Visual Short stories of K.Srinivasa Chary
K.Srinivasa Chary is interviewed by Dr.M.Balamani
One of the concepts of Modern and Contemporary arts’ is to revive our traditional arts and techniques for renewed meanings. Kolacharam Srinivasa Chary, teaching painting at P.S.Telugu University Hyderabad works with Egg Tempera technique. He narrates the rural life as an imagery of pleasant dreams moving in front of us, as short stories of History.
I-Your compositions look soft and beautiful, feel like to look at them again and again.
Chary-That beauty is because of the egg tempera medium.
I-Have you worked always in this medium?
Chary-Since 1986 I have been working in this medium. When I was studying in JNTU Fine Arts College Hyderabad, retired Prof. Vidya Bhushan came to the college and gave a demonstration on egg tempera technique. He was the best in this technique. Senior artists like Laxma Gaud came to see that demonstration. I liked that style very much. I have been working since then in this medium.
I-From where did you get your first inspiration to paint in your childhood?
Chary-Till I reached 7th, 8th standard, I did not have any understanding about anything, neither I was good at studies or had any understanding about painting. We are goldsmiths by profession and lived in a joint family. My father could do free hand drawing of necklace chain designs of one side and my cousin used to copy on the second half exactly the same. No one told me any work because I was not good at anything. But it is difficult to predict who gets the inspiration at what time. My cousin once copied Hanuman picture in oil on a 4,6 ft. canvas. I enjoyed that painting very much. I started drawing and copying small images. I used to go to RSS branch and realized some discipline there and that seeped into my work and routine. After the schooling I have taken science stream for studies because some drawing is involved in science curriculum. My teacher asked me to draw a frog picture on the board once. Including girls in the class everyone appreciated my drawing. I was happy. I used to draw the portraits of our teachers who were getting retired and gifted them on the farewell functions. All the college appreciated. I was very happy and that time I decided I will become an artist.
I-Why did you get the idea of painting and gifting portraits?
Chary-Mr.Liyakat Hussain was painting wonderful portraits. Mr.Venugopal Reddy, my elder brother’ friend, working in milk centre, was painting beautiful realistic paintings. I liked both and wanted to paint real like portraits and started copying.
I-When did you join the art college?
Chary-I joined in 1981. I got the seat in both Veterinary Medicine and Fine Arts College. My father wanted me to join Veterinary Medicine. He used to think artists are mad people. But I wanted to join Arts. Because of the support of my elder brother’ friend I could join JNTU Fine Arts College in Hyderabad.
I-What is your native palace?
Chary-My father is from Kolacharam. We lived in Zaheerabad because of family profession.
I-Who were the teachers whom you liked the most in art college?
Chary-Vasudevarao Kapatria, Kondapalli Seshagirirao, Gourishankar, Vidya Bhushan, Kavita Deuskar, many… When I joined the college, I used to wear Kurta and Tilak on forehead. First day of college when I reached with this attire, Kondapalli Seshagirirao was standing at the front entrance. He was wearing similar attire all the time. He called me and talked to me. I took commercial art branch specialization thinking I would get the employment easily. He advised me to take Painting specialization because he liked my drawing. When I was speaking to Vasudevarao, he gave me an interesting exercise. He asked me to visit cinema poster making people’ activity one day and Salarjung Museum another day. He explained me then, cinema poster kind paintings will remain only for a week, but our painting should remain for many ages like museum paintings. I shifted to painting specialization.
I-Most of the time you paint people and association of goats and rural life. Do you paint them as a symbol of Telangana life?
Chary-I did not start painting them as any symbol. When I joined for master degree in Central University Hyderabad, Laxma Gaud was our teacher. He used to send us out for sketching the natural atmosphere. I came from rural background. I sketched and draw rural life, markets, their life styles, blankets on their shoulders as their symbolic costume, their modest behavior when they come to cities. All those drawings come to my compositions even today.
I-Hyderabad architectural lattice windows also appear in you compositions along with rural people.
Chary-When I was in Master degree at Central University, DLN Reddy was also our teacher. He encouraged us to think more than the regular and work beyond the boundary and experiment. I started combining what I see what I feel and what I understand. My work has changed a lot gradually.
I-Figures and forms of your compositions look like flat cardboard pictures, walking in dreams.
Chary-I went to Vanasthali in Rajasthan to learn Mural painting. I did my M.Phil in 2006 on Bhimbhetka rock paintings of Madhya Pradesh. Both must have influenced my work.
I-Where did you exhibit first as a professional artist?
Chary-I participated in a group exhibition at Max Muller Bhavan, Hyderabad after my Master degree. Few of us were working together in a studio at Nampalli. Laxma Gaud helped us as his students and I could exhibit in Delhi, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai. Because of the teaching I get less time but I have been continuously participating in group exhibitions.
[Original interview article of this article is published in Telugu, in Sopathi, Sunday magazine of Navatelangana news papers on 23rd September 2018.]