Santhan was born in 1963 in Thrissur district. After completing B.A. in Malayalam from Calicut University in 1986, Santhan was initiated into the stream of visual art through his association with the Indian Radical Painters’ and Sculptors Association. In 1989, he received informal training in sculpture by working at the studio of the late sculptor K.P.Krishnakumar at Peringottukara, a village in Thrissur district. He had a major role in organising the Radical Group’s camp held in Alappad, a village near his native place. Following the death of Krishnakumar and the dispersion of the Group, Santhan travelled to Baroda and Santiniketan, where he lived and worked intermittently from 1990 till 1993. Though he had not enrolled in either M.S.University or Santiniketan as a student, Santhan went through the academic stream of training imparted at these institutions and made use of the facilities including the libraries. After returning to Kerala, he had been instrumental in organising exhibitions and camps, including the group show, ‘An Album of Drawings and Paintings,’ (1999, Draavidia Art Gallery, Kochi). During 1999 – 2001, he worked on site-specific public works for the Department of Forests and Wild Life at the Periyar Tiger Reserve. During 2003 – 2004, he lived and worked at Kudi, a local cultural organisation at Kolathur, a village in Malappuram district, organising children’s camps and community workshops involving the local people. He had also been actively involved in the contemporary theatre scene of Kerala.
1998 – Ligaments, at Contemporary Art Gallery, Kochi.
1998 – Tendons, at Kashi Art Café, Fort Kochi.
Selected Group shows
2003 – Remembering Bhupen, Kashi Art Café, Kochi.
2000 – An Album of Drawings, Draavidia Art Gallery, Kochi.
1999 – Tree Festival Art Exhibition, Kashi, Fort Kochi.
1999 – An Album of Drawings and Paintings, Draavidia Art Gallery, Kochi.
1995 – Exhibition of paintings and drawings following one-month-long camp, with K.Raghunadhan and K.G.Anto, Thrissur.
2003 – Camp at KUDI, a local cultural organisation at Kolathur, Malappuram district.
1999 – Artists Against Communalism, Camp at Wagamon
Site-specific Public Works
2005 – Sculpture at Muzhuppilangad Beach, Kannur district.
2004 – Home, public sculpture at Kudi, Kolathur, Malappuram district.
2001 – public sculpture at Kumily, for the Department of Forests and Wild Life.
2000 – Tiger, public sculpture at Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thekkady, for the Department of Forests and Wild Life.
At present living and working at Kumily, Thekkady.