Capturing a thousand words

The exhibition, Something That I’ll Never Really See — Contemporary Photography From The V&A, showcases the works of internationally-acclaimed names for the first time at a venue outside the UK. Featuring works of over 30 artists including Frances Kearney, Sarah Jones, Hannah Starkey, Corrine Day, Cindy Sherman, Richard Billingham and Huang Yan, the exhibition provides a unique opportunity to the visitors to explore a diverse range of contemporary photography over the last ten years.

Comprising 44 photographs, the images range from the beautiful and evocative to the thought-provoking and awe-inspiring. Many of them even challenge the traditional notions of photography.

Speaking about the exhibition, Navroze Contractor, a well-known cinematographer-cum-photographer said, “Out here, one can see how the photographer sees his subject through lens. The idea that a photographer captures through an image at a specific point of time cannot be regained. And the subjects of these photographs are places and people that visitors are unlikely to ever see in real life.”

For instance, Face by Huang Yan showcases a Chinese man’s face painted with flowers, in which, the photographer communicates a sense of oneness between man and nature.
As part of the exhibition, several photography-related educational programmes have also been organised by the NGMA. Kickstarting the series was Navroze Contractor, who shared his thoughts on photojournalism to a small audience. During his lecture, Navroze touched upon the masters of black and white photography and the many photo essays published in international magazines. Giving a brief introduction to photojournalism, Navroze described the times when a photographer would ask people to freeze for the photos to be taken. “Those days, photographs were printed in such a way that one could actually get a photographer’s view on the field of photography itself,” he said.

Making the event all the more interesting were the rare black and photographs he showcased during his lecture giving the audience an inner view into the photographer’s life. After the talk, many had questions on the new age photojournalism in India, to which Navroze replied, “Indian photojournalism is still in its nascent stage. There are hardly any photo essays published anymore. The major problem, however, is the fact that with the rise of mobile camera, photography has become prohibited in many places. This makes candid shots a rarity,” he said.

The exhibition is on till February 27 and will see discussions and workshops by Sudhir Ramchandran, Usha Rao, Anil Kumar and Annapurna Garimella.

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