Abul Kalam Azad has been making smart phone photographs as connecting anecdotes for Project 365. He has created several hundred lo-fi images depicting the life and culture of this ancient town, recording routine or chance meetings, casual events or details of his own daily life. Project 365 public photo archives will be locally preserving these images for public access and research. After traversing through analogue, digital, painted, manipulated images, Abul has consciously shifted to smart phone image making in a bid to utilise its nuances.
His series of smart phone images are titled 365 Days – A Myopic View; it is made of 365 images that are sliced off Abul’s life in Tiruvannamalai. Despite the episodic nature of the series, and of course, of photography itself, there is an innate sense of continuity existing among the images. This owes partially to both the photographer’s solid preferences in composition and choice of subject, and also to the visible growth of certain recurring subjects, sometimes suggesting a gradually developing human story in the background. In general, the images are themselves narrative, but perhaps not in a traditional sense – the narrative is built on the viewer’s knowledge of the culture. This may be true for all image making, but Abul’s choice of medium and conscious utility of this particular kind of narrative-building makes a marked difference in the unfolding of stories. While rooted in the photographer’s own personal and social life in the town, they provide observations and insights into the cultural, artistic, architectural and historical truths, while some images maintain a whimsical touch.