Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Through the Eyepiece

One of the honors I’ve experienced as Consul General in Hyderabad is being invited to participate in the openings of art exhibits.  In the last few weeks, I participated in the launches of two shows of photography that demonstrated what a wealth of talent this city hosts.  The first was an exhibition organized by the Bhagyanagar Photo Art Club and the Salar Jung Museum of the photographic work of award-winning photographers from Andhra Pradesh.  The second was an exhibit at the Muse at Marriott Art Gallery presented by professional photographer Arvind Chenji featuring the work of six amateur photographers who are all IT professionals from Microsoft.   Both exhibits included a fascinating variety of works, from still lifes to photos of nature and city scenes, to portraits, to abstract compositions.  The award-winning professionals had an edge on technique, including interesting developing methods and special papers, but all the artists demonstrated great talent.  At both exhibits, it was interesting to hear from the artists about how they had captured the images.  In some cases, they said they waited hours for the light to be just right.  In others, they arranged objects for effect.  In many cases, they knew what they wanted to convey and sought it out, while in others, it seemed as if they just recognized and capitalized on the moment when a great image presented itself.
I retain vivid images of many of the individual photographs at both exhibits.  There were striking photographs of children who would appear to belong to categories we would label “underprivileged” but whose expressions radiated uncomplicated joy.  At the “Photographic Thoughts” exhibit at the Salar Jung, a series of photographs of post boxes combined humor with social commentary.  There were other series showcasing Hyderabad’s cityscape by featuring clocks and doors.  I’m inspired to try to travel even more by the many beautiful pictures of different locations in India both exhibits contained. 
The travel photography reminded me of another exhibit I saw a few months ago that was organized by Milestone Enterprises at Icon Art Gallery.  I was distressed to read last week about the fire at Icon and I wish the Gallery all the best as it works to recover. 

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