Howling Winds • Vasantha Yogananthan
Text by Arshia Sattar
Soft cover with silkscreen image, Spiral binding, approximately 9.5"x12", 70 photographs, 76 pages, French / English, 2019
Graphic design: Kummer&Herrman
Howling Winds is the fifth chapter of Vasantha Yogananthan’s long-term project A Myth of Two Souls, which offers a contemporary retelling of The Ramayana. A seven-chapter tale first recorded by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around 300 BC, The Ramayana is one of the founding epics of Hindu mythology and has been continuously rewritten and reinterpreted through time.
Since 2013, Yogananthan has been travelling from north to south India to Sri Lanka, retracing the itinerary of the epic’s heroes. Between fiction and reality, he deliberately blurs the lines through multiple aesthetic approaches.
At the end of chapter 4, the wicked Ravana abducts Princess Sita. While Rama is in great distress, hundreds of thousands of animals from all around the world gather to search for Sita. They know that on the far shore of the ocean is the bright and shining island of Lanka, where Ravana is living.
Shot along the coastlines of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, Howling Winds mixes classic color photographs with acrylic hand-painted photographs to echo a world of magic.
A Myth of Two Souls will be published in seven photobooks between 2016-2020, one per chapter of the epic.