I can see myself only through a mirror. And I know that I would never see myself like other would see me. Being a mirror lover, I let people see the world through a mirror. Prior to which, there’s an array of glasses. An array of conductors and semi-conductors known as sensors, which lies behind the mirror, and senses everything. A gentle press on a button called shutter button let the memory card record what I saw through a mirror. And they call that a Photograph. A mirror aided cameras, with a memory card are what they called Digital Single lens Reflex Camera 😀
Sometimes, like fashion, technology keeps on changing and revolving. Sometimes bulky cameras are the no. 1 fashion, sometimes not. Sometimes, handy cameras are more fashionable. Handy cameras with a flipping mirror is near to impossible…(may be). When size does matter, technology comes to the rescue…Hence a camera technology without a reflex-mirror was developed.
Being a Leica fan for a very long time, but who doesn’t afford, I sold my 7 years old DSLR and some accessories, and invested it for a camera which look alike Leica the most (they might not like it, though)… a Fujifilm mirrorless aka an SLT camera. Customizing all the knobs and buttons to make it more ergonomical (like my DSLRs), I started to see the world through a translucent glass. My vision is now in translucence.
Here are some few pictures through my translucent vision. Of course, this is not a review article of a camera…just about pictures made by using fujifilm X-E3. If you wanted to read about the reviews and comments of this camera, just google it! 😀
One of the reason why I opted for a smaller camera is street photography. Just a few minute across the Bara Bazar…
At the end of the day, I remember Gabriel Fuchs words “the more people are interested in photography, it is the manufacturer who gained the most, not the user…”
Pedology is a part of an ecological science that deals with the study of soil. In which, determination of soil texture is an important part. Silt, Clay and loam are the three important particles of soil texture. Their concentration in the soil determines the texture and physical quality of a soil. These are some few lines that I could remember from my formal education about clay and other forms of soils.
For me, soil is a growth medium. Soil is an anchor. But to many, soil is not just a growth medium nor just an anchor. It is a medium for their expressions.
Everyone knows about pottery. Normally we get our Porcelain and ceramic products from the Mandarin source. And of course, they are normally meant for domestic uses. Hence, pottery, to me, was more of a functional works, than artistry, until I met this couple in Aug. 4, 2017.
Being an art follower, my artist friends – John and Kimtea, a Kala Bhavana Alumni along with Thara, took me to Goalpara, a village next to Santiniketan. While returning, we went to the studio of this couple. Their studio and their house were a creation, skillfully crafted, and artistically conceptualized. It would be every artists dream to have such a studio!
I have been studying, teaching and researching on ecology for quite a few years now. I campaigned for ecological conservation among the teenagers. I used to talk about living in harmony with nature. I used to enjoy camping in the wild, among the bushes and the trees. But never ever have been connected with nature as much as I wished to.
Here at Boner Pukur Danga, Santiniketan, I met two artist, whom mother nature matched them together perfectly. They draw their inspirations from nature – the trees, the bushes, the grasses and the socio-cultural lifes of the Santhali community. Even though they could easily get their medium through online market, they prefer the materials which nature provided them. They dug the soil, and prepare their medium themselves.
For a 3dimensional art works like ceramics, shapes and forms are the two important elements, in fact the whole concept is influenced by these two elements. Being a nature lover, Bityut and Lipi’s inspirations of forms and figures which they incorporate in their art works are from nature itself.
When asked why they live in such an isolated place, “I love the culture, traditions and the lifestyle of the Santhali community. If I lived in their village, I would distract them, so I choose a place where I could see them, where I could witnessed their simple yet riched lifestyle; a place near by them, without disturbing them” Mr. Bityut Roy replied.
“I am not a trained potter, but a painter. My interest and sources of inspiration is from the nature. My love for fine art and nature brought me here” said Mrs Lippi Biswas.
Bityut and Lipi tie a knot in 1995. Since then, they have been in this field together. They enjoy what nature had provided them. For them, conservation is a lifestyle.
As you walk into the studio, you can feel the swaying of the trees, the melody of the swirling leaves. It seems like a transect walk in a tropical forest, amidst the fog and the mist, accompanied by a drizzle to turn the mercury down.
You can hear the rippling streams. You can feel the chirping birds that are perching around, the croaking of a toad and the aroma of wild flowers blown by the cool breeze. At one corner, you can hear the rhythm of a Santhali percussion and the melodious tune of the womenfolks. It feels like we are more connected with mother nature.
For those of you who love nature and fine art, it is a must to visit the ‘Studio Boner Pukur Danga,’ but you have to be extremely careful not to break those fossils of nature embedded in an art work. And of course, buy from them!
My second visit was on May 30, 2018. This time, I was accompanied by my lovely wife Rebecca and Mr. Jubal, a ceramic artist from Kala Bhavana. My wife was so much drawn into those art pieces that she was reluctant to leave!
