Ms. Swarna Raja Kochi, award-winning Tanjore artist, exponent and art teacher from Bengaluru, who has taken up the challenge to revive this traditional art not only to evolve the painting but also to keep it relevant in today’s world.
Born and brought up in Madurai, Swarna pursued art as a hobby in her childhood. Her interest grew as many in her family and friends started appreciating her artwork. She pursued art even while working as a lecturer in Madurai after her M.Com from Lady Doak College. She got attracted to Tanjore art form post her marriage and started practicing it. She believes this art form depicts Indian culture to perfection and captures in it the country’s spiritual unity and national identity.
Back in 2004, Swarna began her research on the traditional form of Thanjavur paintings and realized that the current artworks were not being made with the rigor and virtuosity that marked the paintings of yore. She observed that traditional Tanjore art requires natural colours and lots of natural ingredients to make the painting. However, Synthetic colors and adhesives were preferred today over the natural and mineral colours and other traditional components. Swarna made a resolve to revive the art it in its original form, although elaborate and time-consuming, with the use of natural colours and ingredients.
Her search for natural colours took her to various parts of the country from Jaipur, Orissa, Kerala, Andhra, etc. She talked to hundreds of artists, colour/pigment manufacturers in the process. She realized that finding natural colours was the biggest challenge in today’s commercial art market. Everybody had different recipes for making natural colours. She started making the recipes of colours on her own and tried different material combinations. It took her about 4 years to perfect the natural colours and their usage. With her first mission accomplished, her next aim was to create awareness and spread the art form.
Swarna started Tanjore Art Studio with humble beginnings from her home in 2008 with the support of her husband and her children. The studio is totally dedicated to this Royal art form and exclusively for teaching in Natural colours and Natural ingredients to all the art enthusiasts and art collectors. Her studio stands out in terms of the personal guidance she gives to her students in making them self reliant on all the processes involved to complete the art by themselves, right from the board making to the final touch ups. Not only in India, but she is also spreading the art form through Online classes to all art lovers across the world.
Her success in reviving and spreading Tanjore art has only made her resolve stronger and she now wants to venture into all traditional art forms of India. She wants to grow her team by tying up with all traditional art painters to create a platform to create awareness and spread the art forms through various offline and online channels.
BENGALURU YOUHT AWARD – 2014 for my contribution to Art and culture by Govt Of Karnataka.
MSME Award 2017 – Emerging Tycoon for Tanjore Art Studio
India Business Award – 2018 For best online class for Tanjore Art.
India 5000 Best MSME – 2018 – For best in Quality and Excellence.
Professional Achiever Award – 2018 – given by Emerg Bangalore.
Karpaga Viruchugam Award – 2018 – For outstanding achievement in the field of Traditional Art
FM radio – I spoke in Radio “Hello FM” in Chennai and Sourashtra Online FM at Madurai. About me and My Art.
Newspaper –The Times of India, CityPlus of Dainik Jagran Local Bangalore newspaper, Enadu Oct 2015, Dinamalar April 2018, Kalai Kathir May 2018 covered an article about me and my painting.
TV Interview - Kalash TV in Delhi, Sourashtra TV in Madurai
Lecture – I have given lecture cum Demo for the class 8th & 9th students of various schools in Bangalore on Tanjore Art. Lecture - Saheli, women's wing of Gaint International - Madurai. About Tanjore Art and its evolution.
Interview - Smart Indian Women, 2014. ( http://www.smartindianwomen.com/blog/an-interview-with-swarna-artist-founder-of-tanjore-art-studio/ )
Interview - Award-winning artist Swarna revives the golden tradition of Tanjore Art - http://www.buzzingg.com/art-and-creatives/painting/swarna-raja-kochi-art-studio/
Magazine: Interview in Manvar Kathir July 2018 and Karpaga Virucham Jan 2019
Miracle World Record – Non –stop painting at Ongole, Oct 2015.
Exhibitions – group:
~All India Handicraft Exhibition- valluvar kottom, Chennai. ~Women’s Enterprise- Adyar, Chennai. ~Sai Sakuntala Apartment - Gopalapuram, Chennai. ~Association of SSI product Exhibition - FKCCI, Bangalore. ~India Art Festival - Nehru Center, Mumbai. ~Indian National Forum of Art & Culture – Chitrakala Parishad, Bangalore ~International Lifestyle Exhibition – Palace grounds, Bangalore ~India International Trade Fair, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
~*~ Painting selected for Award/Exhibiting –
India Art Festival 2011 at Nehru Center Mumbai. INFAC 2012 at Chitrakala Parishad Bangalore. All India Women Artists' Contemporary Exhibition 2012 - Chandigarh Rashtriya Kala Parisad, Jawahar Kala Kendra 2013 - Jaipur International Art Exhibition 2014, Achalam Art gallery, Chennai