Kanayi Kunhiraman

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Kanayi Kunhiraman
Kanayi Kunhiraman Portrait.jpg
Born (1937-07-25) 25 July 1937 (age 84)
Kuttamath, Kasaragod district, Kerala, India
OccupationSculptor
Years active1960 - present
Notable work
Tamilnadu Woman, Malampuzha Yakshi, Sagarakanyaka, Mukkola Perumal
Spouse(s)Nalini
Awards
  • 2005 Raja Ravi Varma Award
  • 2006 Thikkurissy Award
  • 2018 MS Nanjunda Rao National Award
Websitehttp://www.kanayikunhiraman.com/

Kanayi Kunhiraman (Malayalam: കാനായി കുഞ്ഞിരാമന്‍; born 25 July 1937) is an Indian sculptor, best known for his outsize sculptures such as Yakshi of Malampuzha Dam Gardens, Jalakanyaka at Shankumugham Beach and Mukkola Perumal trinity in Kochi. He is a protege of K. C. S. Paniker and a former chairman of the Lalit Kala Academy, India's national academy of fine arts. The Government of Kerala awarded him the inaugural Raja Ravi Varma Award in 2005. He is also a recipient of the Thikkurissy Award and the inaugural MS Nanjunda Rao National Award of the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.

Biography[edit]

Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai

Kunhiraman was born on July 25, 1937 at Kuttamath in Hosdurg Taluk of Kanhangad in Kasaragod District of the south Indian state of Kerala.[1] After early schooling at the local schools in Kuttamath and Puthaott, he joined Raja's high school, Nileshwaram to pass the Secondary School Leaving Certificate examination in 1957.[2] A teacher at his school, by name Krishnan Kutty, encouraged him to pursue his artistic interests but he did not get encouragement from his family which forced him to flee home to Chennai where he studied sculpture at the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai.[3] It was during his days here, Kunhiraman had the opportunity to come in contact with K. C. S. Paniker who was a faculty and later, the principal of the institution. After completing the course, he worked as a part-time teacher at Ethiraj College for Women from 1961 but when he received the Commonwealth Scholarship, he moved to England to study at the Slade School of Fine Art in 1965; he spent three years at the school. On his return to Kerala, he undertook a number of assignments and in 1976, he was invited to head the department of sculpture of the College of Fine Arts Trivandrum; he would also serve the institution as its principal until 1978 when he was nominated as the chair of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi; he would also chair the academy again in 2001.[1]

Kunhiraman is married to Nalini.[4]

Legacy[edit]

Mukkola Perumal in front of GCDA building

On his return to Kerala from Chennai, Kunhiraman was commissioned by the irrigation department of Kerala, on recommendation from K. C. S. Paniker,[5] for an art work to be installed at the Malampuzha dam garden and he created Yakshi, a 30 feet statue of a naked woman, sitting on the lawns; the sensuality of the sculpture drew protests from traditionalists.[3] Two years later, he was invited by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) for two sculptures in the premises of their new office in Kadavanthra and he created Environmental Pieces and Mukkola Perumal, both concrete sculptures.[6] He also created a sculpture, Fertility at Ambalamedu premises of the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore. In 1990, he completed the Jalakanyaka (Mermaid), a 23-metre sculpture at Shankumugham Beach, in Thiruvananthapuram;[7] The beach also has another of his sculptures titled, Snake.[6]

The bronze bust of K. P. P. Nambiar, the Padma Bhushan winning technocrat,[8] and the bust of K. C. Mammen Mappillai are two conventional sculptures created by Kunhiraman.[4] Amma in Payyambalam, Akshara Shilpam in Kottayam,[9] Conch, Seats, Nandi and Embrace at Veli Tourist Village,[10] are some of his other works.[6][11] Melathara and Kalithara, dedicated to public with the accompaniment from a violin concert by L. Athira Krishna in Kollam in 2008.[12] and the Aksharashilpam, at the premises of the public library in Kottayam feature among his more recent works.[13] He has also published on poetry anthology, titled, Kānāyi Kuñhirāmant̲e Kavitakaḷ.[14]

Awards and honours[edit]

Kunhiraman, who has designed many of the statuettes for various awards in Kerala,[15] was selected by Kerala Lalithakala Akademi for their annual award, Raja Ravi Varma Award, in 2005, making him the first sculptor to receive the honour.[16] He received the Thikkurissy Award in 2006[17] and Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath awarded him the inaugural MS Nanjunda Rao National Award for Art in 2018.[18] Lalit Kala Akademi, the national academy of India for fine arts, published a book on Kunhiraman's works in 2008.[19][20]

Selected works[edit]

