Photograph of Mr Sushil Kumar Chattopadhyay from Kolkata, India taken by Abhijit Chakraborty
Our Stories is the theme of our most recent photographic exhibition, which has just completed its first tour around the country. The exhibition is devoted to documentary photography and features the work of 20 photographers who use the camera as a tool for documenting the natural, social and political landscapes of our times. All at different stages in their careers, the photographers come from all over the world and many have travelled far and wide to record the stories they wish to tell.
Abhijit Chakraborty is one of the photographers whose work features in our exhibition and through his series of photographs he explores the passions, environment and rituals of Mr Sushil Kumar Chattopadhyay from Kolkata, India. Through his story Abhijit opens up questions about mankind’s relationship to inanimate objects, our obsessions with ‘collecting’ and the psychology of sentimental attachment.
Mr Chattopadhyay has been collecting a variety of rare and precious materials throughout his life. What makes them valuable to him is not their monetary value, but his ability to personally connect with these items that others have thrown away. Abhijit explains that he handles each object with love, caring for them, fixing them, cleaning them and even talking to them: to him they are priceless, unsellable and an integral part of his identity.
Abhijit’s motivation for documenting and telling this story that began a year ago, comes from his interest in the idiosyncrasies of each individual’s way of life. The subject of his story makes clear black and white character types unattainable, the mystery and uniqueness that surrounds the story of Mr Chattopadhyay shows the ‘grey areas’ of identity that blur the boundaries of life.