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Profile

Abul Kalam Azad

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Abul Kalam Azad

Born: 1964

Hometown: Kerala

Based in: Kerala

 

I am a visual artist based in South India. My works are largely expressions of my personal memories, explorations and experiences. They deal with issues of culture, identity, ethics, micro/macro history, and eroticism. I am particularly interested in experimental and art photography. It was my father, Haneef Rahman, who instilled my interest in photography at a very young age. A majority of my photographs from the 80s and early 90s were from my native land of Kerala, India. Creating visuals of the familiar people and surroundings fascinated me. I started photographing my friends and creative people from the neighborhood, my town, and its architecture. These photographs offer a glimpse into the landscape of Mattanchery before it became a cultural hub and venue of Kochi Muziris Biennale. In the 80s, I started exploring different parts of India. Like a restless river, I was always on the move - seeking a distant destination and photographing the memories of those long journeys. During the early 90s, for over a brief period, I worked as a photo-journalist with news agencies and periodicals in India and abroad, During the mid-90s, with the support of different scholarships, I traveled to Europe for higher studies in photography and print-making. Returning to India in 1996, I started practicing photography as an independent visual artist and accelerated my efforts in experimental and art photography. Between 2000 and 2010, Indian photography saw a shift from analog to digital. Reluctant to take a complete swing, but at the same time trying to keep up with the technological advancements, I started making hybrid photographic prints, amalgamating digital and analog medium. The focus on history, religion, politics and other recurring themes only become stronger, connecting with each other and emerging as a total worldview that I consciously put forward. Adding layers to photographic prints by reusing earlier works/found prints, amalgamating traditional and modern photography, doodling, stitching, scratching, sequencing and hand painting make regular appearances, a definitive presence in my photographic aesthetics and language. A majority of works that I did since 2010, are monochrome. These are minimalistic and in stark contrast to my earlier multi-media experimental works. Starting in 2014, I am working with different new media, such as smartphone photography, lo-fi digital. At the same time, I continue to use large format view cameras as well as other traditional cameras. The zig-zagging from one style/approach to another is intentional. It reflects a particular phase in my life and artistic expression. The thematic continuity is also a conscious choice, with history, sexuality, eroticism, anthropology and culture being present, and provacating each other. My current projects primarily focus on a search inside South-Indian pre historic cultures and base themselves on ancient literature, folklore, and rituals. I have always been interested in regional initiatives and was part of several arts and cultural projects in South India. In 2012, I co-founded Ekalokam Trust for Photography, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to protecting and promoting contemporary photography and allied art forms. I am also Editor-in-Chief of PhotoMail, an online photo-art magazine.

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Cochin Dockland

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

Cochin Dockland

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

Cochin Dockland

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

Cochin Dockland

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

Cochin Dockland

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

Cochin Dockland

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

Cochin Dockland

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

My Anger and Other Stories

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

My Anger and Other Stories

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

My Anger and Other Stories

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

My Anger and Other Stories

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

My Anger and Other Stories

Abul Kalam Azad, India

Photography

US$ 2,100

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About Abul Kalam Azad


IconInspires

What inspires you?

Life, with all its ups and downs, joy and pain, love and separation, inspires me to create!!


IconCreative

Describe your creative process.

The art and science of photography fascinates me. I enjoy traditional photography with experimental touch. I also use modern photography techniques. I like to make my own prints. In particular, I enjoy printing different traditional techniques. Often, I work on the printed surface - doodling, scratching, stitching etc.


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What are 3 words that best describe your work?

Autobiographical, Experimental, Contemporary


IconUser

Who are some artists that have influenced your work?

Joel-peter witkin, Man Ray, Sunil Janah, Robert Mapplethorpe


IconTool

What is the most important tool when creating your work?

Camera


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Where do you go for inspiration?

Traveling, Reading books, Watching movies

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