Wrestling with a new vision, the Rid Burman way

By Sukant Deepak

New Delhi, Jul 7 (IANS): "As a child, I always had inspiration around me, thanks to the fact that my parents are artists. There were books on art and fantastic music ... Saturdays would be about visiting new exhibitions in Delhi. So, yes, my family has been instrumental in shaping my mind. Of course, I have huge shoes to fill, but I have always been encouraged to chart my own journey," says ace photographer Rid Burman.

Born to major artists Paresh Maity (Padma Shri recipient) and Jayasri Burman, Rid's works, part of the recently concluded group exhibition 'Memory Leaves' presented by Gallery Art Exposure were a revisit to the darkroom and exploring processes that were being practised in the 20s, 30s when photography was slowly being discovered more, and surrealism and photography were finding a bond. "I was also very inspired by my mother whose world is immersed in spirituality and the cosmos. Hence, I wanted to explore the concept of energy transfer -- positive to negative and maybe find a more interesting way of interpreting it by using light and its reactions on paper," says the artist.

A pass out from the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography in the US, Burman says that training there opened his eyes to a completely new horizon and helped him expand his thoughts and ideas. "Besides being taught many new techniques, being there helped me expose myself to a thriving American popular culture and art, which changed a lot of my thought process."

Adding that training and discipline are always assets to cherish, he feels there need to be a few institutes and good institutes. "Education as a business is never really a good idea," says Burman who after passing out worked as an assistant to Steven Klein and Mark Seliger before returning to India in 2008 and collaborating with major brands including fashion magazines.

For someone who still believes in the old-school printing process, the photographer asserts that printing in the darkroom feels more true to his practice. "It is the idea of being able to create something manual that is exciting. Hand-made is more artisanal."

Believing that it is in India that he finds something exciting every day, Burman, one of the top fashion photographers in the country feels there is a very high art side to fashion, which unfortunately is still a bit far away in this country. "It is more about commerce and a little bit of showing off I guess. So yes, even I do find it a bit shallow."

Currently residing in Paris, the photographer says that the very air there is about art. "Besides the fact that there are abundant museums and interesting exhibitions at all times, the city allows me to slow down and gives me space and food for the mind. Working on a book on 'Kushti', he concludes, "I want to photograph masculinity, but in a very different form."



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