Would you like to see an amazing collection of wax statues without having to travel as far as Delhi or London? If so, turn your touring compass immediately to Rose Park, Idukki. Wax sculptor V.S. Harikumar’s recently opened wax museum, inside Rose Park, sports statues of celebrities and VIPs ranging from Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan to reformer Swami Vivekananda.
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The wax likeness of Dubai’s Vice President and Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the latest addition to Harikumar’s museum. Talking to the Gulf News, Harikumar said that he had always admired Sheikh Mohammad, especially because of his humane nature and emphasis on equality for all citizens. This is why Sheikh Mohammad was one of the first wax models he created in 2021.
Wax sculpting is Harikumar’s passion. Coming from modest means, he had to get through several hurdles to continue sculpting. Even though he is a prodigy in sculpting with several inter-school sculpting championships to his name, his education in the art of wax sculpting is mostly informal. It was from his late father Sukumaran that he learnt the basics of sculpting. His work is the product of over ten years of hard work and dedication. Even now, it does not come easy to Harikumar. The materials alone for each wax model cost him over one and a half lakh rupees and unlike famous museums like Madame Tussauds, he does not have any help from the celebrities themselves in posing. His go-to resources are photos of celebrities from the front and side, with the same emotional expression. Getting real hair and clothes for the statues is yet another challenge. Harikumar gets the hair from friends who volunteer. In some statues like that of Most Rev. Philipose Mar Chrysostom, Metropolitan Emeritus of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, he managed to procure Mar Chrysostom’s real robes. Harikumar’s mother Radha Sukumaran also aids him in making the clothes for the statues. Covid-19 has also been challenging since it has severely reduced visitors to the museum.
Harikumar currently lives in Kumbanad with his family that consists of two children and three nephews. Wax modelling in a busy house full of kids is dangerous business, he says, especially since repairing any damage that might occur while sculpting is tedious, if at all possible. Nevertheless, he has managed to continue making his passion work ever since his first sculpture, that is, the statue of Shah Rukh Khan. The latest project he is working on is that of Vijay, the Tamil superstar.
So don’t forget to drop by Kumily Wax Museum soon!