Myriad Faces

Chennai-based A. Prathap presents the essence of Kattaikkuttu, a folk theatre of Tamil Nadu through photography.

In South India, in a parallel universe where old is young, Kattaikkutu the traditional folk theatre of Tamil Nadu, is given a lease of new life by the young actors of Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam of Kanchipuram.

The vibrancy of characters is palpable in the painted faces and costumes of the young actors as they seriously enact roles from mythic stories.

Introducing this performance art to the Malaysian public is photographer A. Prathap, who showcases a myriad of portraiture belonging to the young actors behind the resurgence of the potentially disappearing form of art through his exhibition entitled ‘Myriad Faces.’

Kattaikkuttu, a complex, rural, Tamil language-based theatre involves the use of voice, body and mind. It requires the performer to build a character through songs, dialogue, movement and facial expression and to maintain this character throughout an all-night 8-hour performance.

Prior to the establishment of the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam in 2002 there was no formal training in Kattaikkuttu available.

At the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam, the young actors, who had once been disenfranchised children, are taught and trained in the art of this resurgent and popular folk theatre.

The vibrancy of characters is palpable in the painted faces and costumes of the young actors as they seriously enact roles from mythic stories.

A. Prathap, is a Principal Photographer with The Times Of India, Chennai, with more than 10 years of experience behind the camera.

Prathap says, “In my photography, I try to focus on their struggles, the blood and sweat that have gone into perfecting themselves as artistes. Photographing the essence of their performances requires much patience and keen sense of observation. My work is not about capturing their deprivations; it is about celebrating their victories.”

In addition to traditional, all-night plays (primarily from the epic Mahabharata), the Gurukulam is in the process of building a new repertory of modern plays and those created especially for children.

Find out more about this interesting Southern Indian culture and the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam troupe from now until 9th July 2017 at the Sutra Gallery. The photo exhibition is brought to you by the Sutra Foundation in association with the Indian Cultural Centre.

Sutra Gallery
12, Persiaran Titiwangsa 3,
53200 Kuala Lumpur.

+603-4021 1092

Opening Hours
Monday – Friday: 9am to 5pm

Most of the young actors were once disenfranchised children.
Vimal Palasekaran

Vimal Palasekaran

Loud laugher. TV buff. Hispanophone.
Vimal Palasekaran

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