Photography is a highly individualistic art—one that gives a clear insight into the photographer’s vision. Delhi-based Hasnain Soomar certainly lives by this adage, and his latest exhibition of photographs titled ‘The Meeting Point’ proves it. The exhibit is on display at the Capital’s famed Dhoomimal Art Gallery till 10 February 2022.
“The Meeting Point is a multi-dimensional convergence of memories, duality, reality, and moments of simple pleasures expressed through the lens of Hasnain Soomar,” explains Uday Jain, the Director of Dhoomimal Gallery. “Inspired by Raghu Rai’s coffee table books, Soomar rediscovers and presents India through his personal lens,” he adds.
Soomar studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. He has worked on a number of feature films with Karan Johar, Ramgopal Verma, and Kaizad Gustad, and made a name for himself in fashion photography, having worked with Farrokh Chothia. He also teaches the art of photography to children with special needs, those from lower-income households, as well as the families of the craftspeople of India.
“I take inspiration from walking in historic places, crowded streets, large spaces, and being open to the possibility of finding a photograph anywhere. The uncertainty of things, people, and situations walking into my frame, and the challenge to make it all work as a photograph are what I thrive on,” explains Soomar speaking about his work.
Dhoomimal Gallery is the oldest gallery of modern art in India and is based in Connaught Place in Delhi since 1936. The gallery was started by Uday Jain’s Grandfather Shri Ram Babu. The gallery’s new swanky look after the renovation has been appreciated by many.
“I had bought Hasnain’s work from an exhibition in Mumbai which had been curated by Farah Siddiqui Khan. I instantly liked his works as they were spiritual but not religious which I feel is the need of the hour. A few months later, I met Hasnain in Delhi and thought we must show his work. It’s one of our first photography shows,” explains Jain speaking about the collaboration for ‘Meeting Point’.
For this collection, Soomar travelled to ashrams, ghats, mosques, and Mughal monuments, and captured the symbolism inherent in scripted walls—both in Hindu and Islamic architecture, while remaining a silent and distant observer. Some images were captured during the pandemic and highlight the importance of personal spaces and solitude. “These might give one the feeling of discomforting isolation and a human disconnect. At the same time, there is also a positive feeling of the rise of a new era of solace, higher optimism, spirituality, hope, humanity, peace, wellness, and most importantly inner and personal happiness. This duality is what I found most intriguing,” shares Soomar.
Soomar highlights the jaalis as being symbolic of the filters used in social media. As people focus on how they want to portray themselves, he feels there is no stopping the ultimate spiritual freedom, which is bound to come through. The jaalis also symbolise his attempt to filter the fear within and without, allowing light to travel through the core of our being. He shares, “All the photographs in the series come from deep spiritual space. They look mundane on the surface but capturing these on my lens was a meditative experience in itself.”
A man at the mosque performing the Wazu—the cleansing ritual before offering a prayer—is described as an image that addresses the present and the future, creating a meeting point between what is and what is to be. The birds dancing around the water captures a moment of discovering unbridled joy in performing a routine task. Two boys jumping into the river are a reminder of the ultimate taste of freedom from all fears and limitations.
“For me, ‘Meeting Point’ is where opposites unite and merge in a way that darkness gives way to light, fear to hope, and movement to stillness,” he says.
Putting this exhibition together took almost three to four years, and now Soomar is ready for his next venture—showcasing paintings that are a mix of abstraction and calligraphy. These works are also based on spiritualism, which is the leitmotif of his work.
Dhoomimal Gallery is preparing for the upcoming India Art Fair, which was unfortunately cancelled last year due to Covid-19. “We are currently also showing steel sculptures by Shovin Bhattacharjee which have been very well received. Alongside the India Art Fair exhibit, we will put up a show on linearity titled ‘Lines by Lines’, which captures the essence of time travel in the works of modern artists like Souza, Swaminathan, Gaitonde, senior contemporaries like Zarina, Nasreen, and Rana, as well as young contemporaries like Parul Gupta and Noor Ali,” explains Jain.
The photography exhibit ‘Meeting Point’ by Hasnain Soomar is on display from 10 December till 10 February from 11 am to 7 pm at Dhoomimal Gallery 8-A, Block A, Connaught Place, New Delhi.
The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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APPLAUSE ENTERTAINMENT BEGINS 2022 WITH A HAT-TRICK OF SHOW RELEASES IN JANUARY
Applause Entertainment has kick-started 2022 on a high note, with two back-to-back show releases. The Sameer Nair-headed content studio of the Aditya Birla Group started the year with a bang with ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ streaming on Zee5 and ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ streaming on Voot Select.
Now, Applause Entertainment is all set to score a hat-trick with Mohit Raina-fronted ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’, streaming on MX Player.
Interestingly, Bhaukaal Season 2 is Applause Entertainment’s 30th release since its inception, it is 10th offering on MX Player and also its seventh show to boast of a second season. The first season of ‘Bhaukaal’, which was released in early 2020, became a huge hit for its hard-hitting storyline based on a real-life super cop, Navniet Sekera. The second season of the show revolves around how this police officer in Muzaffarnagar, UP, busts the Dedha gang and brings law, order and peace to the region.
