Culture is an overlaid influence of things we encounter as a society. Our ideas are shaped by the things we see and the influences that impress upon our psyche. Within this immensely rich and varied landscape of the Indian subcontinent, constant and continuous exchange of culture defines out vibrant ways. We constantly live in a phase of transition wherein popular notions of good and bad are under an ever-changing influence of the ancient, the modern and the global. As cultural definitions of beauty come under constant re-consideration, popular notions of prosperity become tools to display well-being.
The houses photographed herein are from a closely knit locale in Kerala – a significant and rapidly popular pattern in this part of the country. The pattern of richly coloured and aggressively decorated residences symbolise prosperity and exude a sense of security – both financial and social. Although the vocabulary of aesthetics can be termed kitsch, the idea is understand the underly ing patterns of expression in the ostentatiously and vibrantly decorated households. This documentation may come across as an irony to taste and yet registers an impact in the way these houses stand out and express individuality and belonging – examples of a thriving culture. The camera captures a glimpse of ambition within a culture.
– Deepak John Mathew
Vivek Vilasini is a self-taught artist and photographer who lives and works in Bengaluru. Born in Trishur, Kerala, he studied sculptural practices from traditional craftsmen. Vivek has presented his work in multiple national and international exhibitions and forums. His work was recently showcased in an exhibition titled ‘Indian Highway’ in MAXXI in Rome. He has an intuitive way of looking at photography and a unique advantage of a self-trained eye. Vivek’s photographs are rich, intriguing and a visual comment in contemporary culture.