Press Room
Glimpses of India’s beauty and contradictions
Published Jan 28 2012 by Akhila Kolisetty on

I recently ran across the work of Yatin Patel, a photographer, designer, and Internet entrepreneur. Yatin is passionate about the roots of India and the country’s thriving populace. His photographs provide us with a glimpse into India today.

Yatin has been snapping photographs since he was ten years old. Being the only child in his community to own a camera, Yatin would set out each weekend to capture “life” going on around him. He always found beauty in the everyday mundane activities of his neighbors. He admired how the community succinctly vibrated to a constant hum of vitality: the people, architecture and technology (or lack of it) all worked in a harmonious paradox.

Stacks: Provide a strong base and life can grow to new heights. A jewelry shop with three added floors of shops and homes serves as a perfect example.

In the 1950s, Yatin’s family founded numerous large-scale textile factories that brought great prosperity through employment, training and technology to the otherwise desolate and impoverished community. As a community leader and ambassador of education, Yatin’s family built many social enterprises to help empower the community in their town of Bavala, located in the district of Ahmedabad. Upon the sale of his first web-based company at age 36, Yatin immediately reached out to his hometown community and offered his hand in the philanthropic activities his family was involved in.

Eras: A space reflects organic growth and age, both in the buildings and the generations of people frequenting them.

Despite his detour, Yatin has never strayed far from his artistic roots. He continues to work on photography, and in November 09, he returned to India, and walked through the streets of Ahmedabad with his camera to come up with the “Sutra” collection. Sutra, an ancient Sanskrit word, means the thread or line that holds elements together – it is a display of the interplay of all the elements that coincide to create a highly functioning, cohesive community in which the ancient and the contemporary reside. In this collection, Yatin wants to reveal the textural fibers woven into the environments of present-day urban India, evocative of its ancient society and civilization at large.

Generations: The historic environment provides an intimate ground for tradition and family values.

Yatin is using his photography not only to capture glimpses of India in a different light, but also to raise money and give back. I love initiatives like this which not only have an inherent artistic, but a philanthropic and social aim as well. He has hosted art shows to raise funds for organizations such as The Annika Foundation, Kerosene Lamp Foundation, and March of Dimes.

I certainly find a lot of beauty in India’s complexity, contradictions and paradoxes. India presents to me a rich ancient culture alongside powerful modernization, poverty alongside burgeoning wealth, and tight knit community ties that sustain over the decades. I’m glad to see photographers recognizing this rich diversity and the incredible energy that India has, and is.

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