What makes this feat even more commendable is that Team Applause is constantly exploring different genres with every show. ‘Kaun Banegi Shikharwati’ produced in association with Emmay Entertainment, streaming on Zee5, is a story of a royal dysfunctional family featuring an ensemble of fantastic actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Lara Dutta, Soha Ali Khan, Kritika Karma, Anya Singh and Raghubir Yadav. The political satire, ‘Humble Politiciann Nograj’ produced in association with Firstaction Studios and Danish Sait, streaming on Voot Select, takes ahead the 2018 film with a new story running into 10 episodes. ‘Bhaukaal Season 2’ produced by Applause Entertainment in association with Baweja Studios Production has been eagerly awaited by the audience ever since it was announced post the release of its first outing.
DEEPIKA, ANANYA & SIDDHANT STARRER ‘GEHRAIYAAN’ TRAILER OUT NOW
MUMBAI: Directed by Shakun Batra, Amazon Original Movie ‘Gehraiyaan’ stars Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Panday, Dhairya Karwa as leads along with Naseeruddin Shah and Rajat Kapur in pivotal roles.
Gehraiyaan will have its World Premiere on Amazon Prime Video across more than 240 countries and territories on 11 February 2022. Directed by the very talented Shakun Batra, Gehraiyaan is a relationship drama that looks beneath the surface of complex modern relationships, adulting, letting go and taking control of ones’ life path.
Speaking about the film, Deepika Padukone said, “Alisha, my character in Gehraiyaan is extremely close to my heart and certainly one of the most challenging characters I have portrayed on screen. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play a role that was fun and challenging at the same time.”
Ananya Panday said, “Shooting with the wonderful cast and crew of Gehraiyaan has been an absolute high point for me and I never wanted the shoot to end! There’s a certain realness to the story of Gehraiyaan; while the film dives into the complexity of relationships it also talks about the thrill of being in love, of discovering oneself and charting ones’ path.”
ALIA BHATT CLOTHES THE NEEDY
NEW DELHI: Pretty Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt, who will soon be seen in S Rajamouli’s magnum opus ‘RRR’, is now giving back to the community through a new initiative. She launched Ed-a-Mamma, a conscious clothing brand for kids, a while back and has now kicked off a ‘Buy1Give1’ initiative, which will provide basic clothing for underprivileged children. For this initiative, every purchase made on their website will be matched with a garment donated by Ed-a-Mamma for a child in need. Ed-a-Mamma has partnered with Goonj – a renowned NGO working across India that focuses on clothing as a basic, yet unaddressed need. Alia Bhatt said, “With Ed-a-Mamma, I set out to create a world that nurtures in children, a love of nature. Knowing full well that they will look after what they love. The Buy1Get1 initiative will be used to gift garments to children in need and we hope to make kids understand the joy of sharing with people who are less fortunate.”So while the actress’ career is flying high and she is busy with numerous films, Alia has not forgotten those in need.
SIDDHANT BRINGS A LUXURIOUS HARLEY DAVIDSON HOME
MUMBAI: Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi recently brought home a luxurious Harley Davidson Sportster S, making him the first person in India to have the bike.
The ‘Gehraiyaan’ actor took to his social media to share the news of the same with his fans and followers. The actor, who rose to fame with MC Sher from Gully Boy, has certainly come a long way in the matter of just 3 years, which is a rather remarkable feat.
On the work front, Siddhant is currently gearing up for Shakun Batra’s next ‘Gehraiyaan’. He also has ‘Phone Booth’, ‘Yudhra’ and ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ in the pipeline.
SONAL CHAUHAN TO PLAY LEAD IN AKKINENI NAGARJUNA’S THE GHOST
MUMBAI: Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘The Ghost’ is a much-anticipated film ever since its announcement. Earlier it was said that the Bollywood star, Jacqueline Fernandez was cast for the film however, the word on the block is that the talented Sonal Chauhan will be playing the lead opposite Nagarjuna instead of Jacqueline.
That’s right, Sonal Chauhan fans are in for a treat as they get to see their favourite actress on the silver screen. A source close to the film said “Makers felt Sonal Chauhan was the best fit for the lead role opposite Nagarjuna in ‘The Ghost’. They felt both the actors Sonal and Nagarjuna would make for a fine on-screen pair and that’s when they approached her. The two are definitely going to portray some great chemistry in the film.”
SALMAN TO FEATURE IN GURU RANDHAWA’S NEW SONG
MUMBAI: Superstar Salman Khan will be seen flaunting his acting skills in singer Guru Randhawa’s new song ‘Main Chala’.
Female vocals of the track have been lent by Lulia Vantur, and the female artist who will be featuring alongside Salman is Pragya Jaiswal. On Tuesday, Guru Randhawa took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans.
“Love will be in air with #MainChala! Song releasing on 22nd January. Stay Tuned,” he wrote.
He tagged Salman Khan and Pragya in the comments. Produced by Salma Khan, the romantic track will be out on January 22.
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