Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tushar Nair captures the playful and frolicsome aspect of Puducherry

Of hues varied and wonderful The Hindu Friday Review Delhi Friday, Jun 20, 2008
A group exhibition by SAIMC students is proof of their talent.
We are like that only A photo from the exhibition.

It might have been their first exhibition, but it wouldn't be their last. Students of the Creative Photography department, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication (SAIMC), recently held their first annual photography exhibition at the Alliance Francaise. Guided by Raghu Rai, the works of the seven students have an honest freshness to them. While the quality varied from excellent to average, each student certainly has a signature style.

The locations are common, but the photographers highlight different aspects of each, be it Anandpur Sahib, Puducherry or Delhi. Some students concentrate on the location, others on the people. Some use candidness to their advantage, while others use posturing skilfully. While Siddharth Kumar brings out the sheer scale of the festival ground, Nilay Jyoti Talukdar brings out the power and ferocity of the Hola Mohalla festival. Tushar Nair captures the playful and frolicsome aspect of Puducherry. His subjects even seem to pose and smile for the camera. Bharat Choudhary, on the other hand, evokes the serenity of Auroville in Puducherry. His camera frames people lost in solitude under the shade of the banyan tree. Sagar Heerani's photo of the Mitra guesthouse removes the specificities of the location and creates instead a moment rather than a scene. The only pure black and white collection is by Kiranjit Baruah, who uses foreground and background interestingly.

Uniquely Indian
Some of the most memorable photos include Tanul Trivedy's Bike Rickshaw. The front of a motorbike is attached to a cart. It's the kind of photo that makes you smile and say, "We are like this only!" India is colour, and this photo shines with greens and reds. Bharat Choudhary's photo at Nizamuddin Dargah is magical in its over-layering. It's the kind of photo that reveals itself slowly to the viewer - the longer you stare - the more layers appear. It makes phantasms of people and creates illusions of reality.

At the end of their course at SAIMC each student has ambitions. Some want to pursue fashion photography while others have aspirations of "activist photography". While they do agree that photography can't be learnt, they admit that it can be better understood. And this exhibition was proof that they've certainly understood the art and are en route to mastering it.

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