Saturday, November 13, 2010


What appears to be an ordinary looking, routine urban life on the outside, suddenly gets transformed into a mesmerising event when a photographer like Dr. Johannes Manjrekar captures a moment of it in close quarters, a unique perspective which goes unnoticed with our bare eyes. Want to know how insects look like when you zoom in on them or the petals when the flowers blossom in full? Then visit Suchitra Art Gallery at Kalamandira where Dr. Johannes Manjrekar has exhibited around 40 photographs of his collections, capturing moments of urban life — both natural and human. The exhibition will conclude tomorrow (Nov. 14) at 8 pm.

The photo expo aptly titled ‘The Little Life’, exhibits a wide range of contemporary photographs taken by Manjrekar. Apart from capturing people and architecture, his photographs are mainly about 'urban nature', which includes birds and animals that are often seen in city dwellings, but with special emphasis on the ‘little life’, the insects. The extreme close-ups showing the fascinating world of insects in cities highlight the plight of these creatures, accustomed to a green, ecologically rich surroundings, now turning fast into concrete jungles due to rapid urbanisation.

Born and brought up in Mysore, Dr. Johannes Manjrekar is a Reader in Biotechnology at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat. He studied at CFTRI School and DMS. He got his graduation in B.Sc from Yuvaraja’s college, Mysore, M.Sc from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Doctorate in Molecular Biology from the prestigious TIFR.

What initially began as a mere hobby, photography grew into a passion making him completely involved in it like a professional. "I was passionate about photography since my childhood and in 2006 when I bought a digital camera, I started taking photos, but of particular interest to me was the macro-photography (close-up photographs of small objects, sometimes also called micro-photography). Gradually this interest became more and I took it very seriously," says Manjrekar who is now staying at VV Mohalla. Speaking about the exhibits he says, "I focus mainly on insects and the life style of urban behaviour. Animals are few but insects are plenty and I love to capture these small but precious life. Accordingly, I have named my expo as Little Life."

"This is my second exhibition while the first one was in Baroda. The theme of my photography is how nature adopts and survives in an urban environment as the day-to-day life-style keeps on changing due to rapid urbanisation, which may be due to an increase in the number of vehicles plying on the roads or even pollution."

"In spite of our daily routines, one should cultivate some hobby. It’s really unfortunate that now-a-days majority of children don’t know how to enjoy nature. My simple advice is, just look around you there are so many fascinating things. Instead of harping on destruction of nature, one should first observe and feel it, only then we can save nature," says Manjrekar commenting about how fast city life has robbed us of watching and observing nature and adds, "I feel happy at exhibiting my talent in my home town."

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