Images of layouts of a colony, at one time ubiquitous in the city (an era before Google Maps) greet us at an exhibition by city-based photographer and artist, Kishor Krishnamoorthi.
The exhibition titled Urban is divided into four mini-series; the 40-plus images showcase the little visual details in our urban city life that we often miss seeing as we go about our fast-paced lives. The streets of Hyderabad with their various idiosyncrasies serve as the backdrop for this photo story.
Kishor explains, “This exhibition is a visual metaphor for urban growth and change. The common thread for the series is to capture change, as often, we don’t notice things unless they are gone. In our own colonies, we don’t notice a building until it is demolished and then we wonder what stood in its place! As artists, I think it is our duty to document the world around us, archive and retrieve it when necessary.”
Four parallel stories are directed towards the same destination in the exhibition. The no-parking signs are a visual metaphor that there are too many cars in the city and not enough parking; the cable garlands that still denote the lack of infrastructure in the city; the makeshift places of worship that spring up from time to time, and finally, the images of layouts of colonies, which helped us navigate the spaces and are rendered useless in the age of Google Maps, especially in newer parts of the city.
The artist who started shooting for the series since 2016 calls this a work of passion. He adds, “As a commercial photographer, to take time out and do it purely for the art was my biggest challenge.” The exhibition is visually stunning and takes one down memory lane.
“The city around us is changing before we can even react to it,” notes Kishor. “Each additional person requires a certain number of services, resources, and adds to the burden of the facilities available. This requires rapid growth and upgradation of existing infrastructure which is often done keeping in mind the immediate need of the hour, and not giving adequate thought to the longterm consequences at the ground level.”
The exhibition also acknowledges the changing facets of Hyderabad. In the newer areas of the city (be it Gachibowli or Financial District) there is an increasing homogeneity which negates the relationship to Hyderabad. Kishor adds, “It could be Mumbai or Singapore. If you are in Old City, the language, sights, sounds, smells, all are distinct. The little things that define a city are being chipped away and this is my effort to archive them.”
An upcoming functional art show will bring artists from across the country together in an unusual space. WOW! finds out…
Pushing Traditional Boundaries
For too long, art has been confined to canvases which, though a time-honored tradition, needed a rejig. An art show, Out of the Box brings around 15 of the best artists of the city experiment with objects like tables, trays, chairs, pots, and boxes. Senior artists like Laxma Goud, Vaikuntam, Fawad Tamkanat, Chippa Sudhakar and others will contribute their works that are truly out of the box. It also features the internationally renowned artist Sujata Bajaj from Paris, Delhi-based Seema Kohli, and Punebased Anand Panchal.
Art critic and writer, Ratna Rao Shekar who is curating the show with a little help and push from artists Laxman Aelay and Nagesh Goud, asks why art should be limited only to a canvas or paper and be hung only on walls? “From tables to chairs and boxes, there is a world of utility when art steps out of the limitations we impose. Importantly, I wanted to ensure that art also is not confined to galleries which many find intimidating. The show is now taking place at an experience center,” she says, and is excited about the project.