Works displayed at Uddari Art Exhibition:
52 Photos in People Punjab: Portraits
7 Photos in Windows, Doors and Dwellings
3 Photos in Haunting Faces, Amarjit Chandan Collection
7 Photos in Habib Jalib Photo Profile
Amarjit Chandan: Profile
Known for his poetry and activism, Amarjit Chandan brings to light a life-long body of work in photography; perhaps a tribute to his father Gopal Singh Chandan who was a professional photographer.
Looking through Amarjit’s portraits, it seems as if he has photographed each face in a moment of ‘revealing’ of the person. Peering through the eyes of over fifty people, mainly men, Chandan displays a stubborn resolve to let his ‘subjects’ express at least part of their souls in their portraits. As Chandan becomes adept at it, his subjects become more and more willing to be ‘expressed’ by him. He provides no props, gimmicks or teck-flicks to create the environment; it is just ‘you and me’, so to speak.
It is an impressive portfolio with Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, Revolutionary. 1967; Habib Jalib, Poet. 1988; Pritam Singh, Publisher. 1993; Navtej Bharti, Writer. 1991; Balwant Gargi, Dramatist. 1992; and, Madan Gopal Singh, Singer. 2000 to mention only the first few posted here.
Chandan prefers black and white in his portraits to increase the inherent impact of each personality since he inspires the more contemplative, at times brooding, aspects in people. It is a solumn spectacle till we find the smiling, even laughing, faces of the few women in the collection. Tahira Mazhar Ali, Activist. 1999; Mano. Nakodar 1973; Kewal Kaur, Activist. 1974; and, Veronica Dewan, Writer. 1994, and a couple others; None pay much heed to the contemplative message. I have to say that the woman-presence enlivens this amazing collection of Punjabi writers, publishers, artists and activists; and, some of our very dear friends.
This may be the largest online photo collection of contemporary Punjabi art and literary community, and that in itself is a matter of pride; but to me its real value resides in the fact that it represents our diversity. People living and working in East and West Punjab, and overseas; writing in Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi; (some) women and (a lot of) men; and, people boasting all kinds of creative expressions. In addition, this is a rare chance where we can also see some of our activists and revolutionaries.
Uddari Art is indeed proud to host all the people in Chandan’s portrait collection who have contributed to our development and have enriched our lives with their creations.