Sumant Jayakrishnan is a Scenographer, Designer, Installation artist and Theatre person. He was initially trained in visual communication at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. He has since then been a constant innovator and has developed multi-disciplinary skills to express creativity in different fields.
His first opportunity to broaden his horizons was through travelling and working in the UK, and in Europe. In 1994 he went to London study theatre design and scenic techniques at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and subsequently trained at the English National Opera, the Royal Opera House, the Royal Court, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal ShakespeareCompany and also the BBC. He then went on to France in 1995 to train in Puppetry, Lighting design and Theatre Design. He subsequently went to New York in 2002 as a visiting installation artist at Eyebeam (a new media centre), and also as a visiting scholar at NYU. He has over time learnt about principles of Performance and Art, and related techniques within very different ranges of scale and professionalism. These inputs now give a distinct edge to his work.
His recent projects include Deepa Mehta’s film “Water” (Art Direction), Tim Supple’s multilingual play “The Midsummer Nights dream” (Set and Costume Design – this play toured the US after successful runs in London and also at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon), the scenography for the music festival “The Big Chill 2007” (both in Goa and at Eastnor castle in the UK) and India Fashion Week, for which he initially did all the venue and ambient design in the early years of its inception. He now works similarly with Couture Week in India. He also designs large extravaganza events related to Big Indian Weddings.
He has worked with Swarovski on their conceptual Indian events such as the Trend Forum (Delhi, Nov 2007), Runway Rocks (Mumbai – April 2008) and Un-Bridal-ed (Delhi, Sep 2008). He was the site designer for Delhi’s first Public Art Event – 48ºC (Delhi, Dec 2008). He has also been the designer for the launch events of Steinmetz, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Moschino, and Dior, in India.
Sumant builds in various elements such as audio-visual, video, calligraphy, lighting, performance and other dynamic inputs within the mode of theatrical performance, whether for Theatre, Dance, Film, Fashion or the world of Events. He is deeply concerned with cultural issues related to the contradictions of Local Identity and Global Universality. He thereby attempts through his work to interpret and reflect on values and attitudes that currently dominate our lives. He has been a recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust Arts Award in 1994 (a British Council Arts Grant), the Sanskriti Award in 2001, and the Fulbright Arts Fellowship in 2002.