Arvind started thinking about applying the same to the Tamil script. This thought led him to start an online studio called Urue design studio. “Islamic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, based upon the alphabet in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. We do have a great Tamil culture and history, so I thought of giving Tamil literature a graphical treatment. I launched the design studio along with photographer Mahesh Thiru. So far, we have inscribed Tamil calligraphy on mugs, notebooks and postcards,” says Arvind.
He has also done Tamil calligraphy for Aathichoodi, a collection of single-line quotations written by Avvaiyar and Bharatiyar’s Puthiya Aathichudi. “There are 109 verses in Avvaiyar’s Aathichoodi; and I have done 25 verses so far. It is an ongoing project. Another project that we are currently doing is featuring dynasties that ruled Tamil Nadu in playing cards. Most of the cards that are available in the market have Western rulers and kings/queens. We decided to give a twist to it - rulers from Chola, Chera, Pandya and Pallava dynasties will be illustrated as King, Queen and Jack cards. Also, we have given a modern interpretation to the Joker card - the Joker will be sporting a moustache like the one actor Vadivelu sported in the film Imsai Arasan 23-aam Pulikesi. Meena Priya, a designer from Shrishti College of Design is helping us with the playing cards project,” shares the professor-artist.
In the coming weeks, Dravidian politics and Tamil history will be added to the designs. “We are planning to make calligraphy stickers for leaders like Anna and Periyar. This way, we can explore our heritage and culture and at the same time, teach the next generation about our culture.