“Soaring High” 1954
Mr. Robi Ganguli, Photographer, will be Pondy ART’s Honored Guest at this week’s “Shooting Angles.” It is a great honor to have Mr. Ganguli present at this event where 10 professional photographers coming from across India, and, from another generation will meet the public in an informal reception.
Pondy ART is not the first to focus on photography in Pondicherry. Mr. Ganguli has been an integral part of the city’s photography scene since the 1940’s when he asked permission of the Mother to explore the field. Mr. Ganguli was very involved with the photography of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, participating in the team that opened the Ashram’s first darkroom. As a young photographer, he worked closely with the already renowned professional, Henri Cartier-Bresson, as he shot the series of famous images of life in the Ashram including portraits of the Mother. He was also one of the select few allowed to photograph Sri Aurobindo at his death and personally printed the images distributed by the Mother afterwards.
To Pondicherry’s good fortune, Mr. Ganguli did not limit his work to just the Ashram. In 1955, he initiated the Pondicherry International Salon of Photography. This annual competition entertained entrees from over 20 countries and more than 1500 images per year. It is incredible to imagine. that applicants’ images would be sent in by post from around the world and that the Customs office’s red tape was often the biggest challenge to meeting submission deadlines. Mr. Ganguli headed this Salon every year until 1983. He still has a number of catalogs on hand, that we may look forward to browsing through this weekend.
In the international photography scene, a professional recognized in his own right, Ganguli has acted as judge in innumerable competitions internationally. His images have been printed in hardcover as well as in publications like “Photography Year Book”, “Amateur Photographer”, “Photography”, and “Camera Word.” His articles on photography are also widely published in magazines including, “American Photography,” “Photorama,” ” Art and Photography” and “Viewfinder.”
To define Mr. Ganguli’s work itself, is almost impossible. He has bridged decades of development in the tools available to the artist. Film, cameras, lighting and software have changed so much in his 7 decades of experience. In everything I have read about him, and all the images I have had the opportunity to look at as he handed them to me, the only general trend I have found is experimentation. He works with color and without, with light and shadow, with form and movement. He even plays with the images with different software. Some images are architectural, others natural and still others purely human. It is obvious the fascination the camera and its many possibilities hold for him still. When one sees what he has chosen to focus on with his lens, it is often something that most of us would not have considered worth a second glance, but in fact he has studied from all angles and found more than worthy. The results most certainly deserve our attention.
Pondy ART is greatly honored to expect Mr. Robi Ganguli’s presence at “Shooting Angles” 15 September. We hope everyone with an interest in photography will stop by on Sunday at Maison Rose and learn more about Mr. Robi Ganguli’s personal “Shooting Angle” which is definitely wide.