Explorations in Digital Imaging
Siddhartha Hall, Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe Institute)
New Delhi, India
2-14 September, 2000

In late August 2000, I unexpectedly received a heads-up on an old conversation from nearly a year before then with Mr. Tilmann Waldraff, Director of Max Mueller Bhavan (Goethe Institute), New Delhi, India. It was the inimitable Anita Singh calling from Tilo's office, inquiring after how things were progressing with regard to a show of printed digital imaging that we'd speculated (I thought!) on doing together in their gallery through early September 2000 ~ i.e. just over a month away!!

By the time of the call, I'd actually forgotten entirely about that conversation at a get-together with filmmakers that we'd put together at his institution (MMB) almost a year earlier. However, the opportunity was too intriguing to just respond to Anita with an "Opps! Let's forget about it just because I forgot about it!!"

So, I offered to call back in a day or two after drawing responses from some of the artists we connect with in Delhi, and was more than delighted to do so the very next day with an "OK"!

Now, anyone and everyone who has ever had to marshal creative folks and their creative works into a joint endeavour has probably experienced how hellish this can be, and will appreciate how it may indeed have proven lucky to us in the end that just a month remained to put it all together.

No further comments, therefore: The text below derives directly from the exhibition flyer. Some of the images from the show are interspersed through this.

the artists:

Nilanjan Das

Born in 1973, Nilanjan took to drawing at age five under the tutelage of his father, the well-known painter/illustrator Bimal Das. The young artist's own name now figures in the List of Top 400 Cartoonists of the World (compiled by the government of Portugal); he was awarded "Best Designer" at the International Health Fair; and he works fulltime with India's leading newsmagazine India Today as Senior Illustrator.

 Tina Rajan Kashyap

Tina's a mainstream Computer Graphic Artist currently doing 3D and Cel animation mainly for Ad-films, and a lot of other graphics for the print media. For grounding ~ she's been contributing cartoons and caricatures for some of Delhi's leading newspapers since the age of ten, and has managed to dabble over time with a lot of different media including oils, charcoal, ink, clay and plaster too. For Tina: life and work is a simple thrust "towards excellence, to work hard and make a place for myself under the sun!"

Bharati Mirchandani

For Bharati, computers present just another medium, like watercolours, photography, lithography, sculpture. As she says: "Years of working as a graphic designer with board and T-square got some muscles jaded, while others itched to be used The fingers took naturally to holding and tapping the mouse; and nails are happily no longer lined with traces of paint and nasty india ink..."

Anando Dutta

"With every stride we take, we push a foot up front, and one stays back. The footprint behind waiting to stretch out ahead, and the one in front holding on till its time, to bring up the rear. These prints mark our timelessness, of constantly collecting shells on the sands, perceiving, choosing, and retaining ~ to carry on further and ahead. This stride is the core of this exhibit. The step and its counterpoint, the perception and its optimality, the choice and its indecision, the decision and its alter ego, the instance and its inevitability. Every time we mark that footprint, we look inwards towards the twin within us, the other mind, the other sensibility waiting to be heard, differing in quality and coherence.

"We wait to hear the indecision and yet make a choice, we make a choice, and yet we consider it incomplete. Optimal but,.."

Kitty Hazuria:

"My Digital Images are an extension of my Photography. I have always been fond of painting also, and in this media I could combine the two together. I have made the computer my darkroom. Many years ago, I used to manipulate my images with the use of filters, chemicals, solarizing, posterizing etc. Now I have a new tool to do the same things and much more. The only difference is that it is less painstaking and more accurate ~ and eventually, it is the result that matters."

Nitin Donde

Nitin's an old video-hand whose penchant for working with (and for) children drew him into computers some years ago, down the road of 3D and Cel animation. He is also India-Coordinator on <www.i-abc.org> (The International Animation Broadcasting Council). His images in this show however interface computer-usage with his other great love, the Himalaya.

"Scanning the picture into the computer, I have delicately touched the patterns, bringing out the details I wanted to show ~ a titillation of the beauty that exists in our world."

