New Delhi, 20 August 2014 :: Drawn From Light : Early Photography and the Indian Sub-Continent’, an exhibition of vintage photographs from the collection of Alkazi Foundation for the Arts was inaugurated by Ravindra Singh [ Secretary, Ministry of Culture ] at IGNCA today. Ms. Dayanita Singh, well-known Photographic Artist was the Guest of Honour.
Expressing delight on the inauguration of the exhibitions, Ms. Dipali Khanna, Member Secretary, IGNCA said, “IGNCA’s endeavour has always been to reach out to the Indian masses with extraordinary art works that represent rich heritage of the country and the globe. On the occasion of 175thWorld Photography Day, IGNCA is brings two of the finest exhibitions to the photo and art aficionados. This internationally acclaimed exhibition is an attempt to bring forth the rich and rare works from South Asia that has never been showcased in India before. It’s a great occasion for the Indian audience to view the extraordinary works of FeliceBeato,Raja DeenDayal, Richard Gordon Matzene and many unknown photographers under one roof.”
‘Drawn From Light : Early Photography and the Indian Sub-Continent ’organized by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Artsin collaboration with the Alkazi Foundationfor the Arts presents for the first time in India one of the rarest collections of the earliest photographs from South Asia. Approximately 220 original photographs from the mid-19th to early 20th century are on display.The exhibition has been curated by Rahaab Allana in association with Beth Citron (Rubin Museum) and Davy Depelchin (Fine Arts Museum, Brussels). The exhibition is open till 30 September 2014.
Speaking on the occasion Ravindra Singh [ Secretary, Ministry of Culture ] said,“It gives me immense pleasure to associate myself with this exhibition. This by far has been one of the finest works on the South Asian continent that IGNCA has bring forth for the Indian art connoisseurs.The splendid work on India and other South Asian countries depicts the cultural and demographic co-relation that existed in the mid-19th to early 20thcentury.”
The exhibition has put on view more than 220 original photographs from the mid-19th to early 20th century from India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Nepal. ‘Drawn From Light’ showcases the rich tradition of both portrait and landscape photography. It has also put on show the vintage and rare works through a display of early wax paper negatives, albumen prints and postcards.
Commenting on the occasion, Rahaab Allana said, “The exhibition features the syncretic culture of the earliest of photography in South Asia. The areas investigated through the archival material looks at notions of identity, secularism, citizenship and a globalized view of South Asian heritage”.
The exhibition also showcases first ever photographs taken of the Taj Mahal and Vijayanagara. There is also a ‘Live Studio Backdrop’, which gives the viewers an opportunity to take portraits with authentic regional painted backdrops.
About IGNCA :
The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is an academic, research organization, mandated to conduct studies into ‘the arts’ as understood in an all-encompassing approach — each form with its own integrity, yet within a dimension of mutual interdependence, interrelated with nature, social structure and cosmology.
The arts here are understood to comprise the fields of creative and critical literature, written and oral; the visual arts, ranging from architecture, sculpture, painting and graphics to general material culture, photography and film; the performing arts of music, dance and theatre in their broadest connotation; and all else in fairs, festivals and lifestyle that has an artistic dimension. Through diverse programmes of research, publication, training, creative activities and performance, the IGNCA seeks to place the arts within the context of the natural and human environment through and interdisciplinary approach.
About Alkazi Foundation :
The Alkazi Foundation for the Arts is a registered charitable trust, dedicated to the preservation of the cultural history of India through extensive research on photography. Housed in the foundation is the private collection of Ebrahim Alkazi, known as the Alkazi Collection of Photography, which comprises works in the form of photographic albums, single prints, paper negatives and glass-plate negatives, painted photographs, and photo-postcards. The collection is particularly strong in areas such as archaeology, architectural history, the urban development of colonial cities, military studies, anthropological studies and topography.
Photograph & Report by Arpit Gupta, New Delhi.