A Myth of Two Souls (2013-2021) proposes a contemporary re-reading of the Ramayana, along a journey through time and space. Drawing on the iconography generated by the myth and its pervasiveness in Indian society, Vasantha Yogananthan has traced the route taken by the heroes of the epic from Nepal, to India and Sri Lanka. The Ramayana was written in Sanskrit by the poet Valmiki around the 4th century AD. It has survived the ages by being continually rewritten and reinterpreted and continues to evolve today.
The seventh and final chapter,Amma(meaning “mother” in Tamil) closes the A Myth of Two Souls project after 437 photographs published in 7 books (2016-2021). To celebrate this epic, Chose Commune publishes, in close collaboration with the artist, a book in which all 60 photographs are glued by hand (printing and binding done in Italy).
The images that make up Amma were taken during thirteen trips to India and Sri Lanka (2013-2021).Ammais centered around the character of Princess Sita and questions the concept of “purity.” The end of the Ramayana, far from a “happy ending”, highlights the cruelty of Rama and his blind submission to the beliefs of a patriarchal society. Sita, daughter of the earth – her name means furrow in Sanskrit – is free to make choices not dictated by the culture of men.
The photographs that make upAmma were taken along the coast of Sri Lanka, in the city of Ayodhya, and in the jungles of Bihar, India. Their chromatic palette recreates a world where civilization disappears little by little, giving way to a purely metaphysical space. The Ramayana has neither end nor beginning, it represents the cycle of life. It has always been and will always be.
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