Hasnain Soomar /India
Artist Statement: "THE MEETING POINT"
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it". Rumi 'The Meeting Point' expresses my spiritual explorations and learnings over the years. Photographed during and before the pandemic, this series of photographs is evocative of the times we have been living in. The lattice structure is symbolic of the filters we use in the age of social media. While we are caught up in portrayals, our ultimate spiritual freedom is also bound to come through the crutches we use to stay in the material world. Sometimes, they become symbols of the inevitable change we are meant to go through, when we are done with it all...
The lattice structure also symbolise my attempt to filter the fear within and without, allowing light to travel through the core of our being. As Rumi puts it ...... "The wound is (indeed) the place from where the light enters".
The other photographs in the series also come from a deep spiritual space. They look mundane on the surface but capturing these on my lens was a meditative experience by itself.
A man at the mosque performing the Wuzu (cleansing ritual before offering a prayer) is an image that addresses the present and the future, holding time in a delicate balance, creating a meeting point between what is and what is to be. The birds dancing around the water is a moment of discovering unbridled joy in performing a routine task that holds the mundane and extraordinary all at one go! When I photographed the two boys jumping in the river, it was a reminder of the ultimate taste of freedom from all fears and limitations.
For me, Meeting Point is where the opposites unite and merge in a way that the darkness gives way to light, fear to hope and movement to stillness. What seems to us as polarities are actually two sides of the same coin, one often merging into the other and one urging the other to transcend beyond the known into the vast and undiscovered unknown.
Curatorial Essay by Sandeep Biswas
The exhibition - " The Meeting Point " is a multi-dimensional
convergence of memories, duality, reality, and moments of simple pleasures
expressed through the lens of Hasnain Soomar. Hasnain who finds himself inspired by Raghu
Rai's coffee table books rediscovers India from his highly personal and
individualistic approach.He envisions mystical beauty and brings us these
evocative images that resonate with the true essence of our diverse beliefs
along with the human coexistence of love and compassion.A curious explorer of time and space, he travels
often to a few ashrams, ghats, mosques, and Moghul monuments, in search of a
connection between the human spirit and inner peace.The photographer seems to inconspicuously gaze
into the world of extraordinary symbolism with help of scripted walls, Hindu
and Islamic architecture, many facets of light and pattern sometimes
juxtaposing these with a hint of human existence, while he continues to
willingly remain a silent distant observer.The images which are created during the recent
pandemic, take us through the time when people suddenly realized the importance
of personal spaces and solitude. As we investigate the series of images, at
times one might get the feeling of discomforting isolation and a human
disconnect. At the same time contrary to that, one can also perceive them from
a freshly positive perspective of a new era of solace, a higher optimism,
spirituality, hope, humanity, peace, wellness, and most importantly inner and
personal happiness. This duality is highly intriguing and leaves the viewer
questioning.Hasnain Soomar's engagement with his creative
process is based on his deep-rooted philosophical insights which are expressed
through his poetic sensibility and infinite possibilities within his idealistic
vision as an image-maker and storyteller.
All images courtesy HASNAIN SOOMAR / DHOOMIMAL GALLERY
Hasnain Soomar is an Indian photographer who studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. He has worked on feature films and fashion photography. Hasnain also delves in teaching photography in his free time. He has taught children with special needs, children from lower income households and crafts people of India.
His inspiration is in simply walking in historic places, crowded streets, open spaces and being open to the possibility of finding a photograph anywhere. The uncertainty of things, people, and situations walking into his frame, and the challenge to make it all work as a photograph is what he thrives on.
2021 Solo show 'The meeting point' Cultivate art, India.
Solo show 'The meeting point' Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi, India.