Vidura Jang Bahadur: Inspiration is Everywhere
Vidura Jang Bahadur urges you to avoid imitating the works of the masters and instead, to look to your own life for influences. He speaks to Raj Lalwani about the same.
Aesthetic influences should only be one of the many influences on your work… it is only when you combine this with emotional and intellectual experiences of your own life will the work become truly original.
Looking at Other Art Forms
My work in China was a response to what I felt and saw around me—the people I met, the cinema I saw, the way in which the country was revealing more to me as I learnt the language… all this was a greater part of shaping my work. This is not to say that I have not been inspired by or influenced by photographers like Cartier-Bresson (an early influence), but in the end, photography is an extension of my lived experience.
The work of any two photographers will look different, given that their experiences are likely to differ.
The Works of Others
This is also the way in which I look at images of other people. What interests me more than what is in the image is what the photographer went through and how he negotiated with the space and subjects he was photographing. No matter how technically brilliant a photograph maybe—unless I see this connect between the image, the subject and the photographer—it usually fails to move me. That, to me, is the soul of photography.
With time and experience, your work will evolve, as long as you continue to engage with it.
Form is Important Too
That said, I would also encourage enthusiasts to understand form and learn about the medium. They need to be up to date with developments in photography and read up on the history of the medium. But it is very important that this knowledge remains an invisible foundation of their work.
About Vidura Jang Bahadur
Vidura Jang Bahadur has been shooting a project on the Chinese community in India for over five years. His style is understated, yet impactful, conveying volumes without resorting to any excess of drama. If he was not a photographer, he says that would have been running a small café or working on a farm.
15 Photographer's Secrets, Anniversary Issue, Art form, Influences, inspiration, june 2012, personal exploration, Raj Lalwani, Vidura Jang Bahadur