By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
By Hand From The Heart would be Malayalam Project’s first show outside Cochin; on display you will find Malayalam excerpts and artworks by artists from different backgrounds – fine artists, graphic designers, illustrators, typographers, & photographers.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
The Malayalam Project is a collaborative forum for experiments in the Malayalam Alphabet, Language and Lettering / Typography. It was launched as a partner exhibit of Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014-15 in association with Riyas Komu, KMB Director. The project aims to explore the nuances of language through a period of approximately 100 years, through examples of the written work of writers, poets and journalists. With the selected subject – ‘narrative of the woman character on print’.
With Malayalam literature as the base, excerpts from popular works in literature are taken that is reflective of the socio cultural milieu of the time period in which it is published. The excerpts are narrations of women characters – through this we perceive the status, treatment and idea of ‘woman’ during a particular time.
‘The Malayalam Project’. How did it come to be?
Malayalam Project is brought out by Thought Factory Design and Viakerala, based in Cochin. Sister concerns, these two design studios have been working with Malayalam + English typography for a long time and has been a subject of interest for research. After months of research, a vast area that is was structured into what is now Malayalam Project.
Its aims, challenges and reception.
With studying the portrayal of women in Malayalam literature, the project aims at looking at the script from different perspectives. New mediums giveaway for experimentation. Techniques of printing and production allow interpretation of a seemingly 2 dimensional script that was merely functional to take on characteristics beyond readability and become motifs for identity and expression.
The exhibition was received well by both the native and international audience. The project is curated in a way that even a non malayali would be able to soak in – typography design and illustrations. The excerpts are taken from popular and accessible works read by the masses – the natives connected with this, invoking nostalgia.
Tell us about the artists /works you propose to showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
Malayalam Project has artists from different backgrounds – fine artists, graphic designers, illustrators, typographers, photographers, architects, even garment designers and pastry chefs. The artists did personal rendition of a unique brief sent to them on a Malayalam word/phrase. The exhibition will have Malayalam excerpts and artworks.
What is the most rewarding part of all of this for you? What have you observed?
Being one of the partner project at the Kochi – Muziris Biennale was the best opening the exhibit could get. During the course of which we could converse with many people from different walks of life who gave in insights, comments, suggestions and some who engaged in deep rooted conversations, and some who collaborated with the project. It was great to know that people received the work positively.
Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?
The Project has been actively collaborating with artists online. The show with By Hand From The Heart would be Malayalam Project’s first show outside Cochin. More out station exhibitions are being planned.