April 2022 - July 2022
Sofi's Lounge, Level 1, Sofitel Melbourne On Collins
Based in Paris, Vasantha Yogananthan (b. 1985) is a photographer working around the genres of portrait, still life and landscape.
Presented exclusively for PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography, Afterlife is the sixth chapter of Vasantha Yogananthan’s long-term project, A Myth of Two Souls, inspired by, and offering a modern retelling of the epic tale the Ramayana. Drawing inspiration from the imagery associated with this myth and its pervasiveness in everyday Indian life, Yogananthan has retraced the legendary route from north to south India. For this series Yogananthan travelled to Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu to experience and photograph people attending Dussehra, one of the biggest Hindu festivals celebrating the victory of good over evil.
Afterlife explores death and reincarnation through the epic battle between Prince Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu) and the 10-headed demon king Ravana, with the characters depicted by festival goers Yogananthan encountered in costumes and painted faces. People attending Dussehra seek to reach a trance-like state and Yogananthan has created collages that mix several pictures together to put the viewer in a similar state of disorientation.
In 2015 Yogananthan was the recipient of the IdeasTap/Magnum Photos Award (category international) to help him fund A Myth of Two Souls, his 7-book project on the Ramayana in India. He has received several awards, including the Prix Levallois (2016), an ICP Infinity Award as Emerging Photographer of the year (2017) and was a Foam Talent (2017). In 2018 and 2019 he was awarded the Prix Camera Clara and the Rencontres d'Arles Photo-Text Book Award. Yogananthan's work is included in private and public collections, including the V&A Museum London, Musée de l'Élysée, Foam photography museum and the Musée Français de la Photographie.
This exhibition is curated by Photo Australia for Photo 2022 International Festival of Photography presented in partnership with Sofitel Melbourne on Collins and supported by Fini Frames.