The Play Of Light – Towards An Exhibition!

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Born on October 6, 1887, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris – better known as Le Corbusier – was a giant of 20th century architecture. The imprint of his radical re-imagination of urban life can be found in cities as varied as Brasília and New York. In a fitting tribute to commemorate the maestro’s 50th death anniversary, Alliance Française de Chandigarh will be piloting a photography exhibition entitled “The Play of Light” for the network of Alliance Françaises in India and Nepal. The exhibition consists of photos taken by Ajay Bhatia of what is perhaps Le Corbusier’s greatest oeuvre – the city of Chandigarh itself!

"The Open Hand" - a frequent theme in Le Corbusier's architecture, a symbol for him of "peace and reconciliation. It is open to give and open to receive"

“The Open Hand” – a frequent theme in Le Corbusier’s architecture. A symbol for him of “peace and reconciliation…open to give and open to receive” Photo Credits: Ajay Bhatia

Standing roughly 250 km north of New Delhi, Chandigarh is the only completely inhabited city in the world designed by the architectural behemoth. It is often hailed as the the greatest experiment in the contemporary history of planning and architecture. While Le Corbusier was not the city’s only designer, he was undeniably its most famous – adding glamour to independent India’s grandest project.

The city’s plan is comparable to to the human body – with the capital buildings at its head, the central business district as the heart, and with the industrial areas on the eastern flank and the knowledge and education area on the other side as the two arms. The influence of Le Corbusier’s modernist vision remains strong till date – Chandigarh still employs a powerful chief architect to guide its development.

Ajay Bhatia – a documentary photographer engaged in travel, event and architectural photography – has spent more three decades in the city. The present exhibition is his third exhibition in as many years. His first photography exhibition
entitled “The Hidden Beauty of the City Beautiful” was held in collaboration with Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh. His second photography exhibition hosted by the Alliance Française de Chandigarh was entitled
“Straight Lines, Open Spaces”  (The Legacy of Le Corbusier).

The Leading Photograph for the Exhibition "The Play of Light" Photo Credits: Ajay Bhatia

The Leading Photograph for the Exhibition “The Play of Light”
Photo Credits: Ajay Bhatia

“The Play of Light” is inspired by Bhatia‘s reading of Le Corbusier’s book “Towards A New Architecture”. The book speaks
about the great primary forms of geometry: cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders and pyramids. The photographer captures the complex interplay of shadows and highlights in the architecture of Chandigarh. Much like Le Corbsusier, Bhatia imagines the whole city as a receptacle of light. He uses the 50mm focal range to replicate the the same field of view as the human eye. The result is an exhilarating vision of Le Corbusier’s modernist vision – a city which Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, aptly described as “an expressions of the nation’s faith in the future”. The exhibition will be on display in Mumbai (April 11-24), Bangalore (May 12-29), Pune (June 8-21), Delhi (July 1-14), Puducherry (Aug 17-31) and Trivandrum (Sept 20-Oct).

Siddharth BHATT

Rédaction AF Magazine Inde-Népal


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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...