L-Moon 02, R-Moon 03
Method Bandra's new exhibition, 384,400 Kms From Home, is a solo show by Aashim Tyagi. He is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography, graphic design and text. His photographs are observational and intimate, exploring the themes of memory, time, displacement, nostalgia and are inspired by documentary and street photography, cinema, music, public transport and abstract expressionism. Below, the artist tells us more about his journey and the ongoing exhibit.
In the Mid 1990s, we had a cranky old Windows PC shared by the family, which had a connection to this then new thing called the internet. And it also had a copy of Photoshop 3.1 installed, which we primarily used to scan documents. At some point, a friend taught me how to use the layers tool in photoshop, which opened my world to crude digital collages and exploring the relationship between words and images. I was fifteen at the time and curious about the internet, the ability to not only to have ‘cyber pen pals’, but also to learn rudimentary HTML and make websites was exciting and new. I know that this goofing around the early web and Photoshop was directly instrumental to me wanting to pursue arts when it came time to ship off to university.
I enrolled at University of Oregon in 1999 and did a BFA in Digital Arts, graduating in 2005. The early days of ‘digital’ meant that one had a multidisciplinary approach to the art, and mixing analog with new technology was a norm. That root learning, to have a multidisciplinary approach towards projects, has been the most influential in my approach to my practice. I tend to approach ideas as medium agnostic and explore and find the right expression that I feel fits the work. As an artist I find the process to be the most exciting. I love that my training and experience as a graphic designer informs my photography. I see the influence in terms of my composition and use of colours and layers that play an important part of my photography. Simultaneously, photography taught me the importance of capturing the moment and storytelling, which makes a nice feedback loop to graphic design projects.
R- Moon 05
384,400 Kms From Home
384,400Kms from Home is a photography show consisting of a selection of photographs that I made of the moon in the last few years. I have always been drawn to the moon and have felt a longing, as if it’s a faraway home. I wanted to photograph the moon in pursuit of capturing that feeling, so instead of a very technical/astro photography driven approach, I chose a more poetic expression which comes via the images through in-camera experimentation, layers and use of colour. This work has a very graphic design quality but has been composed and made in-camera with adjustments made to colours and contrast. Most of them are taken in the early morning hours as the moon is setting, also to capture and blend in the pre-dawn light and tones. The beauty of a project like this is that every time I want to photograph the moon, I have to be patient and be okay to give up control over the process. I don’t know what the light, weather and environment will be but the challenge I love is that it requires me to adapt and react to the scene, and pluck out a photograph to capture the moment.
I’ve been working on a few long format projects that have been narrative, photography, bookmaking and writing. It’s been slow and challenging but it’s also very exciting, if I am able to pull it off. I see that keeping me occupied for the next min or two.
Text Unnati Saini