Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pechchu Kutcheri 2012: First Two Days

Pechchu Kutcheri 2012 organized by Tamil Heritage Trust has started. The first two days have been visual feasts.

Last year was a talkathon. You could actually make complete sense of what went on during the speech by simply listening to the audio. But not so this time. This is completely picture driven.

Tatvaloka auditorium is quite nice that way with an excellent large screen.

Day 1 happened on Christmas day. The crowd was somewhat thin. KT Gandhirajan, an Art Historian and excellent field researcher. He has worked on various projects but his specialty is Rock paintings. He and his team has discovered many rock painting sites in Tamil Nadu. He has created photographic documentation for multiple rock painting locations all over Tamil Nadu. he has been a guest lecturer in Fine Arts College, Chennai.

(I will be able to post audio and video only next week for all the talks.)

Gopu introduced the activities of Tamil heritage Trust to the audience.

Gopu introducing Tamil heritage Trust

Badri Seshadri introduced the speaker Gandhi Rajan.

Then Gandhi Rajan made his presentation on Rock Paintings of Tamil Nadu. Gandhi Rajan took around 20 sites across Tamil Nadu (out of nearly 60 or so) and showed the pre-historic rock art, their significance, what one can make of them and so on. Note that some of these places were discovered by him. Some of these places are most difficult to reach even today. They are anywhere between 5-10 km interior in forest from the nearest village, which will be several km from the nearest town.

Researcher and art historian KT Gandhi Rajan
Day 2 (today) was about an overview of painting across India. Arvind Venkatraman, a software engineer by profession, culture enthusiast by hobby made an excellent presentation covering Tamil Nadu, whole of India, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Burma, Sri Lanka and China where Indian painting tradition had spread. Gopu did the introduction to the event while Bhushavali introduced the speaker Arvind.

Gopu on the 6 day Pechchu Kutcheri event
Bhushavali introducing the speaker Arvind Venkatraman
Arvind started where Gandhi Rajan had left - from rock art of Bhimbetka. From there he moved to Indus Valley paintings to the historic period covering Satavahana, Gandhara, Kushana, Gupta, Vakataka, Chalukya, Pallava, Pandya, Chera, Chola, Pala, Vijayanagara, Nayak, Mughal miniature paintings, miniature paintings in North and Deccan influenced by Mughal, paintings found around the modern Indian state (Afghan, Central Asian, Chinese, Burmese, Sri Lankan - almost all Buddhist). The coverage was really breathtaking.

Arvind starting off from rock paintings and moving onto more evolved frescoes
Day 3 onwards, we move to specifics. Day 3 will be Prof. Swaminathan talking about Ajanta. In the light of today's talk, the focus on Ajanta will be sharper. Day 4 will see two speakers presenting Pallava (Sivaramakrishnan) and Pandya (Chandru) paintings - both speakers from Fine Arts College, Chennai, one a former Principal and the other a current faculty. Day 5 will see Vijaya Kumar, an arts enthusiast from Singapore (poetryinstone.in) presenting the magnificent Chola paintings in the Brihadisvara Temple. Day 6 will be Prof. Balusamy talking about Vijayanagara and Nayak paintings.

Don't miss them.

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