May 28, 2017
“All the teachers in my school said that I had no future. I was a last bencher”, laughs Artist U.M.T. Raja. Despite various words of discouragement, the artist never gave into their notions of his worthiness and today, he stands with his head high as he shows off his art dedicated to the birth anniversaries of his two heroes- Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi and Puratchi Thalaivar, Dr. M. G. Ramachandran.
Carving a pen nib out of 800mg of Gold, the artist designed a miniscule sculpture of Kalaignar upon a pen shaped gift to honor the Former Chief Minister. On this note, as a special touch, the artist has also added a Quarter Carat Diamond on the edge of the nib to commemorate the anniversary.
He has also intricately written the title of the Head of DMK Party and the age on the body of the pen. Commenting on the significance of the unique muse, the artist said, “Kalaignar is a poet, a writer, a reporter, a playwright and much more. So, I figured what can honor a writer more than the pen itself to symbolize his strength? I also made sure he sat on the edge of the pen which is why I name the artwork as ‘Kalaignar at the precipice of a pen’s nib’”.
To accompany it is a pencil shaped artwork topped with a miniscule sculpture of Dr. M.G. Ramachandran made of 500mg worth of Gold to commemorate his 100th Birth Anniversary a.k.a Golden Jubilee. Since their birthdays are close to each other, the artist thought that it would be an appropriate gift for them. “They may be starkly opposite in their party ideologies but their contribution to the development of Tamils and the State is very similar. I wanted to bring this idea out by sculpting the artworks at the same time”, he adds.
He slowly confesses that as an actor and an artist, he had been inspired by Dr. M. G. R from a very young age. “Kalaignar and Puratchi Thalaivar were great friends once. But, even after they separated, they remained in very civil terms. This civility of old politicians is what I wanted to bring out through my artwork”, he says. He was all praise for the Puratchi Thalaivar when he remarked that he paved way for the politicians of today and even stands before us as the vision of a party Idealism.
Before signing off, the artist also told us that he was going to present these artwork to Kalaignar on his 94th birthday at his residence in Chennai.