Art meets design at this photographic exhibition by Rohit Chawla – ThePrint

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A woman stands next to her portrait at the exhibition | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint

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Chhatarpur: Fine art photos of Rohit Chawla adorn the spaces of a New Delhi lifestyle showroom.

The exhibition – The eye of design – hosted by Spin features photographs taken by Chawla over the years, including images he clicked on when he started his career in 1981.

The exhibition was inaugurated on Friday by the French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain. There was a discussion of the film versus digital camera, followed by a discussion with Raghu Rai on contemporary photographic practices. Rai, who is known for street photography and documentary photography, explained that contemporary photographers have neither the time nor the patience, they want everything to be fast, just like “fast food”.

Rohit Chawla posing with one of her best photos |  Photo: Manisha World |  The imprint
Rohit Chawla posing with one of her favorite photos | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint

Chawla started photography at the age of 17 for a living. “It wasn’t purely creative,” he said. But he gradually embraced the process. He started his career as an advertising photographer in 1987, but “I got too big for advertising”.

A woman looks at a photo of Rohit Chawla's boudoir at the event |  Photo: Manisha World |  The imprint
A woman looks at a photo of Rohit Chawla at the event | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint

His journey as an editorial photographer began in 2013 when he started working with India today. “It was there that I accepted editorial photography in all its glory, and these were some of the best days of my photographic career.” TO India today I have acquired a certain conceptual sensitivity to mainstream news journalism, it is always a strange encounter.

One of the photographs clicked between the missions |  Photo: Manisha World |  The imprint
One of the photographs clicked between the missions | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint
A woman loves photos |  Photo: Manisha World |  The imprint
A woman looks at the photos at the exhibition | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint

Early in her career, Chawla started out with street photography, but now her photos are more about design and subtraction. He said that now his photos have a different vocation. He said: “Conceptual photography has always been about staged images, I create photographs from my mind as well as from my heart.

The model in the photos is posing.  Most of the women Chawla photographed are non-professional models |  Photo: Manisha World |  The imprint
Most of the women Chawla photographed are non-professional models | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint
There are various photos of boudoir in the exhibition |  Photo: Manisha World |  The imprint
There are various photos of boudoir in the exhibition | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint

The exhibition is unique in its own way, as Chawla describes it as “design within graphic and visual metaphor”.

“I was tired of doing the exhibition in the galleries, where the same 200 people went. Most of them never returned to the exhibition. I wanted to be interactive this time. I think my experiment is working.

At Spin, Chawla highlighted how photographs complement lifestyle design.

“My images are all about design and they’re on display in one of India’s biggest design stores, it’s a beautiful fusion,” he said.

A seated woman poses for a photo with one of the photographs |  Photo: Manisha World |  The imprint
A woman poses for a photo with one of the photographs | Photo: Manisha World | The imprint

Chawla’s images have patterns, lines, and shadows. “I love the interplay of straight lines and graphic spaces,” he said. However, none of the images have a caption. All of them have been left for viewers to find meaning.

“Fine art photography doesn’t necessarily need a caption or curatorial note, it needs to speak for itself, fine art is open to interpretation,” he says.

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