Magnetic light of the fire mountain

Photos of the gods

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

My first encounter with the Agni Shylam was incidental. Aruncahala hill is considered as one of the important elements ‘fire’. Geologically this hill is dated to be older than Himalayas and theologically Arunachala hill is equivalent to Senai, Machapuchare and other holy hills. Dravidians (nature worshipers) worship the hill and perambulate the 14 km circumference through out the year. The recurrent references to hills, caves, saints, idols, angels, gods, and goddesses during my early childhood religious (Islamic) surrounding made me search for the deeper essence of nature and nature worship. Even though I came here incidentally, I realised that this is a place that celebrates light, an important ingredient for my medium. I was being pulled by the magnetic light of the fire mountain.

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

I started observing and visiting the town regularly. For almost twelve years I didn’t take any photographs, I was immersed into the mystical dimension of light. In the year 2011, I moved to Tiruvannamalai. ‘Photo’s of the gods’ is one of the earliest series (12 photographs) that I made in Tiruvannamalai. All the analog images of the ‘Photos of the gods’ series is taken along the 14km girivalam path. Everyday, I encounter these sculptures as mundane objects, but then these are owned and worshiped by millions of people. For me, ‘Photos of the gods’ series is a symbol of Dravidian culture and identity. It is not a philosophy but a dharshanam (visual culture) in Dravidian (pre-vedic / paganistic) society. May be, I am worshiping these forms at my subconscious level or I am using them as contemporary art objects for my art practice. Either way, it makes me feel that I am part of the pre-hindu (vedic) society and I look this images as a parallax of the culture…

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24"x24" / 2008 - 2010

Photos of the gods / Archival pigment prints / 24″x24″ / 2008 – 2010

19th October 2014
Abul Kalam Azad

(C) All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of  contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. Text transcribed by TSL Nadar. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing, For more information call {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405  or mail to ekalokam@gmail.com / FACEBOOK – Abul Kalam Azad 

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