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Born in 1977, Eranakulam Kerala, Hariharan took his BFA in Sculpture from RLV Fine Arts College and currently he is a final year MFA student at the SN School of Fine Arts, Hyderabad. A sculptor with a great affinity for various materials, Hariharan explores his mindscape through his works. Having trained in traditional ornamental carving, Hariharan makes use of this skill in his sculptures. He has been invited to participate in several national and regional sculptors’ camps.

How did Hariharan come to the field of art?

“I was interested in drawing at an early age itself. But somehow I did not pursue it seriously. After doing my Bachelors in Commerce, I put my hand into advertising field. I happened to see an advertisement about an institute that imparted carving techniques. It was called ‘Papanasam Kudissai Arts and Crafts Institute’ and was located in Ambasamudram, Tamil Nadu. I went there to learn ornamental stone carving. But after seeing my skill they appointed me as a trainee carver there. That was how I came to the art field.”

Who found out the artist in Hariharan?

“In Ambasamudram, I did not much about modern art or related practices. But many of the artists in this institute were trained Madras College of Art. They recognized my skill and advised me to join in academy to learn the newer things. Kumar Swami, the head of the institute, a trained artist from Madras College of Art, told me to leave the institute and study art seriously.”

What happened then?

“I joined RLV Fine Arts College. The teachers there told me that art did not come from skill alone. They asked me to do nature study and human study. First two years went in understanding art. Noted Sculptor Alex Mathew was my teacher there and he drove me towards the right direction. Shanti Swaroopini was also teaching there.”

How did art history influence him?

“For me art history was something really new. My art history teachers T.V.Chandran and Kavita Balakrishnan were quite inspiring. However, my preoccupation with skill took me to artists like Michael Angelo and Bernini. Slowly I started looking at the modern sculptors. And my perceptions changed. I came to know more about the modern sculptural practice even in Kerala, through Alex Mathew. It was a kind of eye opener for me.”

Why did he choose to do MFA in Hyderabad?

“My BFA works were mainly based on human body, perhaps my own body. I did a quite a lot of big sculptures in order to capture the space. It was a kind of conquering space through sculpture. But I wanted to do and know more. I did not want to continue in the same college for doing MFA. So I decided to go to Hyderabad, where by that time Alex Mathew had joined as a lecturer.”

How did Hyderabad help him to formulate new works?

“I did not find any urban/rural divide in this campus. The campus is very vast and self sufficient. So I do not look at my works through the urban-rural way. I feel my works are more psychologically tuned. They are an effort to know my own self, my inner fears.”

What kind of materials he uses in his works?

“I like to work in many mediums. I use scrap metal, wood, terracotta, stone, cotton and so many other materials. The character of the material is decided by my own character. I keep experimenting with materials. I have just finished a cotton sculpture. I make quite large sculptures and they look majestic placed against nature.”

What are his future plans?

“I would like to experience new places and spaces. Perhaps, I would shift my base to Mumbai or Delhi. I would like to create my base in Singapore as my brother is a robotic engineer there. I would like to work more and consolidate my position as an artist in the coming years, irrespective of the place where I would choose to live.”


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