The Chakkar

With great ease: The photography of T. S. Satyan

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On a cold October Delhi morning of 1962, Satyan visits Jawaharlal Nehru’s house to take portraits of Nehru, for TIME magazine. This photograph shows Nehru walking towards the dark corridor in the Parliament House with his back towards the camera (the viewer). Light shines through minaret-like ventilators in the background with a suspended fan from the top. Nehru who just had his portraits taken by Satyan, is looking down and holding a note or a paper. A similar photograph was published by Satyan with his article titled Remembering Nehru where Satyan elaborates on him capturing Nehru’s ‘decisive moment’ in 1962 when Nehru tried to establish bi-lateral relations between India and the People’s Republic of China.

The idea of this exhibition was to understand the workings of the mind behind the camera, what motivated him to find these moments of simplicity. He moved through situations and assignments with an ease that is irreplicable, there is an effortless fluidity that is often subdued because of the subjects he captured. This underlying artistry is what we are trying to bring out through this exhibition and we sincerely hope that people have a better understanding of this icon in the way we have come to understand him. A man of ease, simplicity, and a keen understanding of the human condition.

T. S. Satyan Exhibition at MAP Bengaluru
T. S. Satyan Exhibition at MAP Bengaluru

Rahul Mahesh (Content Writer, Communications & PR, MAP) says, “we are happy to see how the city has embraced this exhibition, especially the young people who frequent the museum. We have closely worked with schools and colleges in the city and there is a keen interest in understanding Satyan and his work. As a part of his birth centenary, we are grateful to the Satyan Family for sharing his work to our collection. It was very important that his family enjoyed the exhibition we have put up in his honour and we were glad they embraced this exhibition for what it’s worth.”

In the run up to the exhibition, the team at MAP has collaborated with some schools and had students participate in creating zines for the exhibition and a few enthusiastic teens were involved in finding more about Satyan. “At a point when analogue photography is making a comeback, we have found great interest from the photography communities and enthusiasts who have flocked to our exhibition to explore the works of this local icon. We constantly see people in the galleries exploring and understanding his work, there is a special interest in Satyan’s camera that we have conserved and put on display at the exhibition. This has piqued an interest in our visitors. We are glad that this exhibition has had a very positive response from the city and we look forward to keeping the memory of Satyan’s delicate gaze alive through our collection,” says Mahesh.

Read the full story that first appeared on The Chakkar here:

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