In his hometown of Gurgaon, Parth Gupta paints a poetic image of the open spaces being engulfed by rapid urbanisation.
The love that I have for open spaces originates from having lived in the densely populated city of Dhaka. The six-month stay made me claustrophobic, and coming back to these stray grounds in my hometown, I felt a sense of liberation; I could finally breathe. But over time, I came to realise how urbanisation was engulfing Gurgaon, and documenting this city undergoing such change, for me, took a center seat. Hence, morning walks during the winters became an everyday ritual.
Initially, I would make pictures on my phone, to understand the space, more as a form of immediate documentation of one’s hometown. Eventually, as I revisited these images and shot a few more over a span of 12 months, a pattern began to emerge. The mist was creating images, and I was drawn to it subconsciously. The same misty effect went on to dictate the shape of the project that you see here. It showcases a sense of eeriness, of engulfment, of decay and loss.
Terra Firma is a visual depiction of how cities in India are changing and spaces are vanishing rapidly, owing to the urgent demand for urbanisation. With this project I aim to portray a yearning of dissipating emotions, in order to convey a feeling of longing for these open spaces, which will soon disappear.
My long-term motive is to make images that serve as a memento of time passed, spaces discovered and people met… pictures that turns into an experience for the viewers and evoke certain emotions that stay with them.
—As told to Vedika Singhania