Since 2009, French photographer Vasantha Yogananthan has produced personal projects and has developed his artistic approach to carefully respond to subject and place. Born in 1985 in France, Yogananthan’s own process has been developed whilst working on the projects Piémanson (2009-2013) and A Myth of Two Souls (2013-2021) which have been published, exhibited and awarded internationally.
Yogananthan’s strong interest in painting led him to work around the genres of portrait, still life and landscape. Using these traditions as a starting point, he refined his photographic approach to produce photographs that expand the traditional genres and are united by a distinctively muted colour palette, achieved solely using natural light.
In Piémanson, a series shot over five summers on the last wild beach in France (2009-2013), Yogananthan looked at summertime as fragments of childhood memories. Piémanson was Yogananthan’s first book, a form that has been central to his work since he began and which led him to co-found the publishing house Chose Commune in 2014.
Drawing inspiration from the imagery associated with The Ramayana and its pervasiveness in everyday Indian life, the 7-book project A Myth of Two Souls combines a wide range of techniques, including colour photography, hand-painted photography, collages and video installation. The Musée de l’Elysée (Lausanne) and the Chanel Nexus Hall (Tokyo) held the first solo exhibition of A Myth of Two Souls in 2019. To see more please visit the dedicated website A Myth of Two Souls.
Yogananthan has received several awards, including the Prix Levallois (2016) and an ICP Infinity Award as Emerging Photographer of the Year (2017). That same year he was also selected among the 20 FOAM Talents. In 2018 and 2019, he was awarded the Prix Camera Clara and the Rencontres d’Arles Photo-Text Book Award. In 2019, he is the laureate of Immersion, a program by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès. Yogananthan will carry out his residency in the USA in 2022 and show the work at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (Paris) and the International Center of Photography (New York) in 2023. In 2021, Yogananthan was awarded a Juror’s Special Mention at the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Award for Amma, the seventh and last book of his series A Myth of Two Souls. In 2022, Yogananthan was awarded a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation to help fund the new project he is actually producing in the south of France.
Yogananthan is represented by The Photographers’ Gallery Print Sales (London), Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai) and Assembly (Houston). His works are included in private and public collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Musée de l’Élysée (Lausanne), the FOAM Museum (Amsterdam), The Centre national des arts plastiques (Paris), the FRAC PACA (Marseille) and the Musée Français de la Photographie (Bièvres). His books are part of the permanent collection of the MoMA library (New York).