Mohit Tiwari's Photoseries Captures The Melancholy Of An Urban Commuter
When we travel through the city day in and day out grinding and hustling, do we ever pause and take a moment to observe any of the countless unknown faces of the people around us? They are just like us — with similar jobs, aspirations, feelings, hopes, and dreams. When we are inside a bus or a crowded train, we are in the midst of a carnival of strangers; each with their own journey and story. Sometimes we chance upon a stranger and our eyes meet, and we exchange a friendly smile and move on with our lives. We never really know what is going on in the stranger’s mind.
Growing up requires letting go of our rose tinted glasses, that usually tend to frame all of the future expectations we have in life. As we assimilate into the working culture and go through the process of ‘adulting’, the acceptance of a seemingly mundane life becomes the norm. While many of us get to professionally take part in jobs that truly fulfil us, they still require a certain routine that tends to get rather exhausting over time.
This reality comes on full display in our public transportation, where each face narrates a similar story. Bound by responsibilities and the constraints of adulthood, they reveal a hidden melancholy. A photo essay entitled ‘Modes of Transportation’ translates these emotions through a series of portrait shots, as they attempt to get up close and personal with a protagonist, showcasing his mundane existence through the use of muted tones. The portraits highlight the pathos and melancholia of only one particular traveler but there is an evocation that the feelings of the photographer’s subject echo with the many strangers who travel with him.
Delhi-based photographer Mohit Tiwari has always found something special in capturing people and his surroundings. The visual artist explores the many expressions of his own daily existence through many of these shots as well. It acts as a reminder to people who often blend into the crowd, urging them to be attentive of a reality that they might be creating for themselves.
In a candid interview with Homegrown, the photographer shared more details about his photoseries, his artistic journey, and his inspirations:
Tell us about your project.
The project basically revolves around the idea of melancholia and how people carry it in their day-to-day lives with various types of modes of transportation.
What are some things you learned while putting this project together?
I learned that it's really difficult to shoot in public spaces especially when you're an introvert and have a camera in hand and you're directing your model and taking the picture simultaneously and everybody's just looking at you while some of them are talking about you as well. Suddenly, you realize you're the center of attention and that's not a good feeling to have but you still carry on because you want the shot that resonates with the emotions you had in mind while ideating the theme.
Describe your creative process and the purpose with which you create.
I always pen down the concept I have in mind. Afterward, I choose the subject I want to work with and who I think can emote the particular emotions as per the theme of the shoot. I always ask them to mention if there's anything that's off-limits to them because that helps me to build the project based on their comfort level. For me, it's always important to put my message across through the pictures I take— aesthetics and framing are the secondary factors. Emotions are the most crucial thing in the photos as well as the videos I create.
What are some of your biggest influences as an artist?
My day-to-day life, the experiences I have, and everything I see around are some of the biggest influences on me.
Who are some artists currently on your radar?
Vivek Raj Singh, Kairosqui, Hashim Badani, Adina Salomeh, and chogiseok