Tara’s Great Hands

The main work

  • Photo work

‘Tara Books’ is a publisher based in Chennai, in the south of India. It reveals the stories of the people who embody unique artistic styles in their picture books.

The various actions of painting white, yellow, red, green and black colors obtained from nature on the walls for the peace of the town, and offering a fabric stamped with a wooden block in the shape of a god to wish for happiness are now becoming their unique artistic techniques. The great hands of Tara Books’ artists are creating a beautiful ‘culture’ as they continue to embody their outlook on a world that is very close to human lives through the illustrations and words in their picture books in experimental ways.

For the first 10 years after its foundation, Tara Books went on an experimental journey in publishing to challenge the limitations of picture book forms. The silk screen printing technique that streams ink into the uncovered parts of the dense block and the ‘scroll’ form that unfolds the story through its accordion papers marked the most important direction of Tara’s first journey. The early picture books of Tara Books mainly recount the myths and folktales from across India, and they capture the voices of the neglected children on the streets. They are recognized as ‘Milestone Books’. A journey to ‘Tara Books’ starts from the exhibition hall as we appreciate the artworks along the ‘tree bag’ that reminds us of traveling, and as we understand the principle of the silk screen technique for stamping on each layer of color, and the combination of words and pictures that complete the story that flows inside the scroll book.

In general, picture books are created in order to read the words and pictures. Tara Books added its unique process to create special picture books as installation arts. We will look into the books that reveal variations of ‘Book Forms’ in the exhibition hall, just like 『Knock Knock』 that unfolds the paper spaces in the pop-up book through an action called ‘knock’. What would the results of Tara Books’ efforts to add ‘differences’ to the forms of picture books look like?

Indigenous artists living across India have been creating different styles of artworks according to their region. ‘The Indigenous Art’ section introduces a total of 8 indigenous styles that are classified based on the stories shared within the different regions in the form of illustrations, sculptures, drawings and research materials. The indigenous style map in the center of the exhibition hall on the 6th floor, and the wall filled with animal patterns drawn in the different styles of the various regions welcome guests and encourage them to embark on a joyful journey into Indian art. Through the original paintings and the videos of the creative processes, we can see the artistic values of India’s indigenous arts, such as Bhil, that creates patterns with dots with corn as a motif, and Kalamkari, that paints delicate and colorful pictures in Persian-style patterns using a sharp tool like a bamboo pen.

We can become artists at the ‘Silk Screen Lab’ and make our own silk screen artworks besides just enjoying the original illustrations of picture books that are delicately printed on a silk screen by Indian artists. We can print postcards with the patterns from 『Do!』, which creates big movements with patterns of humans, animals and plants, or we can print a variety of traditional patterns that symbolize our culture on a large drawing paper. Inside the Silk Screen Lab, where the sounds of the work processes of the artists resonate, we can experience Tara Books’ unique format of image composition and handmade techniques with our own fingertips.

‘Tara’ means ‘star’ in the Indian language. The special culture of Tara Books expressed in every page of their books will be a good guide to start lighting the path of the picture book artists ever more brightly for a long time to come.

Visit Information

  • Exhibition Hall 1 and 2
  • 10:00 ~ 19:00
  • Universal
  • KRW 6,000



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