Photographer Abhishek Basu says he is impulsive by nature and doesn’t get bothered if his works are not liked by people
Conventionally, it is the mother who gets credit from most children to have made their lives and being a source of inspiration for them. Rarely does a father gets talked about. So when photographer Abhishek Basu says he got inspired by his father to take up photography, it comes as a big surprise. “My father was the first one to give me a camera and teach me the basics of photography. My understanding of when to pick up the camera and take a picture is from how he instilled that instinct in me when I was a kid,” says Basu whose two series of works titled Lucid are presently on view at Art Explore Gallery, New Delhi till September 30.
Lucid is an amalgamation of two works of Basu: The Labryinth and The Rum Diary. With The Labyrinth, the photographer explores the intricacies of his mind from a state of being curious, hopelessly lost and fearful, feeling entrapped, engulfed and overwhelmed being in a never-ending quest to find meaning. The images record this mental state and journey and various phases of struggle.
On the other hand, The Rum Diary adopts the tone of a scrapbook. The diary delves into the voyeuristic tendencies of Basu that most probably led to the creation of the diary in the first place. More lucid and surreal, the images reflect an evolved mind away from despair to a life of hope and desires. We had a chat with Basu…
How did you go about planning Lucid?
I am not much of a planner and am impulsive by nature. So Lucid turned out to be an amalgamation of two of my very personal bodies of work: The Labyrinth and The Rum Diary. I always imagined how my pictures would look like once I got to show them, even while shooting the work. It’s almost like a scene where I know how it would look or more aptly how I’d want it to look. So when Art Explore approached me, I immediately said yes and filled out their walls like I had always imagined! I am glad the gallery’s vision matched mine.
How did the scholarship you received from the Burn magazine to attend the workshop in Puerto Rico help you?
It surely opened new doors for me. It showed me the lifestyle I always dreamt of living. For example, I took an airplane for the first time in my life. It also showed me how an email can take you places if you have the right work attached to it.
What if your creative work doesn’t get good reviews (honest confession)?
My job is to produce work. My mentor, David Alan Harvey has taught me to get up early in the morning and head out with the camera. That one needs to be disciplined with regard to one’s shooting. That’s why I don’t care much about reviews. But if there are good ones, I definitely feel nice. It is good to know that I am connecting with the audience. But if I don’t then that doesn’t bother me.
In your opinion, what is that one thing which is the most important part of an artwork?
The work’s immediate impact on first view and its ability to remain in thoughts over and above the test of time.
Your ideas germinate from…
The word “creative” to you is…
…to create. And to have a different point of view.
What do you do when you are not in your creative space?
I am always in my creative space.
Share something about your family.
I come from a working class background. My father has a 9-5 desk job at Tatanagar where he collects bills of people and counts a lot of money. My mother is an entrepreneurial housewife. She dwells on a lot of small businesses she likes to put her hands into. Together with my lazy dachshund, Nano, we make for a happy and open-minded family. Apart from my immediate ones, Tejas, my fellow photographer friend has seen me through difficult times. Also, not to forget, Joy, the emotion which I have found along the way, much like the person who is now my partner in crime, and otherwise.