Lamborghini. It started in Italy in September 2020, featuring 20 of Italy’s finest photographers discovering the beauty of 20 Italian regions aboard a Lamborghini, thus signaling the rebirth of the country following the Covid-19 emergency. This project was later extended to countries in the Asia Pacific region.
“When I crafted the idea around my village, I imagined bringing the past and present together. Lamborghini, to me, signifies the future – in terms of design and technology. My village, on the other hand, is a mystical land with strong roots to the past, with temples and demigods, paddy fields, slow moving lives and curious eyes,” says Vimal.
Much like he imagined, the sports car fit well into the village’s weave — borrowing its green from the paddy fields, tail lights slicing through the village’s dusk, racing down its zig-zag roads. “I was not keen on placing the popular art forms like Kathakali because it wouldn’t be authentic. Everything in that video has ties to my past — poothan, thira and kaali were the gods our people worshipped.
The velichappadu is a lingering presence that watches over the village. The idea was to keep all of that intact,” says Vimal. The video, which can be viewed on his Instagram and YouTube, was created in collaboration with Ordinary Secrets Films and Sharan Velayudhan, known for his work in Soubin Shahir-starrer Ambili.