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FOCUS Photography Festival
Photowallah presents for the first time, a survey of Waswo’s hand-coloured work through a wide selection of photographs produced in his studio – including prints from three series: A Studio in Rajasthan, Gauri Dancers and New Myths. Playfully examining the genres of both the ethnographic photograph-as-document that is linked to the colonial era, as well as the fantasy-inspired make-believe that emanated from traditional Indian portrait studios in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Waswo creates a unique brand of contemporary photography that is an inspired mix of homage and critique.
Ranging from shots of single figures to theatrically arranged tableaux, these photographs feature everyone from Gauri dancers to flower sellers, the incarnations of mythological figures, farmers and school children. In the tradition of pictorialism, Waswo’s carefully crafted images with their pastoral backdrops and hand-tinted processing resonate with a romantic sensibility, while yet remaining humorously self-aware and self-reflexive (excerpt from the catalogue produced by Tasveer).
The exploration of nostalgia makes for an interesting approach to the theme of ‘Memory’. Waswo believes that the word ‘nostalgia’ has taken on a negative connotation in the contemporary art world today which makes a lively investigation of it all the more interesting.
Presented in collaboration with Tasveer.