My exhibit at the Hermès gallery in Bombay

I am just back from a couple months in India, Nepal and Bhutan — there will be posts on related subjects in the weeks ahead — which included a stop in Bombay for the close of my exhibit at the Hermès gallery.

A few years ago, Hermès beautifully restored a historic building on Horniman Circle (becoming, or so I heard, the first standalone international luxury store in India as all others were in hotels) that has a spectacular art gallery adjacent to the store, with arched columns and a wall of windows facing out onto the circle.  Last summer, the well-known Indian art collector and advisor Amrita Jhaveri approached me about doing a show there as part of a new, Bombay-wide photography festival called Focus — a list of participating artists can be seen here — that had taken as its theme ‘the city,’ which is the subject of a lot of my work.  Amrita and her sister Priya run Jhaveri Contemporary — they have a great gallery space of their own on Walkeshwar Road — and together with Mark Prime, who oversaw the top-quality installation, we put together an exhibit of a dozen or so large-scale prints and a wall-sized projection of a cities series I’ve been working on in which images slowly dissolve to capture the way in which urban spaces are inhabited over time.  You can see the photographs I exhibited and more details about the gallery and Focus festival on the Jhaveri Contemporary website.

I attended the exhibit’s close — though, in the end, the reception was so enthusiastic that the exhibit was extended three weeks beyond the end of the festival — and the response to my work, and that at other exhibits in the festival, could not have been more gratifying. Focus is Bombay’s first-ever photography festival (it was organized by Nic Antaki, Matthieu Foss and Elise Foster Vander Elst) and because photography is more widely practiced than, say, painting — at some point almost everyone has taken a photograph themselves — there are still places in which its claim on being regarded as a major art is somewhat tenuous.  I wrote about this in Travel + Leisure in the context of contemporary art in Cairo but in Bombay I discovered that this very accessibility made it easier for many to engage with the work on an emotional level: I had people coming up to me at other exhibits — indeed, weeks later, even one woman at a wedding in Kathmandu — telling me how much they’d liked my work, especially the projection, and asking questions about how it was done or sharing stories about their own experience of urban spaces.  Not everyone loved my work, of course, but even that was gratifying because their objections were generally sincere and interesting and in a creative life in which, so often, work is produced in isolation from the audience there was a special pleasure in being by their side as they experienced it.

So, here are a few of the images of the installation — you can click on them to enlarge and then scroll through as a slideshow.  Alas, the projection is hard to reproduce because the images are  not static but it was a series of 24-hour cycles of cities around the world — you can read more about it here — and the ones captured below are a view of the rooftops in the 8e arrondissement in Paris (first image) and the Barrio Gotic in Barcelona (last image):



2 Responses to “My exhibit at the Hermès gallery in Bombay”

  1. Lynore Banchoff says:

    Sean, your grand photographs are shown to wonderful advantage in this very fine space. Your pictures of your pictures are terrific. I like the soft light, the rounded arches and other architectural elements that enhance your art.

  2. […] here to see more of my India photos, including my exhibit in Mumbai as part of the 2013 Focus photography festival.  Or here for my photos and articles about an […]

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