KOCHI: In shades of yellow, blue and pink, Emmanuel Akash’s photos have a sombre, surreal emotion to them. Although the 25-year-old started exploring the technical sides of photography, like grading, only an year ago, he has already made his signature in the field. The self-taught artist, who is a marine electrical engineer by profession, ventured into photography by recording his travels. With time, he realised his niche is in creating concept-based human portraits.
“I was inspired by several artists to take up conceptual photography. More than the pictures, it is the output they create that piqued my interest,” says Akash. Akash explores all facets of photography and keeps ‘human,’ as the focal point of his frames — those who haven’t received the right exposure. “Around 90 per cent characters in my pictures are my friends who always wanted to pose in pictures but never got the chance to because of their situations. My focus is on being inclusive — letting people be who they are,” says Akash.
In his pictures, Akash doesn’t confirm to the thought process that a person must be classified according to his appearance. “That should not be a measure of their capability. Such stigma and stereotype is very common in our society and this needs to change,” he adds.
His recent series ‘Mattancherykar’ is a clear reminder of this. “Putting people in boxes based on colour, caste, religion and even the clothes they wear is obnoxious. As far as I know these differences don’t exist in Mattanchery. No one is treated as an outsider here. We all introduce ourselves as Mattancherykar,” says Akash. ‘Look at Me’ captures the local people of the island in element. ‘We are from Kochi’ seals his message, loud and clear.
IT’S ALL PASSION
His unique use of colours sets Akash’s pictures apart. Inspired by several movies, yellow is a common denominator in his pictures. “I play around with concepts and tone, try to bring life into the images. I want to be known for my signature,” he says. As a creator, Akash let his creative juices flow with limited resources. “At first when I tried to recreate the tone of an image, in its exact form, I couldn’t, get it right,” he says. Akash gets his images done on Adobe Lightroom mobile, and is testimony to the fact that passion surpasses resources.