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Kanayi denies using model for Yakshi

‘Using models will defeat the very purpose of his efforts of 51 years’

Sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman has denied using any model for the construction of his iconic statue Yakshi at Malampuzha garden.

It was reported that the legs of a woman named Nafeesa, who died over a week ago, had been used as a model for the construction of Yakshi. The report was on the basis of the statements made by two other workers involved in the construction of the celebrated statue.

Mr. Kunhiraman, in a statement, denied using the late Nafeesa as a model for Yakshi. “During the last 51 years of my active involvement in making sculptures, I never used any model for my works. The Malampuzha Yakshi is an imagination and there cannot be a model for it. I was always against using models by some western artists for their paintings,” he said.

The 83-year-old sculptor said that his aim was to evolve an Indian culture and art-based sculpture tradition. “For the sculptures in different places in Kerala such as Shangumugham, Veli, Kottayam and GCDA Kochi, I used the Indian traditional art, folk and temple architect (sic),” he said.

According to Mr. Kunhiraman, using a model for his statue will defeat the very purpose of his efforts of the 51 years, and will be against the values that he stood for.

“Malampuzha Yakshi was criticised by some people for its so-called obscene pose. But if you visit the temples, you could see many such obscene pose. Once you come out of the temple, you only appreciate its artistic value. So nudity is only in the mind. That is why Malampuzha Yakshi became so popular and hundreds of people come to see it every day,” he said.

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