Kuchi Saisankar turns paintings into performing art

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Kuchi Saisankar is known for Gathra-Chitra-Sammelanam where he paints live based on poems, songs, ‘kritis’, dance and mythological subjects.
Kuchi Saisankar is known for Gathra-Chitra-Sammelanam where he paints live based on poems, songs, ‘kritis’, dance and mythological subjects.

Being an artist is not just about drawing something. One has to have knowledge on many aspects. Such meanings are conveyed in the works of live painting artist Kuchi Saisankar.

Born in Amalapuram and settled in Hyderabad, Kuchi comes from a traditional family where music, poetry and lyrical values are respected and learnt. He started to paint at the tender age of five. “I am extremely lucky to have parents who respected and encouraged arts. It was my father who made me draw the brinjal drawing, which was filled with foreign colours then,” he recalls.

Kuchi is known for his Gathra-Chitra-Sammelanam where he paints live based on poems, songs, kritis, dance or mythological subjects. In his paintings, every detail emerges crystal clear and speaks to everybody. “I have a habit of reading all types of saahityam, be it a novel, Bhagavatam, Ramanayam or Upanishads. I always wanted to provide the status of performing art to my fine art and started to depict music, dance and poetry in my paintings, which developed as Gatra-Chitra-Sammelanam in 2002,” says the Aasthan Chitrakara awardee of Avadhoota Dattapeetham.

He has many awards and rewards to his credit — his works include live painting to 70 slokas of the Venkateshwara Suprabhatam. Among other firsts to his name are painting live in the ashtavadhanam. Painting being included in the sammelana came to be called Navavadhnam.

Kuchi is excited about going live for Ghana Raga Pancharatna Gatra-Chitra-Sammelanam. “This is the first time that I am trying my hand at this, I have many ideas on how to paint live for this Pancharatnas, but we don’t know when what happens. At times, when we are going live, the water colours might flow in a direction that we can’t control. But, I can control the flow by turning it into a new idea and form. I plan to draw five paintings in this event,” says the Nandi award winner who is credited with painting in one minute, while the highest amount of time he has spent on a painting is 12 minutes.

Kuchi is also well-versed in cartoon, caricature, abstract and surrealism, and he strives to bring surrealism into Indian mythology.