Exhibiting about 50 of his photos in the Capital in an ongoing show, starting with the first one ever taken by him in 1981 at Jantar Mantar, veteran photographer Rohit Chawla feels photography is a language spoken globally.
“I like to create images like an artist of your own empty canvas. I start from scratch and decide how to populate my photographs, whether to populate them at all. I am not the kind to go to Chandni Chowk to shoot a man on a rickshaw or to Ladakh to shoot wrinkled faces. That’s done and dusted,” says Chawla, adding that in a world getting inundated with photographs constantly, “you need to stop and look at something new”.
The ongoing show, titled The Design Eye, unfolds the design journey of Chawla through his photographic works, both early works and those never seen before. “These are images from different stages of my life, including my first image when I was still in school,” he says.
Having widely shot and exhibited over the course of four decades, Chawla says he likes a certain consistency that his eye has had over a period of time. “I like shooting in a graphic idiom, love the poetry of straight lines. I am a minimalist. I believe most good design is about subtraction, and my images reflect that Even in a portrait, I try do away with superfluous and the unnecessary,” he says.
For Chawla, all photographs need to tell a story. “The banality of documentation is passé in my creative space. It’s important to shoot from the head and the heart to create afresh. ” The photographer, who currently resides in Goa, is working on a series shooting the greatest chefs in the world.
For this exhibition, he was in conversation with veteran photographer Raghu Rai and French ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain.
Catch It Live
What: The Design Eye – Rohit Chawla
Where: Spin, Dhanmill Compound, Chattarpur
On till: December 5
Timing: 11am – 7pm
Nearest Metro Station: Chattarpur on the Yellow Line
Author tweets @siddhijainn