Year Work Medium Venue Place
1953 Mother and Child Concrete [[payyambalam

]]

1957 Beggar Plaster of Paris Government College of Fine Arts Chennai
1957 Jawaan Bronze State Bank of India Chennai
1958 A figure Bronze Victoria and Albert Museum London
1958 Mother and Father Concrete Government College of Fine Arts Chennai
1958 Portrait of the Painter Rani Poovaiah Concrete Government College of Fine Arts Chennai
1964 Amma (Mother) Granite Private Collection New Delhi
1969 Yakshi Concrete Malampuzha dam garden Malampuzha
1971 Fertility Concrete FACT Ambalamedu
1972 Environmental Pieces Concrete GCDA Complex Kochi
1973 Mukkola Perumal Concrete GCDA Complex Kochi
1975 Horse Junk sculpture National Gallery of Modern Art New Delhi
1976 Relief Concrete Mullakkal Temple Alappuzha
1985 Kengal Hanumanthaiah Bronze Vidhana Soudha Bengaluru
1986 Embrace Concrete Veli Tourist Village Thiruvananthapuram
1986 The Conch Concrete, Veli Tourist Village Thiruvananthapuram
1986 Aattam Concrete Veli Tourist Village Thiruvananthapuram
1990 Relaxation Concrete Shankumugham Beach Thiruvananthapuram
1990 Sagarakanyaka (The Mermaid) Concrete Shankumugham Beach Thiruvananthapuram
1992 Snake Concrete Shankumugham Beach Thiruvananthapuram
1998 Nandi Concrete Veli Tourist Village Thiruvananthapuram
2001 Infinity Bronze
2001 Labour's Hand Bronze
2001 Seats Concrete Payyambalam Beach Kannur
2001 Thai (Mother) Concrete Payyambalam Beach Kannur
2008 Melathara and Kalithara Concrete Sopanam Complex Kollam
2015 Aksharashilpam Concrete Public Library Kottayam
2018 Reclining figure Concrete Mahakavi Kumaranasan Memorial Thonnakkal
2018 Kumaran Asan Bronze Mahakavi Kumaranasan Memorial Thonnakkal
2018 Vikram Sarabhai Bronze Indian Space Research Organisation Bengaluru

Books on Kanayai Kunhiraman[edit]

  • Puṣhparāj, Nēmaṃ (2012). Kānāyi Kuñhirāman: Br̥hadākāraṅgaḷuṭe śhilppi. Kerala: State Institute of Languages. ISBN 9788176381284. OCLC 869823336.
  • Vijayakumār Mēnōn (2008). Kanayi Kunhiraman. New Delhi: Lalit Kala Akademi. ISBN 9788187507345. OCLC 289070886.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Biography". Web archive. 11 March 2019. Archived from the original on 25 August 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Kanayi Kunhiraman - Veethi profile". veethi.com. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Men-o-pause". Times of India Blog. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Our culture is colossal, so are my sculptures". OnManorama. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  5. ^ Sandy (13 February 2018). "Malambuzha's own Yakshi turns 50 this year. Do you know her story?". My Words & Thoughts. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Sculptures of Kanayi Kunhiraman". b3.zcubes.com. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  7. ^ "The Jalakanyaka Mermaid statue in Thiruvananthapuram, India". Mermaids of Earth. 11 March 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  8. ^ Staff Reporter (29 June 2018). "Of bonds with a trailblazer technocrat". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  9. ^ "A visual journey through the life of the master sculptor". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Top 10 Magnificent Statues and Sculpture in Kerala". walkthroughindia.com. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Kanai Kunhiraman - Works of Art". 23 September 2011. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  12. ^ "AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS". Athira. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Article about Kanayi Kunhiraman by Fr. Dr. K. M. George". Malankara Orthodox TV. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  14. ^ Kanayi Kunhiraman (2009). Kānāyi Kuññirāmant̲e kavitakaḷ. Ḍi. Si. Buks. ISBN 978-81-264-2323-1.
  15. ^ "Kerala News : Raja Ravi Varma award for Kanayi". The Hindu. 30 April 2005. Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Raja Ravi Varma Puraskaram - Kerala Lalithakala Akademi". lalithkala.org. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Kanai Kunhiraman Awards". 23 September 2011. Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  18. ^ Govind, Ranjani (4 January 2018). "Sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman honoured with Nanjunda Rao National Award for Art". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  19. ^ Govind, Ranjani (4 July 2017). "Iconic sculptor to receive first ever Nanjunda Rao Award today". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  20. ^ Vijayakumār Mēnōn (2008). Kanayi Kunhiraman. New Delhi: Lalit Kala Akademi. ISBN 9788187507345. OCLC 289070886.

External links[edit]