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  Past Continuous

Past Continuous

Published : Sep 17, 2016, 11:45 pm IST
Updated : Sep 17, 2016, 11:45 pm IST

Born into the Kapoor family, Karan Kapoor’s love for camera grew much before the camera fell in love with him.

Baga Beach, Goa, 1983
 Baga Beach, Goa, 1983

Born into the Kapoor family, Karan Kapoor’s love for camera grew much before the camera fell in love with him. By the age of 15, Karan was taking pictures, which would eventually shape his career as a professional photographer. But his first significant piece of work was the photographs that he shot in Bombay and Calcutta, stretching over a decade, studying the Anglo Indian communities and the images that he took in Goa, which after almost 40 years, shows the significant change that the cities and its people have had through the time and tide.

Curated by Tasveer, Time & Tide is an upcoming exhibition, which will showcase his poignant and often sublime work. Speaking on his series on Anglo-Indians, he says, “I was more interested in the older generation, as they seemed to be the last remaining remnants of the British Raj — people who remembered the railway cantonments, the Marilyn Monroe look-a-like contest, the ‘Central Provinces’, and so on — a world long gone.”


Drawn to the subject, both by the sense of a world removed from time and personal history — he is himself of both Indian and British descent, being the son of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal — Karan began by researching the older residents of The Tollygunge Home for Anglo-Indians in Calcutta.

A book, Time & Tide, also published by Tasveer, which will have original text from William Dalrymple and Felicity Kendal, will accompany the exhibition. In the book, William writes, “It is a quest he has pursued single-mindedly for many years and one propelled by his own genetic mix and family compulsions: not only did the marriage of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendal bring together into a wonderful sangam, or confluence, Indian and British blood at a time when both nations were rapidly and consciously moving apart, Karan’s mother also played the Anglo-Indian school-teacher Violet Stoneham in Aparna Sen’s 36 Chowringhee Lane — by far the best movie ever made on the Anglo-Indian community. No one could be better qualified to record the Anglo-Indians than Karan, and with these extraordinary images he has in many ways, taken the photographs he was born to shoot.”