Metaphors of a transcending dream…

“I like to photograph my dreams”

Trust in dreams, for in them is the hidden gate to eternity, said Kahlil Gibran. But, for Shiv Kiran, one of the Project 365 photographers, dreams are the gateway to photographs. “My dreams combine verbal, visual and emotional stimuli into a non-sensical but entertaining story line. I do not understand the purpose of my dreams, but intentions to document it have always been there, be it the series ‘Son of Sea’ or ‘Red Man’…. I like to photograph my dreams. To me, photography is not just a medium of communication. It is a medium through which we can create a world, a world that we all know can never exist”.

Project 365 photographer Shiv Kiran
Project 365 photographer Shiv Kiran

Shiv is originally from Yellamanchali, Andhra Pradesh. The beauty of Ladakh has moved many, and a few ordinary people have been reborn as photographers there. Shiv Kiran’s journey is one such story. While he was pursuing his masters in Computers, he began with shooting on campus, at college fests and then worked with Rahul Lal and Rohit Lal as a concert photographer. But it was that one trip to Ladakh that changed everything for him. There was another turning point in his life when Shiv delved deeper into the subject, when he learnt the History of Photography, studied the masters, their lives and what photography was all about in reality. He looked at the world differently and started shooting what he truly believed in. After he assisted renowned photojournalist Prashanth Vishwanathan on assignments on wheat harvesting in Jalandar and another series called ‘Cancer Express’, (Bhatinda village) he started to enjoy documentary photography and began to work on interesting stories. He is fascinated by surrealism, and enjoys making pictures that does not necessarily have a meaning, but more a feeling. Shiv has exhibited his work at the International Photo Festival, Ahmedabad, 2011. He also did an exhibition with Arnav Rastogi in Kuzart Lane, HauzKhas Village, Delhi, in 2012. His concept of ‘Son of Sea’ – a series that he worked on, has been largely appreciated. He is also a part of Fseven Photographers, a collective of professional photographers. He is working on a project titled “Deeper in Transit” as part of Project 365, Tiruvannamalai.

“Some dreams are very difficult to talk about, as something that happens does not relate to reality at all, simply triggered through our sub-conscious way of thinking. And some are triggered through our experiences in the real world or the conscious state. Deeper in transit is one such journey, where my dreams travel through the light and darkness, whatever that means…”, he adds.

"Deeper in Transit" / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives
“Deeper in Transit” / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives

This church was one such journey for Shiv. It had started from his dream. Leo James, one of the Project 365 photographer who is documenting the presence of Christianity in Tiruvannamalai shared this image. This was once a place of worship now abandoned and used by drug addicts. Inside this holy place we can find alcohol bottles and pack of cards spread all over. To Shiv, this conveys a different meaning altogether. He said, “In this place (Tiruvannamalai) of lord Shiva, who says transformation is part of life and the story of this abandoned church is surely one such transformation”.

Shiv’s quest is philosophical and attempts at creating visual anecdotes of his dream(s). “I do not have lucid dreams unfortunately and so I cannot say what next. But it progresses, sometimes the transitions make sense and sometimes it is complete non-sense. That is how dreams are supposed to be, I think. The inception of this series was with another visual, which was clicked later. I was in search of a water body near to hill. I had sleepless nights because it was there every-night and I had to find it. It was during Ganesh visarjan we found the water body. But only while I was going through the photographs I noticed I found the hill exactly similar to my dream.

"Deeper in Transit" / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives
“Deeper in Transit” / Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives

The hill represents God Shiva himself and the boat is the faith we are sailing upon. We all are in search of Moksha after all and most of us do not know which is the right boat to sail on….”

(to be continued…)

Project 365 is a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHIC ART PROJECT initiated by EtP to photo-document the fast changing ancient culture and contemporary lifestyle of the ancient Tamilakam territory. During the first phase, forty photographers will be documenting the multi-cultural aspects of #Tiruvannamalai, South Indian heritage town over a year period (Aug 2014 – July 2015). This Project is led by contemporary Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad. FOR MORE PROJECT 365 IMAGES, see #etpproject365 In the next five years, EtP will document the Sangam period ports Muziris, Tindis and the cauvery basin culture and lifestyle.”


Disclaimer: Image (C) Shiv Kiran / Project 365 PUBLIC archives.

All rights reserved. All the images published in this blog is copyrighted property of the author and belongs to PROJECT 365 PUBLIC ARCHIVES. Profile of Shiv Kiran by Ami Gupta / EtP. Reprinting / publishing rights reserved by the author and EtP (PROJECT 365 public archives). Prior permission is required for reproduction / re-publishing. For more information about Project 365, contact EtP at {0}4175 237405 / {0}94879 56405 / / FACEBOOK – Project 365

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