“The idea of creating a pixel artwork came up when I was playing Pokemon Firered game. The innovative design got the attention of students, faculty and alumni. Architect Thirupurasundari Sevvel came across this work and got in touch with me. She wanted me to develop a pixel art series that would help in spreading awareness about heritage buildings,” says Sai Sudharshan, an architecture undergraduate from the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University.
He along with Reshika RS, a third-year architecture student at the School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, started working on the pixel art series in August and completed it recently. Titled Pixels of Madras, the series portrays the prominent heritage buildings in the city. The 15-part art series include buildings like Armenian Church, Anna Nagar Tower, Light House (old), Connemara Public Library, Madras High Court, Madras Literary Society, Queen Mary’s College, Senate House, Madras Veterinary College, and The Madras Labour Union building.
Madras Veterinary College; Madras Labour Union Building
A graphic designer by profession, he tells us that there is a philosophical thought attached to the series. “Art and games created from basic pixels are seemingly a thing of the past and are still around because they have been valued and preserved properly, as is visible through people still creating art and games using the same style of visuals. Even today, we can see people enjoying Mario, Pacman and other related games just like in the olden days. Analogously, some iconic buildings of Madras are symbolically represented in the form of pixels because they have a certain heritage value attached to them and have been preserved all these years, if not for the preservation, they would have become a thing of the past and would have ‘pixelated’ away, implying a possibility of collective memories about the same becoming ‘blurry’ in the future as well. Hence, through this art series, we are giving importance to the buildings which need to be brought to the surface for the people to see and visit and also send a message that we need to value such buildings in our city,” he adds.
The duo is also planning to illustrate various communities, objects and characters of Madras. “We are also thinking about developing this pixel art series into a game or a book so that the public can connect more with it.”