Figuring it out

Sandeep TK went to Germany on bangaloreREsidency-Expanded with a plan to create a body of work around German Rainbow families. One year later, in his first solo show held in a gallery space, you find no trace of that subject. The photographer while working on the planned project, began to explore what it is to be alone. The exhibition "Singularity" curated by Sandhya Annaiah, is on view at Gallery Sumukha.

Since he was recovering from a break-up, Sandeep felt drawn to the imagery of solitary figures in the vastness. The empty spaces with tall structures, in his work, feature a single human figure — walking, sitting, looking — lingering amidst them. “And I realised they all have stories. One thinks that what has happened to him or her is the worst thing possible but when one looks out, one finds others are also going through a lot. I also collected such stories through conversations about relationships. They were alone, graceful and so independent,” says the city-based lensman.

The silence is accompanied by mystery which also piques the curiosity of the viewer. A photograph of an elderly man painting his front door sets you thinking about his life inside the house and who all live with him there. "I didn't speak to him but I observed him for a long time and realised there is nobody inside. He lives alone," recalls Sandeep, who also shot in Switzerland and Italy, in addition to Germany.

The curator notes in the catalogue: “Coming from a place like India, it was a rather strange sight for Sandeep to see a city leave such a vast expanse of unpopulated spaces. Here was a space that suddenly seemed to slow down and make him rethink the very meaning of being alone.”

In comparision with his previous work, this set of images is quite different. Sandeep is known for his portraits and also a public art work on the journey of flowers from Krishnagiri to Bengaluru.

(The exhibition is on at Gallery Sumukha, Wilson Garden, till November 10)