Organised by Hyderabad-based Dhi Artspace, the show features five visual practitioners from Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal and Pakistan
“When life around you stops, you begin to notice stuff that you wouldn’t otherwise,” says Naim Ul Hasan, a lens-based artist and curator from Dhaka. Naim’s photographic series is part of a virtual show — ‘A Letter from My Homeland’, organised by Hyderabad-based Dhi Artspace. The show features five visual art practitioners from Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal and Pakistan using photography to tell stories of their homeland. In a statement, the artistes share the inspiration behind their creative expressions.
Naim’s pictures dwell into the spatial characteristics of the house like a ray of sunlight on a wall or the effect of light peeping through a window grill. Living in a government quarter in one of the busiest areas of Dhaka, their roadside windows usually stay closed to keep away the dust and the noise. Naim says, “Then came this global pandemic. Streets became silent and suddenly it felt like we’ve been transported through a portal in an alternate reality,” he says. The window which was never opened was now open all day to catch glimpses of the outside world. Documenting village
Pallov Saikia found his muse in Rahmaria, the village he hails from in Upper Assam. His pictures that present a slice of life there are from a project ‘Rahmaria’ that he has been working on for three years. The history of people, places, culture and changes in society are depicted through video, audio, painting, photographs, drawing and writing. With a background in painting, he finds photographs a means of research to use as a reference to paint. He says, “I realised some photographs go beyond the purpose of documentation; It is the same entity and soul that my paintings have. I feel it cannot be translated into painting; also there is no need to do so.”
Lahore-based Abdul Musawir Shabbir derives his inspiration from poetry and other literary works. His photographs of beautiful arches, windows and staircases narrate stories of people living in a slow lane and in a bygone era. Abdul feels an air of loneliness in his surroundings. He says, “Words like solitude, desolation and seclusion often come to my mind. While trying to notice what represents my being, I realise how content I am in this solitude and I enjoy it.” His photographs capture two contrasting moods — melancholy and nostalgia attached to memories of the past and an optimistic hope for a brighter future.’Landscape photographsMohsen Sakha, an Iranian documentary filmmaker calls the road a destination and also a means to reach it. His expansive barren landscape photographs takes viewers on a visual journey. His interest in making documentary films gives him ample opportunities to travel across the country. “Every time I embark on a trip, the road appears as a profound metaphor for the journey. It reminds me of both ‘living’ and ‘leaving’,” he says.
Lens-based artist Binaya Humagain from Nepal loves strolling around the heritage sites in Kathmandu. “My practice of clicking photographs every day is akin to keeping a visual diary,” says Binaya. Meeting people from all over the world, Binaya likes to observe the human drama that unfolds in quiet moments and capture them for posterity. (One can view the works virtually at https://dhiart.com/exhibition/ till November 8)