Reminiscing Through the Folds of Memory (Solo)
February, 2012 - Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore
As the urban life is getting more and more hi-tech, fast paced and excessive, villages still seem to provide a glimpse of the simpler times. Even though Indian villages may not be exactly what they were a couple of decades ago, but the chasm between urban and rural is still the same, or may be even more. The scarcity in villages suddenly gives a perspective to our lives of over abundance in cities. I also find it extremely fascinating, that although lives in cities are moving in fast forward, villages in India still give a chance to witness many activities which have been carried out in the same fashion as they were thousands of years before, as if they are a link between me and my distant ancestors. They still nurture the close relationship between nature and humans where nature is at a larger scale, unlike in cities where it has been dwarfed by human activities and structures.
In these images I have tried to capture the austere beauty of rural India. It is an attempt to bring back the fleeting memories of subtle joys like the gentle breeze over the fields, the quiet afternoons with the grinding mills' chimney making constant "hup-hup" sound and occasional calls by peacocks, the tinkling bells of cows and goats at dusk, or the clear cool night skies. It is an attempt to focus on beauty, order and grace in places that are written off as poverty stricken, dirty and mundane. These images coming from countryside to our lives in cities, create a sort of juxtaposition in mind, of minimal against extravagance, pause against pace, grace in scarcity against hideous in snazzy. I hope my images bring some degree of calmness and joy from that other world, to those who never have had any exposure to rural life, or to those who remember it with nostalgia.
Gwalior - A Song Forgotten (Solo)
July, 2014 - Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore
In these photographs I have tried to tell the enchanting story of my honetown Gwalior from around 3rd century A.D. to the time when India gained independence. Just three hours from Agra lies this small sleepy town called “Gwalior”. Perhaps it is sleeping for the first time in last many centuries, for it has been the stage for many a plays of Indian history and culture. Gwalior’s continued history of last almost 1400 years has a wealth of historical, architectural, cultural and spiritual heritage. Its dramatic story is a story of valor, love, art, deceit, brutality, glory, doom, unrest, peace...
Even though Gwalior has amazing historical, architectural and cultural wealth, it does not show up prominently in the tourism map. It is not clear why the potential of tourism in Gwalior is so overlooked even though it is so close to Agra, a mere 3 hours by road. Gwalior has extreme climate and the summers get quite hot and are prolonged, but it still has a potential of strong tourism for at least 4 months in winters, which might be very beneficial for the sleepy economy of the town. Through this photographic project I want to raise the awareness about this magnificent place, and the wonderful national heritage it has in store. Promoting tourism not only helps the local economy but provides stronger incentives to more people, not just the heritage lovers, to care for the archeological and historical sites. Increased tourism will also hopefully provide more funds for preservation in some way.
The Fleeting Stillness (Solo)
October, 2014 - 1ShanthiRoad Studio/Gallery
In this exhibition Gallery 1ShanthiRoad is showcasing some of my landscape images, in black-and-white, where I have tried to capture the transcendent, the fleeting, the oblivious, rendered within the frames of memory. These images explore the beauty and order in things, people and, places, as they exist naturally. I hope these images will provide moments of rest and quiesce to incessant and weary.
r a c h n a s h u k l a p h o t o g r a p h y