ICON is the story of an indigenous artisan, from an underprivileged stratum of the Hindu society, who became a nationally acclaimed master craftsman through his handmade religious artefacts. Guided by his spiritual immersion, inner vision and revelations, images from his creative consciousness are translated into materiality through hand craftmanship. Hailing from the Kulalar clan in south India, his creative pursuits perpetuate the traditional knowledge and praxis rooted in ancient autochthonous culture. However, his craft practice is not just a static continuation of tradition. It is also dynamic as seen in his various innovations, adaptations and appropriations. While his creative productions are evolving and responding to modern ethos and contemporary consumerism, his artistic expressions are regulated by the parameters of cultural norms. Through an anecdotal narrative, this film unravels his negotiations with opposing dualities of subjective and normative, sacred and profane, tradition and innovation.
Directed by Kala Shreen (USA)