Today is Baisakhi, the popular harvest festival of Punjab and I had the opportunity to visit two photo exhibitions reflecting the culture of Punjab in two different galleries in the city. While the Museum of Fine Arts in the Panjab University campus was open, the art gallery of Alliance Francaise was close because they observed holiday on Baisakhi. However on my request, the watchman was kind enough to open it so as to enable me to see the photographs displayed on the theme of Colours of Punjab.
Having read reviews of Colours of Punjab in two daily newspapers, I went to the Alliance Francaise to see the photo exhibition. Generally most of those who write reviews of photo exhibitions here, prefer not to comment in detail on various aspects of photographs. Most of such critics, I think, ignore such details, for reasons best known to themselves or perhaps due to space constrains of daily newspapers. Therefore, the reviews tell more about the photo-artist and less about the works, especially technical aspects.
The Colours of Punjab by Harp Farmer, nick named, appeared to be a good maiden venture touching interesting subjects concerning life in rural areas of Punjab, but to me it appeared that most of the images have basic problems with their composition and aperture.
The other exhibition in Punjab University was entitled as “ Who Kaagaz ki Kashti….” by Daljit Kaur. She had displayed photographs as well as installations which I do appreciate as an interesting idea to project rich culture of Punjab, but in none of the images I could see any human being. The installations being based on various items of daily use in homes in Punjab and each labeled in English language, could easily apprise the viewers about the life style of the Punjabis.
The photographs were of old styled doors, walls , ‘Gheeras’ used in rural areas to store cow dung cakes, ‘Ghupps’ made of hay and used to store fodder, but here too I found similar problem with images. The tightly cropped images of ‘Gheeras’ and , ‘Ghupps’ did provide an opportunity to admire their artistic formations.Her installations and images of Punjab did reflect her deep interest in culture of Punjab, but a little improvement in her photographic skills could further enhance the overall impact of her exhibition.
Hope the art of installations will become more popular in days to come.