From mugs inscribed with Tamil calligraphy to taking part in playing cards that includes Chola royalty — a brand new on-line studio creates a up to date design area that pulls from historical Tamil texts
At first look, they’re tough to decipher. On a better, re-assessment, the dots, curves and the ‘akku’ distinctive to the Tamil script — albeit stylised — reveal themselves. In straight, thick strains, they’re inscribed in a calligraphic type which is satisfyingly up to date. And, curiously, what lends content material to this type is historical Tamil literature: Avvaiyar’s twelfth Century textual content, Aathichoodi, a group of 109 single-line quotations organized in alphabetical order that preaches all the things from good habits to the significance of self-discipline.
An avid reader of Tamil literature, Chennai-based artist Arvind Sundar attracts lots from historical texts in his calligraphic apply. His lockdown curiosity has now advanced itself into a web-based design studio, Urue (which suggests, ‘to create’), which he runs together with photographer Mahesh Thiru. Urue strives to create a up to date design area completely for Tamil literature.
The studio’s upcoming challenge is a pack of taking part in playing cards demarcated by the 4 dynasties that dominated Tamil Nadu — particularly, the Chola, Chera, Pandya and Pallava dynasties. The King, Queen and Jack playing cards of every go well with will likely be illustrated as belonging to those dynasties.
“The kings are portrayed of their battle apparel with the royal insignia, whereas the queens take up completely different roles pertaining to drugs, literature and battle. There will likely be two feminine Jacks and two male Jacks in every set,” says Arvind who’s an assistant professor at Chennai’s Loyola Faculty. The queens will even be sporting the royal flowers of the respective dynasties. The Joker card will likely be a contemporary interpretation sporting a 23-aam Pulikesi moustache — within the 2006 historical-comedy Imsai Arasan, 23-aam Pulikesi, actor Vadivelu performs the titular function of a comical king. The challenge is finished in collaboration with designer Meena Priya from Shrishti Faculty of Design. Arvind hopes to get the decks in manufacturing by mid-October.
“At the start of lockdown, I attended a web-based course (with a coupon supplied by Loyola Faculty) on Islamic tradition which had a chapter on the Quran. The chapter talked about how the Quran was written in a calligraphic type,” he says. This rekindled his curiosity within the historical writing approach. Within the days that adopted, he would vehemently copy entire pages of the twelfth and /thirteenth Century variations of the Quran. “Then, I believed if I can copy an historical textual content from Persia, why can’t I do it for our personal language?” says the artist.
This led to his unique work with Aathichoodi in Tamil calligraphy: nevertheless it doesn’t contain simply copying the verse. Design components pertinent to the ethical of every verse characterise the calligraphy. For instance, in ‘Nandru Karudhu’ (which interprets to ‘suppose/analyse effectively’), a verse from Puthiya Aathichoodi written by Subramania Bharati, the design finds itself enclosed in a extra up to date thought bubble.
Whereas studying about Aathichoodi and Avvaiyar, Arvind realised the graphical high quality of historical Tamil literature: “In the event you take Avvaiyar, she speaks about ‘nga pol valai’. She says that bend just like the letter ‘nga’ in entrance of elders. She is giving us a really symbolic expression of the letter itself,” says Arvind.
This explicit verse impressed him to take a look at such symbolic qualities within the Tamil script, that led to his collection on the Sangam Age. He writes ‘cholar’ by incorporating a tiger (emblem on the flag of Chola dynasty) motif, whereas ‘cherar’ is superbly inscribed with the image of a bow that replaces ‘che’. The artist has additionally achieved an animal collection in calligraphy that includes animals whose names are derived from Tamil literature.
Examine urue_designstudio on Instagram and Fb for extra particulars.