Kanayi Kunhiraman

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Item Code: HAY076
Author: Edited By M. Ramachandran
Publisher: Lalit Kala Akademi
Language: English
ISBN: 9788187507345
Pages: 202 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 10x10 inch
Weight 584 gm
Book Description
About The Book

In the 1960's Kerala witnessed a new vigour in the field of art when a few youngsters who studied under the tutelage of K.C.S. Panikkar came back to Kerala after their study in Madras to work and confront the then prevailing conformist concepts of art. Among the sculptors Kanayi Kunhiraman was the 'only person' who could create a strong impact on the sensibility of Keralites.

The late 1960's and early 70's saw a new wave of thought in all the fields of intellectual and cultural activities such as literature, theatre, cinema and art. Internationalism, nationalism, regionalism, indigenous traits, cultural signs were discussed in terms of politics, philosophy and aesthetics. It was a time when Kerala had a strong debate about obscenity in art, literature, cinema and public life. Nationalism, internationalism and locally specific cultural nature were themes and concept of debate in literature, theatre, art, cinema and politics. Many experiments were done in these fields and Kanayi Kunhiraman emerged as a sculptor to add the non-figurative dimension to the sculptural language of Kerala in public places in a remarkable way.

Exposed to western modernism and experimenting in theme and language of plasticity of sculpture that had been remaining absolutely conventional in Kerala, Kunhiraman carved a niche for himself in terms of modernity. His works mainly in concrete appeared as a great leap from the conventional notion of sculpture to the concept of modernity in every sense. The sensibility of Kunhiraman was so occupied persistently with the concept of motherhood, mother goddess, fertility etc., that his works could be seen as motifs derived from the memories of the folk culture and recollections of the acquired conscience of the village.

Of all the works of Kunhiraman it was the Yakshi figure in Malampuzha dam site in Palakkad, Kerala that made him popular as well as a controversial sculptor. The sculpture of Yakshi in public place is the first one of such kind that has invited praise and blame at the same time. The (un) conventional space, art practice and the acceptance of the works by the bourgeois society all made the sculptures done by Kunhiraman in the tourist villages later a part of an institutionalized activity. Kunhiraman with his range of works and as the 'first person' to introduce modernity in the sculpture field of Kerala has almost become synonym of modern sculpture for the common people in Kerala.

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