Curated by Mukesh Parpiani, Head of Centre for Photography as an Art form (CPA) and Piramal Gallery, the exhibition will be showcasing over 100 photographs selected from the archives of the gallery. “Piramal has had nearly 500 solo and group photography exhibitions in the past 24 years. For every exhibition, master photographers have donated at least one photograph to the gallery and those who hadn’t, I got in touch with them.
As a result we have a collection of over 500 photographs. If I had an option I would put all of them up!” says Parpiani. The exhibition will showcase works of photographers such as Raja Deen Dayal, Judith Mara Gutman, AL Syed, Jitendra Arya, Saby Fernandes, Tara Pada Banerjee, Jagdish Agarwal and TS Natrajan. The photographs, which are a mix of black and white and colour, will help understand the changing trends of photography over the years.
The exhibition will also pay tribute to photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta, who passed away earlier this week, with a display of some of his work. Parpiani rues the fact that several people prefer watching photographs online rather than making the effort to visit the gallery. So, as an added package, in association with India Art Photo Studio, on display will be a range of vintage cameras, a few dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, used mostly by royalty.
“We have a dark room in the gallery, upstairs but to get people experience the use of negatives, we have set up a mock dark room within the gallery, where people will be able to understand the process of developing the negatives,” adds Parpiani. For those willing to learn more, Parpiani, with the help of Weekend Photo Group, has organised an exhibition of over 200 books on photography, where enthusiasts can browse through. On World Photography Day, leading photographers will deliver lectures on this form.
The Khadi Bhandar, housed in the Jeevan Udyog Building was formerly known as the Whiteway and Laidlaw Stores in the post-independence era, and was a popular stop for British residents in the city. Designed by Gostling & Morris in a mix of Indian and Neo-Classical architecture, its premises once housed the photography studio of the great Raja Deen Dayal. In fact, it was originally known as the Metropolitan Insurance Building.