Angst series by Soham Gupta
2013 – 2017
“Some lose all mind and become soul, insane.
Some lose all soul and become mind, intellectual.
Some lose both and become accepted.”
SohamGupta’s odyssey of the last few years provides us with a glimpse into a world where the ‘insane’ is accepted. Hence, those marginalised individuals dwelling in the underbelly of Kolkata, the City Of Joy, proudly appear as the protagonist in his photographs. Their quirky corporeal figures pop out from the melancholic darkness of a city night, only to leave us in utmost shock and discomfort. The silent portraits of them ‘scream’ at us with their piercing direct gaze, pointing at our ignorance of scarred humanity.
Soham, having memories of an isolated childhood, has always been empathetic to those who are secluded by society. And, therefore, his gaze is not the voyeuristic one of an outsider, rather that of an insider who is also a patient listener of their stories. This eventually leads them to pose before the camera and consequently elevates their status from mere subjects to collaborators of the artist. Many a time Soham focuses his lens on trees and ruined architectures, which haunt the viewer with the grotesqueness of similar sort.
An avid reader with a background in literature, Soham developed ‘Angst‘ series since 2013 only after attending a workshop by Antoine d’Agata and Sohrab Hura. This particular body of work has been much acclaimed at the 58th Venice Biennale curated by Ralph Rug off. Photographs from this series later got published as a book from Akina Books, which was nominated for Les Prix du Livre: Photo and Text Book Award. His works have been part of several national and international exhibitions, biennale and Art Festival such as Tbilisi Photo Festival, 67th Jeune Creation and Chennai Photo biennale among others. In 2018, the British Journal Of Photography selected him as one amongst sixteen promising photographers at an international level.
Check out Soham’s website to learn more about his works.
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Sources of inspiration:
- Venice Biennale: Soham Gupta’s portraits turn the gaze back on viewers
- Ones to Watch: Soham Gupta
- Meet Soham Gupta, whose haunting photographs of Kolkata went to the Venice Biennale this year
Image courtesy: Soham Gupta