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Simple tones - Manavan Thayumanavan
Arts Speak

Simple tones - Manavan Thayumanavan

Divya Menon

"Manavan means student and I always like to be a learner, a student", explains Manavan Thayumanavan, a prodigious artist from Chennai.

Simplicity is the hallmark of this artist. This striking feature of his persona is what permeates into his creations as the top note.

Inspired in his childhood by his father who was an artist and a teacher, he went on to pursue BFA from the DMS Lalitkala Academy in Mysore and he is currently being guided by two eminent artists A. Viswam and N.S. Manohar.

Manavan Thayumanavan’s works

Manavan Thayumanavan’s works

He specializes in watercolours, acrylics and oil works. His themes are born in commonplace - on the streets, in the villages of Tamil Nadu, the rituals of a highly traditional society, needless to say, in the mundanities of life. His captures of life soaked in a splash of colours do not claim to make social statements that feed the intellect or taunt the conscience, they dont ignite currents of change yet they are brilliant in their own way and have a deeply palpable flavor of pleasantness.

In a world obsessed with modernization, art too has been swept by a powerful wave of contemporizing. One hears a lot about biennales, installations, performance art and so on today. Amidst all this activity, art that showcases the charm of rural life and tradition are often faced with a number of challenges. He says, "it is obvious that all artists would have suffered challenges and struggled to reach a particular level. Today very few like traditional art and most like modern art" and emerging out of this 'situation' is what has been his greatest challenge. Having said that, his aim as an artist is to take his tradition to a 'global level' through his art.

Married to artist T. Shenbagavalli, the couple have two sons. Like most artists, he too believes that art should be incorporated into school education at a deeper level.

This artist who has exhibited in India as well as internationally at the Kosava International Water Colour Society and Fabriyan Italy is a man of few words but his graceful Kharagattam dancers, Peacock dancers, bullock grazers, sadhus, village folk and others all have much to say! They possess a rare sort of eloquence - something that is hard to find in the supersonically forward moving world one is living in today. His creations entice you to make a journey into a world that promises to slow down the pace of life, where the chaos and confusion of the modern society literally drown in the beauty of the rural world. Perhaps this is what has made Manavan, one of the striking artists of his generation!