?Indian Wisdom? through French lens
AN OPEN-AIR photography exhibition by renowned French photographer Olivier Follmi was inaugurated here today at Veethi Sankul, the indoor museum of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya by noted academician and former director of Indian Council of Historical Research, Prof S Settar.
The exhibition has been organised by the Indo-French cultural centre — Alliance Francaise de Bhopal — in collaboration with the Museum of Man and with support of the French Embassy in India. It would be on display till April 6. .
Olivier Follmi is a multifaceted personality and has won several awards for photography, film direction and also for his books.
His film ‘The Frozen River’ had won the prestigious Grand Prix at the festival of Royan in 1991. Addressing the audience at the inaugural session of the exposition Frank Lelarge, director of the Bhopal wing of Alliance Francaise, informed that the exhibition is aimed at enhancing the bilateral relations between India and France.
He said that the photographs displayed here had been selected from lens man Olivier Follmi’s book ‘Indian Wisdom’. The book includes 365 photographs taken by the photographer between August 2003 and April 2004 from different parts of India and brings out the cultural diversity of the country. The 40 giant-size photographs on display have been personally selected by Follmi for the exhibition.
A large number of these photographs showcase portraits of people from various cultural backdrops of the country while landscapes and architecture also find place here. Lelarge explained that the photographs are the elucidation of the perception of the artiste about India and its culture.
What is striking is that unlike most other photography exhibitions on India that focus on poverty and backwardness as there theme, Follmi’s interpretation is largely on the cultural and secular nature of the nation, as he rightly describes that the exhibition focuses on the original contribution of India’s living heritage to an understanding of the dilemmas facing the human race.
So the onlooker can view photographs of a devotee praying at the Ganges, a man offering namaz at a mosque and worshippers at the Golden Temple all at the same place- Indian Wisdom. Apart from these there are also photographs of the Himalayas, an old Buddhist temple, women in traditional wear, children and landscapes.
Follmi claims that photography allows him to approach others and communicate by the simple signs of complicity and says that he puts everything into taking a photograph to bring out the best in someone.