 Arun Jethmalani

Arun's a mainstream installation artist of the sort who creates all sorts of things from gigantic exhibition pavilions and interiors through POP wares to modular furniture. His continuously evolving design-studio has earned a unique reputation over time as a rigorous training-ground and crucible of creative young computer-based professionals across streams as varied as virtual 3D through to rock-solid architecture. His image for this show is a digital-camera picture, pinched, twirled & embossed in an exercise of "Instant Digital Art"

Most of the prints in this exhibition have been discount-printed, or sponsored outright, by Arun's company "Imagene" as goodwill support for the effort ~ Thanks!

Karamjeet Singh

Karamjeet is a filmmaker, primarily committed to the work begun some fifty years ago by his father, who continues alongside him on what today is probably the longest professional film/video documentation of the Indian Himalayas. Not surprisingly, his interest in computer-based graphics originated in a desire to bring titling and other graphics in-house, but the involvement has grown over the years into an ongoing peripheral-preoccupation that finds him continuously also involved with computer-based projects in video, 2/3D animation & graphics, large-format print work, and the web.

Ashim Ghosh

Ashim is one of the more active multiple-media artists in New Delhi, who invented the title "Audiovisionary" for himself many years ago. Audio from his music, and Visionary from his stock photography and video films. He has earlier held at least two solo photography-shows in this very gallery, and will also be opening a major new mixed-media solo show in New Delhi on September 7, 2000 (IIC annexe).

 Sanjay Kothari

Grounded in traditional photo collage, this New York artist embodies the new "transformative" photography, pursuing his art almost like a laboratory scientist. Fanaticizing photo illustrations and then assembling the pieces from disparate sources, Sanjay synthesizes composite images through experimentation and a sense of adventure. The results end up in publications such as Time, Wired or The New York Times Magazine. He has been featured in Graphis Photo 2000, Graphis Digital Photo 99, Communication Arts and The IDEA. His fascination with photography and the transformative power of digital tools continues to inspire him to take risks, and like a scientist, to imagine the impossible.

 Pradeep Dasgupta

Mainstream commercial and industrial photography is Pradeep's mainline. With a niche reputation also as one of the finest contemporary food-photographers in India, he needs little introduction. Digital imaging for him is something he's still exploring, with simple general-purpose computers and printers.

 Atul Sharma

Atul too is a well-known mainstream photographer while also (like Pradeep) exploring digital media at the same time. But he's biased more towards travel & landscape work, and perhaps just a wee tad more serious about soon making a full transition from chemical to digital processes. His digital explorations thus far have been concentrated mainly on photo retouching and enhancing, in a process by which he's looking to master the medium before moving on to state-of-the-art equipment.

 Rohit Bhatia

A self-taught artist primarily involved with Black and White -pencil and charcoal,- with a keen interest in technology, and a belief in "Naturalising" technology. Earlier on paper, and now with multimedia, he tries to work his way through with expressing influences from nature using technology. He has a keen interest in learning about the intricacy of natural shapes, and apart from being a musician, also works as a freelance graphic designer and web development professional.

Sophie Gaur

"My fascination with the digital medium is confined largely to collage. I enjoy being able to envisage a comprehensive new image from a disparate set of parts. I illustrate, create, source textures and scan them. I also use letters or bits of text, old photographs - some mine, some from family albums and some anonymous, and merge them to create a new image. I largely work in Photoshop and sometimes in Painter and Illustrator.

"In this collection I have tried to create images that evoke memories."

 Shankar Barua

Shankar was invited to curate this show based on his on-going explorations with digital creative media and it's practitioners through his young company Imadjinn, and it's six-monthly series of CD-gazettes called "The IDEA" (The Indian Documentary of Electronic Arts). Significant earlier shows organized by him include Open Stage (music, poetry & theatre @ Triveni Kala Sangam/Open Air Theatre, 1980), Milestones (photographic prints @ Triveni Kala Sangam/Sridharani Gallery, 1991) and In Search of The Avant Garde (projected photographs/seminar @ India International Centre/Auditorium, 1992). Shankar has always participated in shows he's organized, but is neither a fulltime artist, nor curator or art-professional.

assembled by
[The Indian Documentary of Electronic Arts]

... with grateful thanks to Arun Jethmalani, Sophie Gaur,
Anita Singh, Poonam Barua, E-Meditech Solutions,
Krishen Dhar and Tilmann Waldraff