Vasantha Yogananthan

Born in 1985, Vasantha Yogananthan lives and works in Paris. His photographic practice addresses the space between documentary and fiction.

His projects are developed over long periods of time and he only works analog – with both large-format 4×5 and medium-format 6×7 cameras. Besides the aesthetic, he is deeply attached to film photography for its slow – almost philosophical – process.

Over the years, Vasantha Yogananthan has developed a distinctive colour palette solely based on natural light. His interest in painting has led him to work around the genres of portrait, landscape and still life. In his project A Myth of Two Souls (2013-2019), he has been working with a local Indian artist to revive the tradition of hand-painting. The more his practice grows, the more he perceives photography as a malleable material open to interpretations.

The book form has been central to his work since the beginning. In 2014, he co-founded the publishing house Chose Commune and published his first book, Piémanson. In his books, he interweaves staged photography with scenes from the everyday life, thus exploring different forms of photographic storytelling. His project A Myth of Two Souls will be published into 7 books (2016-2020) by Chose Commune. The first four chapters, Early Times, The Promise, Exile and Dandaka have already been published.

Vasantha Yogananthan has received several awards, among which the IdeasTap Magnum Photos Award (2015), The Prix Levallois (2016) and an ICP Infinity Award as Emerging Photographer of the Year (2017). That same year he was also selected among the 20 FOAM Talents.

Awards & Grants

2018 Winner Prix Camera Clara

2017 Winner Foam Talent Award

2017 Winner ICP Infinity Award for emerging photographer

2016 Winner – Prix Levallois (FR)

2016 Finalist – Prix du livre d’auteur des Rencontres d’Arles (FR)

2015 Winner – Prix Roger Pic (FR)

2015 Finalist – Prix du livre d’auteur des Rencontres d’Arles (FR)

2014 Fondation IdeasTap/Magnum Photos (UK)

2014 Finalist – Prix de Photographie de l’Académie des beaux-arts (FR)

2014 Finalist – Kassel Festival Best Books of the Year (DE)

2014 Finalist – MACK First Book Award (UK)

2013 Winner – Magnum Photos Top 30 Under Thirty (UK)

2012 Winner – Aide à la photographie contemporaine, CNAP (FR) Winner –  Bourse du Talent Espace (FR) 


2018: Dadanka – Éditions Chose Commune
2017: The Promise – Éditions Chose Commune, text by Arshia Sattar
2017: Exile – Éditions Chose Commune, text by Arshia Sattar
2016: Early Times – Éditions Chose Commune, text by Anjali Raghbee
2014: Piémanson – Éditions Chose Commune, essay by Rémi Coignet