Breaking the mould

Varsha Mohan

KOCHI: Raphael Di Canio has always harboured a passion for photography. The German photographer is in the capital as part of an art project, including a unique light painting workshop for children at the Goethe Institute.

Rapheal Di Canio, German photographer
 Manu R Mavelil

As part of the workshop, the students were divided into two groups. Each of them were led to a dark room soon getting mesmerised by images captured from light. The photographer said the aim was to first make the students understand how light photography works. “They were first asked to write or draw something, maybe their name, a symbol or a flower. The students were later encouraged to come up with their own work.”

Light painting is one of Raphael’s preferred genres apart from DHR and nature photography. “Light painting has many artistic possibilities- for instance, you can create something and put your ideas on the frame. But when it comes to normal photography, you can’t change the photos, it’s always the same frame. In light painting, it is like a mirrored image, and hence you have to make sure it comes out right, “ he said.
However, Raphael prefers to be called an artist rather than a photographer.

Audio walk

He pursued an education in Arts for six years and studied photography alongside learning performance art and even audio capturing for audio walks, which according to Raphael, is not so popular in the art circuit now. “An audio walk has a script and is created like a story, basically sounds captured, which you can listen to,” Raphael says. He points out to a 28-minute long audio byte with the sounds inside a forest, to explain it further.

“Though similar to theatre, there is a thin line of  difference between both. While theatre is enacting, the other is not. For instance, we had recently done a performance which was a critique of our University and the style of teaching. We were part of the performance where I was reading a complicated text while my friend keeps disturbing the lecture by activating gadgets and toys kept before me, ending up with the audience not listening to the lecture but looking at the gadgets,” he explains.

Though he explored paintings in his first step of his artistic journey, Raphael feels he is constantly discovering and re-inventing himself as an artist.  Adding that the meaning of art is constantly changing, Raphael, “When people speak of art, they think of paintings. But there is more to contemporary art than just paintings. I am more into those things which doesn’t come to your mind as art.”  This is Raphael’s first trip to the city though he has visited the country before. “A few months ago, I had travelled to Rajasthan. I loved it here and so decided that I had to come back.”

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