There are many meanings to the symbols of 'shunya' or zero. While many see it from a negative eye, there are some who see it from a positive eye as well as it also signifies infinity.
In order to bring out the positive aspect of shunya, an exhibition titled Shunya — A Journey was recently organised at the Bikaner House, in Delhi. On display were Shreekant Somany, a photographer and artist Rita Jhunjhunwala where through their artworks and photographs celebrate the five elements; earth, water, fire, air, and ether.
On one side, there were Jhunjhunwala’s mixed media works on paper inspired by Benaras. Speaking to the artist, who has used mixed media on paper, she says, “To me, Banaras means something more than visuals which is full of colour and buzzing with activity.” and as to why the show is called shunya, she explains, “I see the amalgamation of the five elements coming together and making it a whole and that is why we call the show shunya from where the journey begins and ends.”
She points out that she felt good about going back to watercolours after a long time and then adding a different kind of paper.
“It is a very rare art these days because oils and acrylics, you can repaint when something is gone wrong. In watercolour, what is done is done,” she expresses and adds that she is fascinated by it. She continues, “One stroke of brush can’t go wrong so that intensity of work is more — it is the excitement and intensity of work that comes is more.”
The other aspect of the show was Somany’s photographs shot in Ladakh, Tibet and all across the Pamir. Speaking to the photographer, he says “The sheer raw beauty of the mountains fascinates me. It is very exciting to see something like that. The excitement is of seeing a creation after you have clicked to see what you have created.”
Most of the photographs were in monochrome and he is completely fascinated by it. “Monochrome gives a completely different dimension to the picture. Monochrome speaks to you — it shows you the emotion,” he expresses. He adds. “All the photographs I have taken, there is a sense of immediate belonging. For me, a photograph is what I have perceived while I have taken the photograph, and if the viewer also has a similar experience when he looks at it, then it’s a photograph.”
When asked about how he felt about capturing the photographs and putting them up for everyone to see, he responds, “I feel beautiful. It’s a great satisfaction that little do I know about photography, I get to share it with everyone.”
So what does he want the viewer to see here, he concludes, “I want the viewer to enjoy (what they see). If they are able to enjoy, that is the greatest joy for me.”...