There’s a hymn by Reginald Heber (1783-1826) we used to sing, which read –
“What though the spicy breezes, Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle…”
Since then, the name Ceylon has been lingering in my mind. The Lord showed His mercy on me, and giveth me the privileged to experience the spicy breezes that blow across the Indian Ocean, for a week. Like the hymnodist said, it was a beautiful country, which earnestly longed and sacrificed for peace.
Yet again, my camera was my diary, it freezes those moments, that portray Sri Lanka, the nation, that wished me “Ayubhowan” (May you live long).
Deities of the Kohomba
A twin percussionists played the Geta Beraya in a vibrant rhythm. The dancers swirl and swing to the groove of the percussions, and occasionally sang the vannam (a kind of recitation). Most vannam describe the behaviour of animals.
Kandyandance is believed to originate from the dance performed by the deities of Kohomba in central Sri Lanka.
The innaugural procession of the SACYN 2017 was led by these dynamic Kandyan dancers.
A sweet smile was their response, as I point my lens towards them, a Sinhalese family. All through the week, I have noticed that the Sinhalese communities are a happy community.
One of the major battles the Sri Lankan’s are facing is the battle, with nature, for land. Impact of climate change has been suffered by the country. Submerging of land is one of the major impacts. Land dispute between the Government and the citizens, especially the grassroots is another battle they are fighting. Submerging of land and the 30 years’ war the country had gone through enhanced the dispute.
All these internal conflicts and disputes are a family matters of the country. But climate change…its a matter of the earthlings as a whole!
Life along the Salt Canal
Reclamation and submerging of lands has always been a subject in an Island ecosystem. Several lands are often washed off or submerged by the sea waters. The Muthurajawela wetland in Negambo, Sri Lanka is also among those, often submerged by salt water. A canal was built by the British to drain the salt water in 1802 and named it Hamilton Canal (aka Dutch Canal). At present, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.
Houses are constructed along the canal, leaving only a narrow footpath, without a railing. It seems the settlers are well adapted to it, and never fell into the canal. On the contrary, I was told that a few moments before I shot this photo, a three-wheeler fell in it, but from the other side of the canal.
Fishing industry is one of the most blooming industries in the Sri Lankan economy. The government has envisioned a large scale fishing industry.At present, the fishing community comprises of the traditional fishing community with an improvised or modernised oruvas (sailing canoe). These fishermen are the grassroots of the society, continuing the fishing legacy for more than a century.
The Government’s new policy on the fishing industry is not so welcomed by them, as they have a suspicion that they will be overthrown by the corporate. The National Fishery Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) endlessly fights for the rights of the fishing community.
If the policy is empowered, not only the grassroots will suffer, but the method adopted by the fishing industry is detrimental to the environment; increasing the rate of erosion and submerging of coastal low lands. Fighting against both the climate change and the policy agonised the fisherman.
As the government is eyeing to enlarge the fishing industry, the traditional fishing communities, the grassroots of the society, are in despair. To them, fishing is not only a passion, but a life and a legacy.
With the advent of the corporate equipped with hi-tech fishing gears, the fishing legacy of the indigenous community is fading day by day, dwindling year after year.
There will be times when the traditional fishing technique will be seen only through art works, when the oruvas is only a museum collection. When those times come, they’ll ponder upon the good old days, their glorious days that fade…
After hearing all the country’s dark side, I met this young boy, who just came back from school. He was neither bothered by the past nor the future, but enjoyed the present. A confident smile was his reaction to the lens being aimed at him.
He might not understand the struggle that the Lankan’s had gone through. He might not be aware of the bloody war that was fought. The consequences of the war were beyond his perception. But he’s enjoying the moment, he’s the new generation, a generation of peace and tranquility.
Walking the Negambo City
Negambo is a City on the west coast of Sri Lanka, north of the capital, Colombo. It is famous for its lagoon and beach.
A Lottery counter on the roadside had an ample amount of customers.
We were relentlessly searching for a street food hawker. We finally managed to find this guy. He might be a Sri Lankan Tamil, and the fruits that he hanged suggested he’s a Hindu.
The internal politics of the country is beyond our knowledge. Many blamed the Government for not providing sufficient humanitarian aid to the civil war refugee. This picture, reminded me of those that still suffered the consequences of the civil war.
On the contrary, this Tamil gentleman gestured the sign of peace. Ironically, the Sri Lankan Civil War was fought between the Tamil separatist and the Sri Lankan Government.
As she finished her noon prayer, a believer rejoicingly left the Church. She was sitting and praying at the back pew. She was wearing a hearing aid. I, oftenly, used to think that what the mainstream society called differently-abled are more devoted and consecrated to their faith.
St. Stephen’s Church has a long history. Built in 1877 and consecrated on Jul. 31, 1880, was declared as Archaeological protected monument in 2011; and it belongs to the Anglican Church.