Before Sunset

Ad man Aadil Jamal’s photographs explore light and shadow at Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb.

Written by Nikita Puri | Updated: April 13, 2014 2:59:46 am
Some of Jamal’s images from the exhibition. Some of Jamal’s images from the exhibition.

It was a chance realisation that filled Delhi-based Aadil Jamal with new vigour. Jamal, who’s been to the Humayun’s Tomb complex about a 100 times over the past years, noticed how the shadows of the jaali danced on the red sandstone monument. The rays of the setting winter sun formed an orange motif as it passed through the filigree work. This added a whole new dimension to an old and familiar place, and thus his new photographic series was born.

Titled “Ramaq – The Dance of Filigree at Dusk,” the series is a collection of over 20 photographs, 14 of which are on display at India Habitat Centre. The Urdu word ramaq roughly translates as ‘the last glow of the setting/dying sun,’ and it also works, Jamal says, because it’s a tomb. “So much has already been written about monuments and many artists have already explored it, but I’m always on the lookout of how to rediscover them,” says Jamal. He doesn’t claim to be a history buff; rather it’s the architecture of the monuments that inspires him. In this series, photographs taken from his Canon camera capture the intricacies of the jaali , taken in minimal light, considering the time of the day. In the dark, Jamal would reach for the camera’s controls.

Jamal, a creative director at a city-based ad agency with the Incredible India campaign to his credit, has taken most of the shots at the same place in the Humayun’s Tomb complex. Except for two that are shot at Isa Khan Niyazi’s tomb and the Nai-ka-Gumbad. He deliberately avoids photographing people. His last exhibition in July, last year had monuments of Delhi reflected on water, including the silhouette of the 72.5 metre-high Qutub Minar in a puddle. Next, he’s planning on rediscovering Rajasthan, and possibly a trip to Ladakh after that.

The photographs are on display at the Delhi ‘O’ Delhi Foyer at IHC, Lodhi Road, till April 30, 11 am to 7 pm. Contact: 24682001

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