Tag Archives: India

SPOTLIGHT: Ambroise Tézenas

As this summer brings several degree shows through the doors of The Strand Gallery, we focus on the work of emerging artists and photographers. In keeping with this theme, we will be releasing some special features over the next few weeks, on a few creatives that have caught our eye.

This week’s spotlight falls upon French photographer Ambroise Tézenas, whose mesmerising imagery has already brought praise from international audiences and critics alike.

Kowloon, Hong Kong

The Money Pit: Kowloon, Hong Kong

Born in Paris in 1972, Tézenas studied photography at the Applied Arts School of Vevey, Switzerland. Upon graduating, he began his career as a promising photojournalist, documenting complex cultural and political subjects from the start. Now Tézenas holds an extensive portfolio of successful exhibitions, showcasing his natural talents in documentary and travel photography.

His recent project Dark Tourism, investigates the rising trend of ‘macabre travel’- when holiday-makers visit sites of death and destruction out of pure morbid curiosity.  Tézenas’ own travel experiences to Sri Lanka during the 2004 tsunami planted the seed for this exploration. He explains; ‘Paradoxically, while the modern man denies the reality of his own death, he enjoys the virtual confrontation to it’.

Dark Tourism

Dark Tourism: Sichuan, China

Such topics are characteristic to Tézenas’ work, as he depicts distant locations in an atmospherically raw manner. His 2006 exhibition Beijing, Theatre of the People, juxtaposed traditional China with its modernising cityscape of the 2008 Olympics. This exhibition culminated in a book publication of the same title, earning Tézenas the Leica European Publishing Award for Photography 2006.

Beijing, Theatre of the People

Beijing, Theatre of the People:  Beijing, China

Mumbai, India

Mumbai: Mumbai, India

Other elusive locations documented in his work include Mumbai, Cuba and Turkmenistan. These capture the unique cultural realities of these places, whilst constantly maintaining their often over-looked beauty. Such work has led to a plethora of awards, as well as commissions from  publications such as The New York Times and TIME magazine.

While Tézenas ventures to more locations, he continues to capture single moments in time of our rapidly changing global landscape. Through this work and its recognition, Tézenas further cements his growing reputation as a notable modern photographer and visionary.

For more information on his work and news on up-coming exhibitions, visit Ambroise Tézenas.

All images copyright © of Ambroise Tézenas.

Written by Alexandra Hale


STRAND GALLERY PREVIEW: Wanderlust by Rohit Chawla

The Strand Gallery in association with NuGa Arthouse is proud to present Rohit Chawla’s Wanderlust, a spectacular collection of photographs capturing the powerful and raw human spirit of the Rabari tribe of the Indian region of Gujurat. This intimate series of bold photographs portrays a small, private, nomadic community, while rendering a narrative through portraiture, with a sense of the community’s raw and primal power. Chawla goes beyond the confines of traditional photography and creates a set of sensational images which express his belief in the ‘long, magical process’ of analogue photography. The compositional accuracy of this series, reveal the protagonists of a fascinating community who have retained their identities over hundreds of years, expressed through their decorative and unique traditional dress.

Chawla has had a remarkable career featuring in Vogue, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar, where he has created fine, artistic fashion photographs. Wanderlust employs the techniques of Chawla’s background in fashion and applies them to documentary photography. This incredibly unique series, documents the intensity of this nomadic desert tribe, yet accentuates the opulence of their style, through the detailing on their clothes and the concentration in their expressions. Wanderlust portrays a humble tribe in an extraordinary way.

Vogue India, June 2011, Photographed by Rohit Chawla, Edited by Rachel Lopez

This series of stunningly produced large scale exhibition prints – ranging up to 94″ x 60″ – contrasts with the intimate and humble nature of the Rabari tribe. Chawla followed the tribe on their journey through the desert, photographing them with a Polaroid camera, giving them the photographs to gain their trust. Having formed a trusting relationship, Chawla created a make-shift studio in the middle of an unforgiving desert, where he was able to isolate the tribe from their natural environment – creating an aesthetic not too dissimilar from a high fashion photo shoot.

The series radiates the dignity and tradition of this ancient nomadic tribe, through the deep concentration and seriousness held in their gazes. The images are mesmerising, Chawla has been able to capture the natural intensity of his figures, transforming them into contemporary subjects and creating an outstanding set of photographs.

Wanderlust will be exhibiting at The Strand Gallery from the 9th to 15th July 2012.