R.Saravana Raja (Kaathu)

"World Dance" by Vipin Mishra


I completed my undergraduate studies in Architecture at Regional Engineering College (Tiruchiraapalli / Tamilnadu / India), did set design for a Tamil movie 'Puratchikaaran', moved on to serve as lecturer in the architecture department of Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women (Vallam, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu) for one academic year, and then applied for CEED and joined the Industrial Design Centre of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay as a student once again.

This final project titled 'Kaatrin Nizhal ~ Shadows of Wind' is an exploration on digital manipulation of images in the 2 year M. Des. Visual Communication course I'm doing. It uses the possibilities of a digital medium to explore the Indian image-creation process, which is based on Indian myth and mythology. For this, study has been done on how Indian art creates images with abstract philosophies behind the creations, where image creation and the thought behind the creations go hand in hand. The features and advantages of the digital medium were explored to convey abstract thoughts and philosophies interpreted from Indian myth and Hindu mythology. The project results in a booklet for with images created through digital medium, exploring the Indian image-creation process based on Indian myth and mythology, give form to the formless ideas. It is an exploration to visualize the 'Kaatrin Nizhal ~ Shadows of Wind'.

Traditional Indian art lays utmost stress on the importance of concept. Here, the most important thing is clarity of the concept. After that comes everything from manipulation of existing images to creation of totally unrealistic one. This is how this booklet 'Kaatrin Nizhal ~ Shadows of Wind' has been brought to life. The basic concepts have been the guiding forces behind each of the images. The contributing images have been chosen, stylized, perfected and enhanced to explain these ideas.

Basically, the whole project lies on the traditional Indian image-creation process where unrealistic images were created to communicate the formless ideas and abstract philosophies of Hindu religion. Any image creation in Indian art has a thought behind it. Symbolism, iconography, metaphors are used in creating the images to communicate the concept behind the images. Indian art is so intimately associated this that it cannot be fully attempted unless one has some knowledge of the ideals that governed the Indian mind. In Indian art there is always a religious urge, a looking beyond. From the exuberant carvings of the Hindu temples to the luminous wall paintings of Ajanta, to the intriguing art of cave sites and sophisticated temple-building traditions, the Indian subcontinent offers an amazing visual feast.

For creating images to communicate the formless thoughts and abstract philosophies, the Indian artist always has the freedom to manipulate the visual elements in the images in order to explain the thought behind the creation of the images to the full extent. This manipulation of images to fit the concepts behind the image-creation creates unrealistic images, which are usually out of mind. Before the elements are used in these visuals, they are manipulated, perfected, stylized and enhanced to bring out the inner quality within them, which makes an image ideal to express the thought behind the image-creation.

Understanding these principles governing image-creation in Indian classical art and exploring the varied possibilities in digital manipulation in which the digital media with its advanced technology gives more flexibility in manipulating the images is what this project addresses for me. Briefly then, with the help of digital media this project tries to interpret Indian thoughts to create new visual imagery.

The final images were arranged under 6 categories based on the image creation process in Indian art.

1. The concept of Abundance

2. The concept of Ardhanareeswar

3. The concept of Mandala

4. Composites

5. Multiplication of units

6. Multiplication and Transformation of units.


My interests are in Photography, Film making, Sculptures, Paintings, Lyrics and Literature. My poems, and photographs have been published in well-known magazines of Tamilnadu. I've held two exhibitions of my paintings, sculptures and photographs, and have also worked as assistant to a tele-serial director Mr. Kavitha Bharathi on the serial 'Neela Vaanam' (Sun TV).

My first project as a student at the Industrial Design Centre was a 10 minute documentary film titled ~ "A film of Safety Measures for Women Workers in Indian Construction Industry", which was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

below: a couple of diary-pages off Kaathu's website

R.Saravana Raja (Kaathu)
Plot no. 19, 1st Cross Lane
Nethaji Second Street, Viswanathapuram
Madurai - 625 014 (Tamilnadu / INDIA)