When Nuance and Texture Define the Big Picture

Photographer Vivek Mathew’s forthcoming exhibition revels in seeking the perfect in the imperfect and finding patterns that we pass by

Published: 22nd January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2015 04:33 AM   |  A+A-

RESIDENCY ROAD:Can imperfections be perfect? For photographer Vivek Mathew, every surface, every glimmer of light and raindrop is perfect because it is all part of the big picture called life. His upcoming show, Perfect Imperfections is a summation of what photography and life mean to him. Two halves of a whole.

Vivek Mathew.JPGThe show that will be on at the Art of Delight from February 1 to 28 will display 26 photographs based on textures we usually miss as life passes us by in a blur. However, Vivek’s camera misses nothing. The deep lines that run across green plantations in geometric patterns. The bark of a tree that weathers seasons and captures imprints of time on its skin. Even elements as mundane as pipes become magical when he captures their dark, cavernous mouths open in wonderment.

The present series was put together during his travels across Bheemeshwari, Hong Kong, Colombo, Beijing, Nilgiris and Delhi, and each picture tells the story of time and space, region and  location. In an interview with City Express, Vivek talks about his work and what inspires him.

Photography’s role

To me, photography is all about communication. It speaks a thousand words about life, about things around you; it talks about a person’s life and sometimes makes big statements about the world when it dwells upon wars and natural calamities like earthquakes. It even inspires reaction and motivates people to come together to work towards solving a problem.

Being a photographer

The challenge is to be consistent  in your work and continue to capture images even though at times you are going to be critiqued on your work. Some people will love your work and some of them will hate it. But I just continue to follow my heart and continue to work and capture moments that say something to me. My images must speak for themselves without me trying to explain what the image is all about. When I succeed in that, that is the reward of being a photographer.

The forthcoming show

My eye is always drawn to patterns and so is my camera. For me, it always begins with the texture, the particularities that add up to create a layered image. This is the idea behind every picture that was taken for the show and I have been observing them for a while during my travels.

I have divided the show into two parts. One half dwells upon patterns created by human hand and the other where nature does its magic.

On digital intervention

I firmly believe that the eye is the most important tool. Digital intervention is just a technique. For example,  a great pen does not make you a great writer or a carpentry tool does not make you a great carpenter.

Digital skill sets just make things faster but that speed or technique does not always make for great images. Your eye and your observation of life and things unfolding around you contribute to a good image.

I do not digitally touch any  image. I just shoot straight from my camera and what I get is what I present. There is no short cut when you want to shoot a good image. It is a lot of hard work and many failures that take you to find one moment that makes up for everything. Imperfect images are beautiful and I just let them be  because they really are perfect to me. The whole world is my muse and I love diversity.

Photography heroes

I admire Pallon Daruwala, Paul Liebhardt, Jay Maisel, Steve McCurry, Prabhuddha Das Gupta, Henry Cartier Bresson, T S Satyan and Raghu Rai.


Catch Vivek’s show from February 1 onwards at Art of Delight, 44/1, Residency Road.


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