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Arun Vijai Mathavan

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About Artist

Arun Vijai Mathavan is a Chennai based photo-documenter of social realities. He has completed his M. Des - Photography design from National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, India in 2017. He also has a B. E. in Com...

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Arun Vijai Mathavan is a Chennai based photo-documenter of social realities. He has completed his M. Des - Photography design from National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, India in 2017. He also has a B. E. in Computer Science from Cape Institute of Technology, Kanyakumari, India in 2010. Some of his exhibitions include: Nathan Studio- Jimei Arles, 2019, China; 2019; ‘Millennia of Oppression’- Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai, 2019; Fotofest 2018 Biennial, Houston, USA, 2018;Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai, 2017; Urban Mountains- Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai,2016; Delhi Photo Festival 2015, New Delhi, 2015. He is a receiver of Murthy NAYAK Foundation grant/ FotoFest, USA and also received the UKIERI FELLOWSHIP to study at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK.
Death, STIGMA and Social Isolation are underlying aspects that the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought to the surface. The world has seen an unprecedented number of fatalities due to the Covid-19 outbreak. These imposed isolations for the fear of the touch that the contagion might bring in, directs our focus to how we regard the subject of ‘DEATH’.
Through the project ‘Millennia of Oppression’, Arun Vijai Mathavan documents the extreme conditions Sanitation workers in India have to work in. He documents Dalit mortuary technicians in this project. Dalits have historically been forced to handle the dead for centuries, as untouchables already facing social Isolation, as well as the stigma associated with such work. Mathavan’s photography project draws our attention to the manner in which they are compelled to do this in modern, state-run hospitals, a situation that has so far have gone unnoticed and undocumented. Autopsy, subjects the unnatural deaths to investigation.

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3 Artworks for sale

Testimonials

  • BIODATA

  • About Artist


    Arun Vijai Mathavan is a Chennai based photo-documenter of social realities. He has completed his M. Des - Photography design from National Institute of Design, Gandhinagar, India in 2017. He also has a B. E. in Computer Science from Cape Institute of Technology, Kanyakumari, India in 2010. Some of his exhibitions include: Nathan Studio- Jimei Arles, 2019, China; 2019; ‘Millennia of Oppression’- Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai, 2019; Fotofest 2018 Biennial, Houston, USA, 2018;Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai, 2017; Urban Mountains- Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai,2016; Delhi Photo Festival 2015, New Delhi, 2015. He is a receiver of Murthy NAYAK Foundation grant/ FotoFest, USA and also received the UKIERI FELLOWSHIP to study at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK.
    Death, STIGMA and Social Isolation are underlying aspects that the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought to the surface. The world has seen an unprecedented number of fatalities due to the Covid-19 outbreak. These imposed isolations for the fear of the touch that the contagion might bring in, directs our focus to how we regard the subject of ‘DEATH’.
    Through the project ‘Millennia of Oppression’, Arun Vijai Mathavan documents the extreme conditions Sanitation workers in India have to work in. He documents Dalit mortuary technicians in this project. Dalits have historically been forced to handle the dead for centuries, as untouchables already facing social Isolation, as well as the stigma associated with such work. Mathavan’s photography project draws our attention to the manner in which they are compelled to do this in modern, state-run hospitals, a situation that has so far have gone unnoticed and undocumented. Autopsy, subjects the unnatural deaths to investigation.

  • Academics

    National Institute of Design Gandhinagar, India. M. Des - Photography design 2013 – 2017
    University for the Creative Arts Farnham, UK. Student Exchange Program 2014
    Cape Institute of Technology Kanyakumari, India. B. E - Computer Science 2007 - 2011

  • Exhibitions

    2019 - Programs Manager at Chennai photo Biennale(Chennai) with roles and responsibility of research and finalize and organise potential programs like exhibitions, workshops, talks, photowalks, panel discussions, and screenings. 2017 - Become a Associate of PEP Collective(Chennai)
    2014 - Timeout Magazine, Bengaluru Mentored under Selva Prakash Lakshmanan and worked on a project dealing with pollution of Bengaluru lakes. Core Photo team member in photo shoot assignments.
    2012 - Amazon Kindle chat support at Sutherland Global Solutions(Chennai)
    CONSULTATION
    2019 - Visiting faculty at VIT University, Chennai.

    2018 - Visiting faculty at Woxsen School Of Art And Design, Hyderabad.

    2018 - Exhibition Design for ERROR Studios.

    2017 - Co-Curation, Exhibition Design, Production Design at PEP Collective.

    COMMISSIONED PROJECTS

    Photographer for HCL CSR book the “Fifth Estate Volume III and IV
    Documented an Performance Art by Avini Seti for Conflictorium, Gandhinagar

    Cataloging the Furniture and Hangers for Furniture and Interior Design Department, NID.

    Documenting the exhibition space of The Jutecell department of NID at Textile India 2017, Gandhinagar.

    Photographer for Young Designer 2014, NID.

    Photographer for African Basketry Workshop, NID, 2013.

    EXHIBITIONS
    Nathan Studio- Jimei Arles 2019, China.
    2019 Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa. 2018.
    Millennia of Oppression-
    Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai. 2019
    Jadavpur University, Kolkata. 2018
    Fotofest 2018 Biennial, Houston, USA. 2018
    Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan,
    Chennai. 2017.
    Urban Mountains-
    Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai.
    2016 Delhi Photo Festival 2015, New Delhi. 2015
    Karupu Idly-
    Gujarat Photo Festival 2016, Gujarat. 2016.
    Faded Lakes-
    Urban Water, Chennai,2016
    The Village-
    Have Some Tea: Intercontinental, NID
    Gandhinagar. 2015
    Projection at The Strand Gallery, London. 2014

    PUBLISHED
    2020 - Neutral Colors, Japan, Spring Issue I
    2019 - Amnesty International, Amsterdam
    2019 - Andhimazhai, India
    2019 - Better Photography, August issue
    2019 - IMPACT magazine, July-Sep issue
    2019 - Firstpost, March issue 2019 - Scroll.in, March issue
    2019 - Times of India, March issue
    2019 - Fifth Estate Volume III
    2019 - Better Photography, February issue
    2018 - INDIA/Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art, Schilt Publication, Amsterdam.
    2017 - Caravan Magazine, May issue
    2017 - 12 Magazine
    2014 - TimeOut Magazine

    CURATION

    Co-Curated National Geographic photo camp images at PEP Collective 2018
    Co-Curated ERROR II, ERROR III
    Co-Curated ERROR 404

    WORKSHOP
    2019 - Teaching assistant for ‘Initiation to Book Making’ with Yumi Goto
    2018 - Photobook making workshop at PEP Collective, Chennai.
    2016 - Urban Water Workshop at the Chennai Photo Biennale, Chennai.

    TALKS

    Speaker at The Red Frames Talks series Artist Talk at Koogai Library
    Speaker at TEDx Napier bridge
    Moderated a Panel discussion at Spotlight
    July, CPB
    Artist Talk at Chennai Photo Biennale 2019
    Artist Talk at Kasha Ki Aasha, Pondichery

  • Award & Recognition

    MurthyNAYAK Foundation funding to bring five innovative social documentary photographers to FotoFest, USA. In order to participate in the International Meeting Place Portfolio Review for photographic artists.
    Received UKIERI FELLOWSHIP to study at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK.

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