November 25, 2022

Totem at T- The New Indian Express

Express press service

KOCHI: When a group of young artists decided to use the t-shirt as their backdrop, they made sure it reflected their quirky aesthetic. Kochi-based Totem Facts have released a range of T-shirts that capture the essence of wearable art. From Kathakali characters to the masks of Ambalangoda in Sri Lanka, the Losoong festival in Sikkim and even the tragic folk tale of Nangeli, the Ezhava woman who protested the imposition of the breast tax by cutting off her breasts, T -shirts cover a variety of themes. .

“Art remains the exclusivity of a part of society. As a result, opportunities for artists are not growing either. So, to make sure the art reaches people, which in turn will help the artist, we thought of publishing artwork on portable devices,” says Dhanesh Balakrishnan, co-founder and head of company of Totem Facts.

The idea first struck artist Midhun Madhav, who suggested it to his friends Dhanesh and Manoj Murali. “I wanted to do something like that when we were in college. Manoj was my classmate. In 2021, we developed the idea with Dhanesh, my roommate. Then everything happened very quickly,” says Midhun. The trio launched their website on January 13.

In cultures around the world, a totem is a work of art, carved or painted, representing a clan or family. For some, a totem is something sacred. When friends were discussing how to create wearable art, it was the totem style that struck them. “Most works of art are made in the style of a totem. That’s why we named the brand Totem Facts,” says Dhanesh.

Each design on a T-shirt is something an artist has developed in their mind, after doing research. “Some ideas are spontaneous. Say, for example, the Nangeli T-shirt, which is accompanied by an inscription – “Ennile, Ninnile Nangeli”. It was our best-selling t-shirt,” he adds. The pictures, the art, everything makes you think and learn something new. Totem Facts also features works inspired by Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and even Changampuzha poetry. Although the designs are modern, their products have an old world charm.

Departing from the totem style, the artists also created patterns – birds, jungle and ocean. Heavily crafted, the pattern arts were made with repeating strokes representing the theme.

“We also made merchandise shirts for popular music group Thaikkudam Bridge. The artwork is about their song Neeli,” says Midhun. Alongside in-house artists, the brand creates art from its workshop Each obscure art form engraved on the T-shirt is further explained on their Instagram page. “We want people to not only wear original artwork, but also understand it,” says Midhun.

KOCHI: When a group of young artists decided to use the t-shirt as their backdrop, they made sure it reflected their quirky aesthetic. Kochi-based Totem Facts have released a range of T-shirts that capture the essence of wearable art. From Kathakali characters to the masks of Ambalangoda in Sri Lanka, the Losoong festival in Sikkim and even the tragic folk tale of Nangeli, the Ezhava woman who protested the imposition of the breast tax by cutting off her breasts, T -shirts cover a variety of themes. . “Art remains the exclusivity of a part of society. As a result, opportunities for artists are not growing either. So, to make sure the art reaches people, which in turn will help the artist, we thought of publishing artwork on portable devices,” says Dhanesh Balakrishnan, co-founder and head of company of Totem Facts. The idea first struck artist Midhun Madhav, who suggested it to his friends Dhanesh and Manoj Murali. “I wanted to do something like that when we were in college. Manoj was my classmate. In 2021, we developed the idea with Dhanesh, my roommate. Then everything happened very quickly,” says Midhun. The trio launched their website on January 13. In cultures around the world, a totem is a work of art, carved or painted, representing a clan or family. For some, a totem is something sacred. When friends were discussing how to create wearable art, it was the totem style that struck them. “Most works of art are made in the style of a totem. That’s why we named the brand Totem Facts,” says Dhanesh. Each design on a T-shirt is something an artist has developed in their mind, after doing research. “Some ideas are spontaneous. Say, for example, the Nangeli T-shirt, which is accompanied by an inscription – “Ennile, Ninnile Nangeli”. It was our best-selling t-shirt,” he adds. The pictures, the art, everything makes you think and learn something new. Totem Facts also features works inspired by Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and even Changampuzha poetry. Although the designs are modern, their products have an old world charm. Departing from the totem style, the artists also created patterns – birds, jungle and ocean. Heavily crafted, the pattern arts have been done with repeating strokes representing the theme. “We also made merchandise shirts for popular music group Thaikkudam Bridge. The artwork is about their song Neeli,” says Midhun. Alongside in-house artists, the brand creates art from its studio. Each obscure art form engraved on the T-shirt is explained later on their Instagram page. “We want people to not only wear original artwork, but also understand it,” says Midhun.