'Finding Light': Capturing the many moods of light at IIM Ahmedabad

Journeying through the sun-lit corridors of IIM Ahmedabad, photographer Richa Arora in her first-person account through images and words, describes light as a symbol of life itself.

by Richa Arora Published on : Jan 08, 2021

Self-taught Indian photographer Richa Arora walks the walk and talks the talk about her alma mater, IIM-Ahmedabad in this cinereal photo essay that leaves chromaticity futile.

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My first photography exhibition in 2010 was titled Finding Light. Subconsciously, in my photographs over the years, ‘light’ had become the principal subject, acquiring an almost physical form and dimension. And the search for ‘light’ had taken me on a captivating exploration of the many moods of light, mostly in black and white. However, as I was putting the exhibition together, my mind would constantly wander into the ‘old’ campus of IIM Ahmedabad, my alma mater of many years ago. And ironically, for a building famous for it’s red bricks, I kept imagining in black and white, the unending corridors, steps, bends…its various nooks and corners. Despite being ready for the exhibition, with subjects ranging from the gentle, languid light at the VT Station in Mumbai on a Sunday afternoon, to the imprisoned light, almost breaking free from the Alcatraz prison, it all seemed incomplete without the generous light of IIM Ahmedabad.

“Oh mysterious world of all light…” – Paul Gauguin | Richa Arora | Ahmedabad, India | STIRworld
“Oh mysterious world of all light…” – Paul Gauguin Image: Richa Arora
“Proceed, and light will dawn” – Jim Rohn | Richa Arora | Ahmedabad, India | STIRworld
“Proceed, and light will dawn” – Jim Rohn Image: Richa Arora
“…and the shadow belongs to light” – Louis I Kahn | Richa Arora | Ahmedabad, India | STIRworld
“…and the shadow belongs to light” – Louis I Kahn Image: Richa Arora
“No light, but rather darkness visible” – John Milton, Paradise Lost | Richa Arora | Ahmedabad, India | STIRworld
“No light, but rather darkness visible” – John Milton, Paradise Lost Image: Richa Arora

The photographs presented here are from that journey, and the larger journey of looking for unexpected combinations of darkness and light found amidst people and places. Beyond the metaphorical connotations of ‘light’ and an institution of learning, Finding Light at IIM-A was a continuation of looking for and capturing the purest form of light, i.e. natural light. The moods of light at IIM-A change with every turn of its graceful arched corridors - sometimes dazzling, sometimes soft, sometimes mysterious, sometimes revealing, taking on a meaning and a shape when contrasted with the darkness. It is only in that contrast with darkness, that the real value of light becomes apparent; symbolic, in a way, of life itself.

(The article was first published in Issue #7 of mondo*arc india journal – an initiative by STIR.)

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