Introducing the works that comprise her debut solo, photographer Parul Sharma notes that the collection is intended at re-examining the “asymmetry of everydayness”. Clicked from her iPhone, the black-and-white photographs chronicle Sharma’s sojourns in the last couple of years — Mumbai, London, Paris, Kyoto, Tokyo and Delhi — but she prefers to keep the locations discreet. “I don’t like to put anything in a box. I don’t want to hinder the perspective of a person who is trying to establish a connect with my framework based on their ideas and experiences. They should be able to interpret it the way they want, and that is art,” says the former communications professional.
The high ceilings at the imposing Bikaner House in Delhi seem befitting for the display. The 40 frames offer distant and more detailed observations, featuring spiral stairs, abstract compositions and architectural details. If in one frame an empty chair waits for its occupant, in another, the window grill forms patterns on inclined beds. Diagonal lines cut across a frame in a work, while in another, Sharma photographs a street from the hollow of a metal structure.
She shoots the arch of the well-recognised Ministry of Home Affairs building in Delhi, and offers an aerial view of a busy road in Tokyo. Concentric metal nails that fill a white backdrop appear like the cosmic dot or bindu that has inspired numerous Indian artists. It has also attracted the attention of the buyers, with three red dots pasted next to it a day after the exhibition opened.
There are other occasions when Sharma gives viewers a closer glimpse into her surroundings. She places an empty Hibiki whiskey bottle on a pile of magazines on a windowsill at her Delhi home, and plays with light at a Hauz Khas haunt. The black and white medium, she believes, helps her connect deeper with the viewers. “It has a starkness, rawness, and life is largely black, white and grey,” says Sharma.