For more than thirty years, Harry Gruyaert has been recording the subtle chromatic vibrations of Eastern and Western light. His photographs attest to his singular vision: his interest in story, public space and unexpected scenes.
This book brings together 125 of Gruyaert's photographs of India, many published here for the first time. From Gujarat to Kerala, Gruyaert captured the quintessence of this multifaceted country. Streets bustling with activity in New Delhi or Calcutta; modest villages in Tamil Nadu or Rajasthan; ghats of the great religious city of Benares; women in saffron and purple saris beating grain, dyers busy at smoky vats, an encampment of nomadic shepherds at twilight… Gruyaert’s India is saturated with colour, light and noise – and sometimes silence too.
These images move beyond stereotype to present the plurality of India. ‘Taking a photo means both seeking contact and refusing it, being at once the most and the least present,’ says the photographer. It is a question of teasing out wonder, of capturing what characterizes places. The search for density within the frame makes photography a physical experience – one that is particularly well represented here, in this multi-sensorial journey through India.
About the Author
Harry Gruyaert is known for his widely exhibited photographs of India, Morocco and Egypt, and for his distinctive use of colour. He has been a member of Magnum for nearly forty years. Jean-Claude Carrière is a French novelist, screenwriter, actor, and Academy Award honoree. He was a frequent collaborator with Luis Buñuel on the screenplays of the auteur's late films.