Abstracting the particular

by March 19, 2012

Photo by Sanjay Nanda, from his series Yantra Mantra: Lost in Time and Space

A graphic designer by trade, Delhi-based Sanjay Nanda is also a photographer of uncommon artistic vision. Fascinated by the interplay of colour, texture, and light, much of Nanda’s work focuses on the composition of abstract images found hiding in the folds of everyday reality. Though not quite as “everyday” a subject as others he has tackled, his photographs of the eighteenth-century astronomical observatory of Jantar Mantar are notable for their vibrant hues and complex forms. As he comments on his website:

Jantar Mantar – which is actually pronounced, as ‘Yantra Mantra’, Yantra for instrument and Mantra for formula – is not only a timekeeper of celestial bodies, it also tells a lot about the technological achievements under the Rajput kings and their attempt to resolve the mysteries regarding astronomy. These seemingly abstract structures create fascinating graphical forms which change throughout the day with the movement of the sun across the horizon. These images are a result of numerous undulating days spread through many seasons spent in the presence of these forgotten wonders. The Jantar Mantar used to be a part of India’s rich scientific heritage. Used to be — but today, it has fallen into disuse, and is lost, in time and space.

Sanjay Nanda runs the fine art printing studio Indipix, and more of his work can be seen on its gallery pages, including this one. More background on the observatory, meanwhile, can be found here.