KOCHI: When a group of young photography enthusiasts, most of who are still in their teens, got together via Facebook, one would think it would be to create a platform where they can showcase their skills better. But, not the boys of ‘Immagine’, a Facebook group which is a registered Non-Profit Organisation as well. When they say the aim was just to ensure a platform for amateur photographers from all over the country, they mean it. And, the exhibition ‘India Weaved in Frames’ that is going on at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi, is a fruit of their 10-month long hard work.
In a backbreaking effort, ‘Immagine’ organised photography contests in 29 states, armed with nothing but its Facebook profile and unbridled passion. The competition themed on every Indian state saw a flood of talents from every nook of the country. The Top Trios (top three photographs) were selected from each contest by an eminent photographer who knows the respective state well. The winning image by Biswajit Patra from West Bengal was selected by noted lensman Raghu Rai from among the 1,813 entries.
Says Manu, a member of ‘Immagine’: “It was a Herculean task organising the contest. The first step was bringing awareness about such a contest. We had to send 500 to 1,000 messages in bulk to inform people about this. Then came selecting a qualified judge who knows the respective state in and out. All of that was hard task and we did it out of pure passion.”
Weaving in the diversity
What makes ‘India Weaved in Frames’ a rich treat is not just the impressive frames on display, but the impeccable way a series of stunning snaps have been threaded together to portray India, in all its glory. The ethnicity, vibrant hues, myriad moods and tastes of our country have been encapsulated in the frames that mirror the splendour and loftiness prevalent here.
The expo takes you through the virginity of the North-East states, rustic lives of Punjab and Haryana, the insurmountable might of the Himalayas, the religious frenzy that defines Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh among many others.
However, reiterating the fact that India can never be complete without its intense religious garb, most of the images on display here are manifestations of the religious fervour that envelopes us.
Be it ‘God on the Streets’, an entry from Andhra Pradesh, which freezes a candid scene from Bonalu festival, or ‘A Drowsing Calmness’ depicting Ganpathi Visarjan, or ‘Laid in Mylapore, a striking image of Kolam festival in Tamil Nadu, all are a reflections of how gods rule us.
Equally enchanting are the entries from North Eastern states. They portray the exuberant beauty of the land, its culture, lifestyle and people.
While the image of a lone rhino titled ‘The Poster Boy of Assam’ is high on aesthetic value, it also highlights the need to conserve the pristine marshlands of Assam.
‘Dawn lit Mountains’ of Arunachal, ‘Eden of North East’ where the virgin hills of Nagaland is captured, ‘The cause way to heaven’ which freezes the stylish wooden bridge on Ward’s, every single image in the expo is postcard-worthy.
What’s Kerala without elephants. Though no elements of surprises, the images from Kerala are abound in beauty. Subin Pullazhy, the winner from Kerala, has captured the jumbo tradition of our state titled ‘Great Propotions’. The Panchavadyam also comes alive in the picture titled ‘Entrancing Rhythms’.