HYDERABAD: ‘The art exhibition titled A Letter from My Homeland’ organised by Dhi Artspace, Hyderabad brings together five visual art practitioners whose photographs offer the viewers a rendezvous with the landscapes that exist both inside and outside.
What lurks beneath the shots of these lensmen is the idea of homeland and identity along with the portraiture of the same through mass media, which unfortunately is a deviation from the reality especially when it is dotted with tales of brutality, oppression, poverty, religious bigotry among other cliched news points. These five artists are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Nepal.
Their works focus on landscapes, architectural elements, people in their solitary moments and the narrative of metaphorical objects around them. These five photographers stand at the centre of their subject(s) and then portray the frame from inside with such intensity that one finds an instant connection despite having never visited these places or having met the people they have so intensely captured.
The curator’s note reads: “ This approach makes each place a coveted one to dwell, as Roland Barthes writes in his seminal book, Camera Lucida, “For me, Photographs of landscape (urban or country) must be habitable, not visitable.” It can be said, therefore, that the homeland shapes the artist’s identity and vice versa. In the contemporary scenario, artists from certain countries and communities are often expected to portray their geopolitical concerns in a very clichéd manner in their practice.
This virtual exhibition, in a way, attempts to depart from this stereotype by putting together more personal, sometimes hopeful stories.” The photographs clicked by Abdul Musawir Shabbir, who hails from Lahore, Pakistan bring tranquillity in his works with old arches, windows and staircases which are actually metaphors of time in slow motion, windows showcasing times bygone.
Binaya Humagain of Nepal captures streets of Kathmandu while Mohsen Sakha portrays the beauty of Iranian landscapes showing its rustic side. In contrast to this, photographer Naim-ul-Hasan presents snapshots of buzzing streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The photographer Pallov Saikia, who hails from Rahmaria Assam catches the anatomy of light through his clicks of boats sailing in the river. And they aren’t just boats, they also ferry the narratives of hardships of the natives.
— Saima Afreen saima@newindianexpress .com @Sfreen