TAMIL NADU

Breathing life into architecture

Picture perfect:Ajay Bhatia’s work was showcased in an exhibition themed ‘Le Corbusier in India, A Play of Light’, at Maison Colombani in Puducherry recently— Photo: S.S. Kumar

Picture perfect:Ajay Bhatia’s work was showcased in an exhibition themed ‘Le Corbusier in India, A Play of Light’, at Maison Colombani in Puducherry recently— Photo: S.S. Kumar  

Ajay Bhatia’s photographs shed light on the marvel of Chandigarh’s modern architecture

Chandigarh has held the distinction of being the first planned city of modern India ever since the country gained independence. Now, a Chandigarh-based photographer has shed light on the marvels of the city’s modern architecture by capturing its beauty through the lens.

Ajay Bhatia’s photographs reflect the ingenuity of Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier — the mastermind behind Chandigarh’s modern architecture.

Over the past year, Mr. Bhatia has criss-crossed the country, travelling from Chandigarh to Amristar, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Thiruvananthapuram before reaching Puducherry.

He was in the city for a photo exhibition themed ‘Le Corbusier in India, A Play of Light’, organised by Alliance Francaise of Pondicherry last week. In an interview with The Hindu , Mr. Bhatia stated that “Corbusier architecture is about imposing order on top of chaos.”

Using Leica with 50mm lens for his endeavour, he has followed the ‘arc of light’ to freeze the beauty of Chandigarh through his photographs. “I waited for the arc of light at different times of the day to see how it falls on the buildings. There was an interesting play of light and shadows on the buildings. This allowed me to plan the timing to photograph the architecture of Chandigarh,” he says.

Inspired by Le Corbusier’s book —‘Towards a New Architecture’, the photographer concentrated on the cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders and pyramids rather than entire buildings to showcase the work of Le Corbusier.

Mr. Bhatia, who left his catering business to take up photography, relies on creativity rather than automation in this digital era. “The camera has become a machine which takes photographs on its own and the human element is missing and the framing now is too hurried. The slowness required is missing and the camera is doing everything. When you rely on a machine to do everything, you are bound to make mistakes. I don’t think a machine can replace a human being. There is no satisfaction or creativity involved in that. Your eye and mind are far superior to your lens,” he asserts.

Besides his love for architecture, Mr. Bhatia also directs his lens towards humanity to “bring out the beauty in the ordinary.”

“I love to shoot ordinary people. A lot of photography (street photography) is being eroticised. The ordinary is the most extraordinary thing. Cinema and television try to make things spectacular. But there is nothing more beautiful than the ordinary,” he says.

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