Kapilas Bhuyan

An exhibition of artistic photographs titled ‘Diverse Fragrance’ has come to closing this evening which had been on from 2nd -6th January at Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. It was inaugurated with much fanfare by the eminent artist Jatin Das on 2nd January evening.

As for the justification of the title being ‘Diverse Fragrance’, it can be simply explained that, it’s diverse because all six photography artists are drawn from different locations of the country and outside, with varied themes and visual fragrance, yet the images are immersive with their inherent potency. The exhibition is mounted by the Bhubaneswar based organization called ‘Ketaki Foundation Trust’ which has been working in the field of art, culture and literature over the years.

Whereas four of the photography artists, namely; Shiba Prasad Sahu, Ashis Dhir, Biranchi Prasad Sahu and Ramahari Jena are from Odisha, the other two Tribhuvan Kumar Deo and Dr. Sanjoy Basu are from New Delhi and London respectively. So, all the photography artists are from varied locations including Shiba Prasad Sahu who is based in Chennai and working as the National Photo Editor of The New Indian Express.

Incidentally, Biranchi Prasad Sahu, Shiba Sahu, Tribhuvan Kumar Deo and Ramahari Jena are primarily artists turned photographers. While on one hand Ashis Dhir is purely a photographer, on the other Dr. Sanjoy Basu is a practicing surgeon who moves world over to appease his passion for photography. Ashis has extensively covered wild life sanctuaries all over the country and Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.

Tribhuvan Kumar Deo, though primarily a painter, is a passionate biker on the hilly terrains of Himachal and Ladakh which has catapulted him to pursue photography. Biranchi Sahu, who is an artist and graphic designer, also pursues wildlife photography as his passion. Shiba Sahu on the other hand, though a qualified painter has focused on photography for his career. Ramahari Jena’s drive into photography, despite being a painter, printmaker and visualizer is very special. “I found photography as a medium has immense scope to quench my creative passion”, says Ramahari Jena, the curator of the exhibition.

As it is said, each photograph is worth thousand words, and therefore, all explanations will fall short for explaining a shot. “It was really very challenging for me as the curator of the exhibition to choose the shots of each photographer for display”, explains Ramahari.

Ramahari Jena, the curator who is an eminent artist from Odisha and the first Odia recipient of the National Award from Lalit Kala Akademi in 1989, further explains saying that the photographs for this exhibition are chosen from the storehouse of thousand shots of each participant which exudes their individual specialization and excellence. Just having a look at the shots of Tribhuvan one will get convinced that the panoramic images of the hard rocks have a painterly quality – the texture and pigments of the nature is quite magnificent.

Similarly, Sanjoy’s landscapes are mesmerizing the way he has captured the natural light beams at Bryce Canyon, Utah, or the twilight at Atlas Mountain, Morocco. Both Ashis and Biranchi are more or less into wildlife photography. However, he has included only the tribal portraits of Ashis and the playful images of children of Biranchi to highlight unknown aspect of their endeavors. At the same time, it needs to be mentioned that the portraitures of Bonda tribal women of Ashis provides a scope to get an intimate view of their attire and lifestyle. Shiba’s compositions of children and their playfulness are no doubt very captivating.

“Ramahari Jena, a senior artist and ace printmaker has been wielding camera for a long time. When the medium became digital, like a proficient craftsman, he took it to his stride and went on to make images from all the possible avenues. One of the series of Jena is the images of ‘Jaalis’, the traditional sand or cement casted or carved windows that reveal their fundamental patterns and surprise the viewers with their luminous presence”, says Johny ML, the eminent art critic.

As the photographs on display are clicked at varied locations and subject matters, while viewing the exhibition a visitor will have a global tour through the remote tribal hinterlands to the Himalayan valley to the Bryce Canyon and Atlas Mountain through the chosen frames.

‘Diverse Fragrance’ consisting of the ecstatic images is going to be a travelling photography exhibition in the coming months at locations like Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar and Chennai, etc.

(The Author is a Senior Journalist and National Award-winning Filmmaker. Views are personal)