Tracing his journey to France in the 70s, 82-year-old photographer, Prof. Parmanand Dalwadi has captured incongruous and unusual situations in a collection of around 50 photographs with his Nikon F. These pictures combine humour, tenderness and observations of French society which are described with short stories for each photo. Showcasing a combination of portraits and landscapes, ‘A Visit to France, 1970: An Exhibition by Parmanand Dalwadi’ was inaugurated today at the Gem Cinema in Jaipur. The collection included photographs of Paris as well as the rest of France. In a discussion during the exhibition, Mr. Dalwadi shared his experience and the story behind his displayed photographs. Mr. Sudhir Kasliwal, Ms Mugdha Sinha and Ms Swati Vashishtha participated in the discussion. The exhibition will be open for visitors till 31 August, from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Speaking about the exhibition, Prof. Dalwadi said: “The exhibition is a creative response and poetic culmination of my friendship with legendary photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson and a testimony to his unique style of photography. Cartier-Bresson is known as the father of candid photography and street photography. When the National Institute of Design (NID), where I started, offered me the opportunity to meet and accompany, Henri Cartier-Bresson, my photographer’s eye approached this art in a way that was unimaginable before. Throughout his memorable visits to India, our interactions profoundly influenced my photography style. He taught me to look at my country with a new curiosity for clichés that I perceived as normal and did not see before. ‘A Visit to France, 1970’ documents life in Paris as I witnessed it during my life-changing trip to France, which was offered to me by Cartier-Bresson. In contact with a new culture, I desired to photograph everything that seemed weird or funny to me and to tell the story through images of France. I especially loved sharing the stories behind each photograph as well as the moments of wonderment that inspired my life as a photographer for the last 50 years.”
Director, French Institute India, Jaipur, Ms Sanjana Sarkar said that the French Institute India was excited to display Prof Dalwadi’s extensive collection which is a cultural confluence of the Indo-French relationship. The exhibition showcased the artistic expression of both countries. They aptly capture the essence of 1970s Paris, through everyday people. Dalwadi’s style of photography was much shaped earlier by Cartier-Bresson whom he assisted when the latter toured India in 1965. In return, Cartier took Dalwadi to Paris to work with the world-renowned photographer, Pierre Gassmann.
About Prof. Parmanand Dalwadi
Prof. Parmanand Dalwadi, born in a craftsman family in Gujarat, graduated in Fine Arts from M.S.U. Baroda in 1963. He completed his post-graduation in Visual Communication from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in 1968. He accompanied Mr Henri Cartier-Bresson, the world-renowned photojournalist of high repute on his journey to northern India in 1965. In return, Cartier-Bresson picked him and placed him in pictorial services in Paris to work with the legendary Pierre Gassmann with funding from the Ford Foundation. He met his wife Radium in France and she can be seen in a few of his captured stills. Parmanand Dalwadi was the President of Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad for 6 years.
About French Institute India
The French Institute / IFI (Institut français India) is a section of the Embassy of France responsible for connecting and implementing Indo-French human exchanges. IFI performs numerous functions: from promoting academic and scientific exchanges between higher institutes of learning and research to enabling student mobility and promoting the French language. They also foster links between artists, scientists, NGOs, professors, enterprises, film professionals, publishers and more. They support partnerships in research and innovation, capacity-building and interactions with civil society, vocational studies, as well as artistic and cultural partnerships in performance, books, film, fashion, design and more.