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L N Tallur’s V+Mana: Art at the Airport

Tsuktiben Jamir

Art does not belong only in museums and exhibitions. The Bangalore International Airport has installed a piece by L N Tallur called ‘V+Mana.’ If you are wondering what the title of the piece means, we will save you the trouble because we reached out to the artist himself, L N Tallur, and he said, “The vimāna (विमान) literally means “measuring out” or “having been measured out”. Anything beyond human scale, we recognise it as Adbutha (surprise/wonder), Adbhuta is one of the Navarasas. The flying machine/aircraft or Hindu temple architecture/Gopuram are also called Vimanam, as they are beyond the human scale.”

The installation of ‘V+Mana’ at the Bangalore International Airport
Courtesy: @naturemorte_delhi

“The piece has been recently installed. The airport authority wanted some work based on the concept of navarasa. How to go about it was the challenge so I went with the idea of vimana itself, which when taken literally, we usually think of an airplane or an aircraft. But it has a different meaning as well. Mana is a measurement and vimana is something beyond the human reach. In ancient time, vimana was used to describe something that was beyond us or beyond our comprehension. Moreover, if we trace back to our ancient history, the biggest or most important structure among a group of people was the temple, and this temple was called the vimana. Apart from that, when we say vimana, it is usually fantasy or imagination, that involves flying objects as well. And I thought this idea fits very well with the airport area which is why I went with it. And it also talks about the ancient architecture. Moreover, it is also a tilting or moving structure. It is as though the architectural part lost its gravity; that way it is a kind of non-verbal communication. It seems like its floating or flying around and is meant to give you a feeling of lost gravity” said Tallur.

‘The Bell and the Cat’ by L N Tallur                 Courtesy: Nature Morte

L.N. Tallur’s complex works include allusions to a variety of topics, including Hindu iconography, popular culture, the extreme poverty of rural India, as well as more general political and social problems like the concept of value and the globalised economy. Tallur employs site-specific installations, interactive works, wall art, sculpture, and other media to highlight the absurdities of daily life and the worries that permeate modern society.

Conceptual artist L N Tallur was born in 1971 in the small town of Tallur in Karnataka, India. He completed his B.F.A. in Painting (1992-96) from Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) under Mysore University, and his M.F.A. in Museology (1997-98) from Maharaja Sayyajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat. Then he finished his M.A.in Contemporary Fine art Practice (2001-02) from Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, U.K. Apart from India, his works have been exhibited internationally in countries like Germany, South Korea, USA and China.

Tallur has multiple awards under his belt including the Inlaks Fine Art Award (1997), Inlaks Foundation, Delhi, Emerging Artist award (1999), Bose Pacia Modern, Soho, New York, Sanskriti Award (2003), Sanskriti Foundation, Delhi and the SKODA Prize (2012), Delhi, to name a few.

If you happen to be around the Bangalore International Airport, be sure to pay it a visit and experience the stunning piece by L N Tallur as its alluring and intriguing nature is sure to blow your mind. You also won’t want to miss out on a talk with Tallur on the topic ‘Data Mining’ initiated by the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru in collaboration with Ananya Drishya on the 25th of March 2023 at 5:30 pm at the auditorium of National Gallery of Modern Art, Palace Road, Bengaluru, so don’t forget to mark your calendars to experience the greatness of L N Tallur.

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