A selection of photographer TK Sandeep's work
T K Sandeep is a photographer whose work consists of moody video poems and photo poems. One of his recent projects was a calendar in which he got hijras and transgenders in Kerala to tell him their dream professions, and then he photographed them dressed as those professionals.
As a young man, TK Sandeep was troubled by what he thought of as a dark secret, his desire for men, particularly older men. “I knew I was different and I thought it is really sick to have ‘abnormal’ feelings for men who are really old and I thought I am the only one suffering from this and I thought it is a secret that I am going to carry to my grave.”
As a young man, he explored relations with older men who were artists, and his evolution as a photographer and videographer grew from all he learnt from them and from the pain and shards of love and loss.
“Precisely all the men I have been in love with are artists and I was doing everything to impress them. I couldn’t paint; all I was able to do was to take photos,” says TK Sandeep.
Many of Sandeep’s videos and photographs tell stories in a fragmented and searing bildungsroman made of bits and pieces. These bits and pieces have made him, and he tells these stories both in visual and textual form with a barely audible yet plangent sound, like the depths of the sea to which he is relentlessly drawn.
Sexuality is a key part of TK Sandeep’s sensibility. “What would my life have been if I wasn’t queer? I certainly would not be an artist!”But it also taught him empathy.
“Owning up the identity of a Queer takes time,courage and inspiration,” TK Sandeep says, but also “sometimes I see myself in other people and I think ‘Oh it’s a similar story.’”