VK Munuswamy, is from a traditional artisan family. He was born on 21 July 1967 near Puducherry in a small hamlet. He had the exposure to the terracotta sculpture art, right from childhood. The passion to learn the terracotta sculpture art began as his education with 8th standard came to an end. He began learning the terracotta art under his parent’s guidance, Sri. V.Krishna Pathar and Smt. Mangalakshmi, renowned artisans. There are various art techniques that he learnt at very young age under his parent’s guidance.
VK Munuswamy is overwhelmed by the patronage and support and ventured into more innovations that he established his own terracotta sculpture making unit in 1990 at Villianur. Here he introduces many innovative sculptures in terracotta, gigantic and miniature. It suits the modern trend and includes a wide range of products such as microwave open pots, terracotta fridge, water filters, smokeless chulas, gods and goddesses images, birds, animals, and many more interior decorative items.
VK Munuswamy trained many unemployed educated youth in this art, since 1990 through the District Industries Centre, Puducherry. There are good number of self help groups in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The Kota tribes residing in Tamil Nadu Kotagiril hills also acquired training for nearly two years. He has trained over 10,000 people and more than 200000 school students through various non-govt, and govt, agencies, besides 2258 handicraft teachers also undertook the training. The American International School in Chennai students imparted this art through training and there is the tallest terracotta horse of 17 ½ feet high installed in the school.
VK Munuswamy associates with many activities through Pondicherry craft foundation, Pondicherry. He also gave training programs to mentally and physically challenged people, Tsunami victims, leprosy cure people to help them in getting gainful employment. Right from the time he acquired the leadership in the Puducherry Craft Foundation, he is arranging national, state, and international level programs training for the teachers, youth and students in terracotta sculpture making aiming to take this art to the next generation. During this tenure of teaching the Terracota Sculpture art, as Puducherry Toy makers Industrial Cooperative Society President. Puduvai Bommai, is to showcase the members artifact and it opened to improve economic status by giving regular income and sustained marketing support.
VK Munuswamy had the privilege of attending several trade fairs and exhibitions within and outside the country. He represented SAARC countries in the First South Asian Festival in Thiruvananthapuram held in October 1992. He jointly organized in 2003 in Bangalore the Crafts Council of India and Karnataka to celebrate the Birth Centenary Celebrations, 2003. He participated in most craft bazaars held in India and at New Delhi.
His overseas participation includes:
- Universal Forum of Cultures Exhibition held in Barcelona, Spain in 2004
- Little India Festival, Singapore
- International Tourism Fair, Berlin, Germany
- Master of India Crafts, Bucharest, Romania
- Craft Demonstration in Thailand and Vietnam
- Le India Programme in Paris, France
- EPCH Source & Direct Exhibition, Las Vegas, United States
- WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization demonstration program (5 days),
- Padma Shree Award-2021
Indian Terracotta Sculpture-VK Munuswamy
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