The art of documenting
Two unique exhibitions to check out: Photographer Rohit Jain documents survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy 35 years on and artist Nibha Sikander uses layered paper cuts to recreate life-like insects.
Aftermath: Omar has muscular dystrophy, a disease characterised by loss of muscle control and short life spans. His brother died of the same disease and his parents know that he will go soon too. His story, is one of many in Bhopal.
It has been 35 years since the devastating gas tragedy and its effects and those of subsequent episodes of ground water contamination stay on. It is what photojournalist Rohit Jain wants to tell the world through his exhibition Aftermath. "It was the first time that I saw such a large number of children with severe disabilities in one place," he says, talking about his visit to The Chingari Trust (a rehabilitation NGO in Bhopal). A week-long project lasted a month and Jain received a grant from Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting in December last year.
The series of affecting images captures children in their homes and their surroundings. The frames have one more element in common — the subjects are never alone. "I wanted to show how they are always dependent on someone and every picture thus, has an adult accompanying them," explains Jain.
Till December 22, 11 am to 8 pm
At G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, Laxmi Mills Estate, Mahalaxmi West.
House Sparrow, one work with five individual paper cut parts of the House Sparrow bird
Wandering Violin Mantis: During a visit with family to the Kaziranga National Park in 2012, Nibha Sikander was blown away at the sight of the Great Indian Hornbill. Birds, have always been fodder for conversation with the artist's family, and their home in Murud-Janjira has only aided this.
But, seven year ago, Sikander began translating it into art with intricate paper cut-outs and layering that takes the shape of insects, moths and birds. Having built a collection of over 400 such three-dimensional figures, she presents them at her first solo, Wandering Violin Mantis.
Moth Series 3, one work with 10 individual paper cut moths
"Eight months ago, I found one on the bench. It was so beautifully camouflaged as a twig that I ended up observing it for three hours," she says. With tools comprising an x-acto knife and coloured card paper, Sikander's technique has evolved over time. She says, "When I started cutting, my works were flatter. Then, I began layering them to look like sculptural relief. The time taken to complete each piece varies: from two days to 14 for birds."
Till January 4, 11 am to 6.30 pm
At TARQ, F35/36 Dhanraj Mahal, CSM Marg, Apollo Bunder, Colaba.
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