Project Description

Photos of the gods


Tamil is considered one of the oldest languages in the world. It is part of the Dravidian language genre. Its literary tradition is rich and diverse. Historians and linguistics debate about the date of the oldest surviving work of Tamil literature, the Tolkāppiyam. Some consider it to be as old as 5,320 BCE. It was originally composed and preserved in the oral form. Only during the later period, with the support of ruling dynasties, they were compiled and committed to written form. These primary narratives inspired South Indian dance and drama, the earliest visual art forms. Later on, still moments from these movements were sculpted. The world-renowned South Indian sculptures are frontal, their primary purpose being objects of worship or part of architectural design/decoration.

‘Photos of the gods’ was shot around the 14kms stretch of Arunachala Hill in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India. Geologically this hill is dated to be older than the Himalayas and theologically Arunachala hill is equivalent to Senai and other holy hills. Nature worshipers circumambulate the hill every full moon. During my time in Tiruvannamalai, I encountered these cultural icons in my everyday life. They have become familiar to me, but then these images are worshiped by millions of people in my culture. I attempt to capture and re-interpret the visual history of my immediate surroundings.

I shot these image using a medium format traditional camera and digitally reworked to create this hybrid work. These limited edition prints are fully archival. I am using Hahnemühle acid-free paper. It will look nice when displayed as diptychs or triptychs.

Photos of the Gods (series)  |  2000 –  2008   |  120 mm Film Negative  |   Digitally Reworked

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