• Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Exhibition captures duality between medieval and modern cities

New Delhi, Aug 9 : Presenting photographs clicked by photojournalist Rajib De, an exhibition titled "A Tale of Two Cities: Hampi and Newtown" opened here on Thursday. It places the two cities side-by-side, depicting how completely they are different from each other.

On view at the India International Centre (IIC) here, the exhibition brings out the visual binary between a mediaeval and a modern city.

It is a photographic tale of two cities -- one a historic city now in ruins, and the other taking birth from Indian soil.

Karnataka's Hampi, a thriving polis between the 14th and 17th centuries, now lies deserted and silent, devoid of its medieval glory.

However, the city of Newtown in West Bengal is still rising out of the rural soil, with a completely different photographic landscape.

A striking photoset shows an image showing monkeys occupy what remains of Hampi, in juxtaposition with another capturing Newtown's children in play.

Speaking to IANS about his photographs, De said he has tried to place the duality between two times -- ancient and modern -- beside each other.

He said he started documenting Newtown -- a neighbouring city of the Salt Lake-based photographer -- as a "nature lover", but as it started developing, it made for a fascinating photographic tale.

The project of photographing both Hampi and Newtown started in 2010, he shared, and ended last year.

With only a fraction of his nearly 1,500 photographs from both the collections on view here, De said he has a lot in store.

Using the visual effect of black and white panoramic photographs, De's work narrates the power of time and a city's gradual rise to its prime, and then its inevitable downhill journey.

De has worked with The Telegraph, The Statesman, and The Bengal Post, and is currently employed with the Kolkata-based newspaper Sangbad Pratidin as their photo editor.

The exhibition will be open for public viewing from August 10-20.

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