IIT: grey matter, drab hostel rooms, bad canteen food, stressful exams and the distant din of the world beyond the campus walls. An effervescent imagination then can be that rare foolproof escape hatch out of these labyrinthine pressures.
Ajay Koli hails from Guna, a small town in Madhya Pradesh. He arrived in Bombay following his admission at IIT. Studying to be a chemical engineer, Ajay has in his spare time been actively using the camera to cast reveries on photographic emulsion. His visual experiments represent his emotional landscape. In this way he successfully keeps the subject ambiguous; Ajay wants the viewer to interpret the images.
Autoportraits lost in the bougainvillea. Holi colours frozen midair. Headless torsos in the Powai lake. Cotton smoke leaving the lips of a mustachioed man. These seemingly effortless and spontaneous images follow a well-planned methodology. Unusual for a photographer, Ajay’s ideas are first converted into schematics drawn on paper. Then follows the process of carefully photographing and finally remixing via software. The technical curiosity of an engineering student is clearly present. He even uses a digital protocol, the Brenizer Method, which really just sounds like a chemistry experiment.
Playful and intriguing, Ajay’s photos are like visual earworms that stay in your mind.
– Fabien Charuau