> New world chronicles of an old world colour

Ronny Sen

07 July - 28 July, 2016

New world chronicles of an old world colour — an exhibition of Ronny Sen’s photographs is presented by The Polish Institute in New Delhi in collaboration with Latitude 28. This exhibition is a partner event of Delhi Photo Festival 2015.

An exploration of melancholia, ‘New world chronicles of an old world colour’ is Ronny Sen’s recent work created during the photographer’s art residency stay in Gdańsk City Gallery, Poland earlier this year. 'Last winter, I spent three weeks in Poland in an old city called Gdańsk at the mouth of the Motława River. While there, I often thought of how it shared with my home city and state the many burdens of a communist past. This serendipitous connection became the locus of my attempts to connect to a place I was otherwise a stranger to. I was deeply inspired by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s seminal work ‘Three Colors Trilogy’. Taking a cue from his film, I wanted to react to everything that was going on around me, through individual shades.

I had my own baggage because I came from Calcutta where the communists had ruled for the past three decades. I failed terribly; the colours in my memory were different from what I was encountering here. Soon disillusioned, I wasn't sure what I was looking for anymore. I sought out every glimpse of the accidental flare of hues, looking in and out, unnoticed and unseen. Capturing colours, seeking them out and arranging them in order would reveal meaning, I had thought. But what I ended up photographing were mundane things, seemingly regular, even banal, which only furthered the obscurity I had meant to resolve in the very beginning. In the strange and melancholic Polish winter, I grappled anew with the fading of the left and of red --the colour which had been its most enduring symbol in the past. Desolate, I looked thus for its chance traces and eventually moved to other things, left behind unnoticed in crevices, there in the streets where Solidarity had once emerged,” writes Ronny Sen

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Ronny Sen

Ronny Sen (1986) was born in Silchar, Assam. In the early 90’s, he moved with his family to Salt Lake City in Calcutta where he still lives and works. He made his first artist book titled Khmer Din in 2013. Sen represented India at the World Young Artists Event in Nottingham (2012) and was the recipient of the Jenesys Creators’ Programme for an artist residency in Japan, on invitation by The Japan Foundation (2012). His work was part of the exhibition In Secrecy at the Art Heritage gallery (2011). In 2015, the Polish Institute invited him to be an artist-in-residence in Poland which resulted in two solo residency exhibitions at gallery Tarq in Bombay and Latitude 28 in New Delhi.

His works were also part of the exhibition Abandon, presented by the Gujral Foundation (2015). His photographs are included in the permanent collection of the Alkazi Collection of Photography. In the year 2016, he won the Getty Images Instagram Grant for his work End of Time in the Jharia coal mines, which were exhibited at Noorderlicht Festival’s show Arena at the Belvedere Museum, Netherlands and at Photoville in New York. He published his second book End Of Time with Nazar Monographs in 2017. He is working on his next book and his first feature film Cat Sticks.


  • Ronny Sen photographs a beautiful Polish winter

    Dregs of a common political past is what photographer Ronny Sen thought he would find when he moved to the Polish port city of Gdańsk for an art residency last year. Sen came from Kolkata, a city ruled by a Communist government for more than three decades, and expected to find in Poland—also an erstwhile communist regime—a landscape similar to where he came from.

    Architectural Digest
    06 Jul 2016
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  • While searching for Poland’s Red past, an Indian photographer discovers its beautiful grey winter

    Ronny Sen wanted to discover commonalities between Gdańsk and Kolkata. He found something else in the process. Last winter, when photographer Ronny Sen was at an art residency in Gdańsk, Poland, he was possessed by the idea of discovering a past that mirrored the Communist landscape of his hometown, Kolkata.

    05 Jul 2016
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  • Red is the warmest colour

    In the midst of a Polish winter, Ronny Sen searches for traces of the country’s communist past In this writer’s experience, photographers aren’t always great raconteurs. But 29-year-old Ronny Sen disproves that. Kolkata-based Sen is in town to showcase his work made during a residency in Poland in 2015

    The Hindu
    05 Jul 2016
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