Every photograph tells a story. But while some need contemplation,others are self-explanatory. On Tuesday evening,when the first-ever National Photo Awards exhibition was inaugurated at the Piramal Art Gallery at National Centre for Performing Arts,it was clear that the pictures on display were of the latter kind. After all,the exhibition brings together 60 images shot by some of Indias most famous photographers: Homai Vyarawalla,Benu Sen,S Paul and K G Maheshwari.
Debatosh Sengupta,Director,Photo Division,Government of India,explained that having toured Delhi and Chennai,the exhibition showcases select photographs by the lifetime-achievement awardees. We instituted the awards to mark the 50th anniversary of the Photo Division and celebrate the works submitted to us for the year 2010. This,in fact,is just one of our many initiatives; we have now started the process of digitising the photos in our archives. In due course,they should be available on our website, he said.
Covering a gamut of subjects,the show,on till February 29,is a treat for photo lovers. So while Vyarawallas photos capture the key events of national importance,including the Republic Day Parade of 1951,and a pensive Indira Gandhi by the body of her father Pandit Nehru; KG Maheshwaris photos revolve around the different moods of people and nature.
Also notable are S Pauls images of a labourer carrying her infant to a work site and the sari-driers at work.
Benu Sens work,on the other hand,brings out the warmth in the relationship between a mother and her child and also captures the various nuances of classical dance,among other subjects.
Maheshwari,who was present at the inauguration,said,the long overdue exhibition will encourage more people to take to photography seriously. Earlier,photography was mainly practised as a hobby or by photojournalists. Now,due to awareness created by such shows,it is treated as an art form, he said.