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Abul Kalam Azad

Cochin Dockland

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Abul Kalam Azad

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Cochin Dockland by Abul Kalam Azad

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Cochin Dockland

by

Abul Kalam Azad

Exclusive to The Artling

US$ 2,100

Overview

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2010

Digital archival print

Edition of 5

Dimensions: 76.2cm (H) x 76.2cm (W) / 30" (H) x 30" (W)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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These are simple, poetic images of the Cochin dockland landscape, architecture, people, etc.

Shot using a simple, inexpensive, toy film camera (Lomography). In 2010, I decided to move out of my home town in Kochin Island, Kerala. My studio Mayalokam was based in the busy ancient market of Mattancherry. I was going through a personal and professional transition period, and I left behind my expensive cameras, light equipment, etc. I started using very basic handy cameras, such as small pinhole plastic cameras and films, mobile phones, etc. to continue my photographic practice. Cochin Dockland was shot during my last days in my town. Most of them were shot during my sleepless nights. Late hours, the busiest market becomes tranquil and still. The out of focus, blur, and natural lighting, narrates the mood and tranquility.

These limited edition prints are fully archival. I am using Hahnemühle acid-free paper.

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Artist Profile

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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