The Artistic Odyssey of VP Vasuhan: A Journey of Resilience and Expression

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Born amidst the vibrant tapestry of South India and northern Sri Lanka, VP Vasuhan‘s journey is a testament to the transformative power of art amidst adversity. His story, woven with threads of tradition and innovation, reflects the resilience of the human spirit and the universality of creativity.

Click to see VP Vasuhan’s Exhibition in Japan

Growing up in the picturesque village of Alaveddy in Jaffna, Vasuhan’s artistic roots were nourished by the rich cultural heritage of his surroundings. Immersed in traditional arts from a young age, he found inspiration in the everyday rhythms of life, guided by the wisdom of his grandfather, a humble farmer. From religious paintings to intricate embroidery, the vibrant hues of his homeland became the palette for his burgeoning creativity.

The echoes of ethnic conflict led Vasuhan to seek refuge in the bustling streets of Colombo in the late 1990s. Here, amidst the chaos and diversity of the capital city, his artistic vision expanded, fueled by encounters with street artists and exposure to local and international exhibitions. Delving into the nuances of Sinhalese language and culture, he found inspiration in the ancient art of frescoes and the intricate designs of batik.

Working on new series call ‘CATAMARAN – era 404’ with kids on his workshop

 

However, it was in the ancient city of Nicosia, Cyprus, that Vasuhan’s artistic journey found its mentor in the form of Glyn Hughes, a revered modern painter and art critic. Under Hughes’ guidance, Vasuhan honed his skills in portraiture and figurative painting, delving deep into the essence of Mediterranean civilization. His participation in exhibitions and art conferences broadened his horizons, providing him with a deeper understanding of art’s transcendent power. He took the initiative to admit me to a local art school in Kaimakli, run by Master Yannis. This was also my first group exhibition. In 1997, I participated in a group exhibition titled ‘French Homage Artistes 1900 – 1960′ at E.K.A.T.E. Nicosia, organized by Hughes.

Arriving in France in 2001, Vasuhan faced the challenges of life as a refugee with unwavering determination. Despite the hardships, his passion for art remained undimmed. His first solo exhibition, organized by Annick SANSONI and Visual Art at the University of Villetaneuse, as well as his work in a ceramic workshop in Paris in 2004, marked a milestone in his artistic journey, paving the way for further exploration and expression. From workshops at the University of Villetaneuse to the study of ceramics, Vasuhan’s quest for artistic evolution knew no bounds.

The international stage beckoned, with exhibitions in Martinique and Japan showcasing the depth and diversity of his artistic skills. His mask paintings, inspired by the natural beauty of the islands and the timeless sculptures of antiquity, captivated audiences with their earthy hues and intricate collage work.

In Paris, Vasuhan’s entrepreneurial spirit flourished with the establishment of Le Salon Indien, a unique fusion of restaurant and art gallery. Collaborating with Indian poet Arvind Appadourai, he created a space where art and culture converged, attracting artists and enthusiasts from around the world.

Even amidst the challenges of confinement, Vasuhan’s creativity knew no bounds. Experimenting with new mediums and techniques, he delved into the art of Tamil calligraphy, adding yet another dimension to his multifaceted repertoire.

In the spartan simplicity of his narrative lies a profound truth: that art, born from the depths of human experience, has the power to transcend boundaries and unite hearts across cultures and continents. VP Vasuhan’s journey is a testament to the enduring resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of creativity.

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