When pictures talk about leaves

One of Sunder's works.

Sunder Ramu has been a professional advertising and fashion photographer for over 25 years and has shot for many leading magazines and clients in the country and abroad.

Sunder has also worked with celebrities such as Rajinikanth, Ilayaraja, Farhan Akhtar, Mathew Hayden, Boris Becker, Sania Mirza to name a few. He has now forayed into the world of fine arts, with his latest show ‘The Last Dance of the Leaves’. The show will travel to 20 cities in India and around the world, collaborating with a variety of artists from various disciplines.

It’s a journey exploring death, life, love and energy and like water, it will flow through a host of cities, taking different shapes along the way and will return to Chennai and Bengaluru in whatever form it evolves into.

What was your inspiration for capturing these photographs?

This journey started 15 years ago. I was in a very dark space in my life and this led me to go backpacking through 12 countries in Europe. This experience changed my life. When I sat there and saw the leaves fall off the tree. I saw that no two leaves fall down flat. They all fall down dancing from the tree.

Why did you choose to shoot leaves?

I’ve shot leaves from 16 countries across 30 cities around the world but when you see the pictures, all you see are the leaves. It doesn’t matter which country you’re from or what colour you are, people can easily to connect with it. Many wonder how I’ve managed to make to make leaves look so good! I also started exploring human relationships through leaves. I’ve started exploring the life of a leaf through human forms by shooting nudes.

What message you are trying to convey through your work?

The life of a leaf is so simple, but it does so much. When I was younger, I read a poem that spoke about the leaf. I thought it was a very simplistic and beautiful poem. I started looking at myself as a leaf and realised that I needed to work towards taking care of my tree (body and mind) and spread oxygen (positive energy) to everyone I came in contact with. And if everybody
did the same, then no one would ever run out of oxygen. If I live without baggage every single day, when I die, there won’t be any regret.

Why did you choose photography as the medium?

Compared to a larger set up where there are many people involved, I feel like I have more control on this medium.

What are the challenges you faced when working on this project?

I approached many galleries to showcase my work and I was turned away by them. But this pushed me to start my own gallery and I’ve sold a lot of my work through this.

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When pictures talk about leaves

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