Magic in the Mundane

There is no method to the madness,but a calmness in the commotion and magic in the mundane.

Written by Parul | Published: April 10, 2012 1:47 am

There is no method to the madness,but a calmness in the commotion and magic in the mundane. “The Indian Onlooker”, a photo exhibition by Samar Singla is a pictorial showcase of stories around us that are fleeting yet worth a second look. All in black in white,the exhibition displays Singla’s road trip portrait series and world cities series. Essentially,it’s the human element that Singla,an engineer from IIT and a physics researcher at Stanford,captures with an emotional quotient that is effortless.

Men,women and children going about the business of life in India’s rural landscape — carrying water,grazing the cattle,playing a game of cards under the peepal tree,sleeping on carts,children spreading cheer with their smiles,an empty well,people sleeping on the station,hookah smokers — it includes all. Singla has been a shutterbug for four years now and describes photography as a creative outlet. He attempts to create a fine balance by incorporating surroundings,environment and life in his compositions,be it in India or abroad. “The exhibition is all about the mundane,the stories you can see for a moment,only to be lost forever in obscurity. The idea behind the exhibition is to capture stories floating around us,’’ says Singla,who says that the art makes him more aware of the world around him. The photographs have been taken in transit,and the street scenes are basic,but absorbing,for they pulsate with life that is not pretentious.

The frames,be it two girls intently looking through the lens of the bioscope,a woman leading a camel on the road,a group of street children sharing a simple joke,the dust and drama of a buffalo race or a beggar showering his affection on stray dogs,Singla says that he captures it all as a neutral and invisible onlooker and “can be present in a scene in a most non-obtrusive way’’. Singla adds that photography makes him more aware of the world around him,giving him a much-needed break from the objectivity,precision of science and technology.

The Indian Onlooker is on at the Alliance Francaise Gallery,Sector 36,till April 24

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