In every frame, there's a whisper of nostalgia, a dance of memory, and an essence of home.
We become entangled in the demands of the day, the mundane tasks and fleeting moments, and often, the true essence of home fades into the background. It is, then, no surprise how astonishingly easy it is to overlook the profound significance of our homes. An archive of our shared experiences, it's only when we're distanced from it that we realise how deeply tied our lives are with the essence of a home.
Akash Dhaka's work takes us on a journey of loss, of emptiness, and of the profound impact that leaving home can have on one's sense of self. The Delhi based photographer delves into this universal theme, the essence of home with his latest photo series, 'Home(s) I left behind', which sets out to investigate the thoughtful realisation of what home truly represents — the pangs of separation, the ache of emptiness, and the revelation that follows. For Akash, this photo series also acts as a catalyst to fullfill his own longing of home.
In his latest series, Akash navigates the portrayal of these sudden realisations and the subsequent introspection that often accompanies leaving one's abode. He described an evening when he was about to have a cup of tea. As he prepared tea in the kitchen, a wave of emotion washed over him. By the time he reached the living room, tears flowed freely. It was an unfamiliar occurrence, shedding tears for his home. In that moment, he began to untangle the intricacies of his roots, from his birthplace to his upbringing, pondering the journey that led to 'Home(s) I Left Behind.'
Akash's work is not just a visual exploration; it's an in-depth investigation into the multifaceted nature of home. For some, home is a physical space, an area to reside in. For others, it's defined by the people who inhabit it. And yet, it can also be the feeling of safety and security that molds our identities. Akash's photographs weave together the threads of formative relationships, memory, and nostalgia; encapsulating the essence of what we call 'home.'
The bracketed 's' in the title, 'Home(s) I left behind,' symbolises Akash's ongoing quest to understand whether a home is a feeling, a place, a landscape, or the dwelling he has lived in. His images offer a glimpse into the three homes of his past, each one a chapter in the story of his life.
In his photography journey, Akash's work employs a narrative of simplicity, a keen observation of the world around him with simple thoughtful compositions. He draws influences and inspiration from the works of Indian filmmaker Imtiaz Ali and photographers like Bharat Sikka, Saul Leiter, Harry Callahan, and Luigi Ghirri. Akash's creative process revolves, around capturing the compelling moments that surround him, and seeking connections between them. Currently, he is dedicated to developing various photographic series, driven by the ambition to explore and express himself through his lens.