The language comes from a hallowed painterly tradition, appropriated by the stage, with spots and dimmers replacing brush and paint. And then, of course, by photography and cinema anchored to light and shadow and their teasing articulation of images. Soham Gupta adopts chiaroscuro to pick out the physical details of and around his subjects to dive into disturbing narratives that prise out dark footnotes from beneath urban dazzle. In fact, the darkness is dense and tactile in some frames and might put one in mind of the way Caravaggio figures are carved out of their depths at times.
Gupta’s lens is as much a psychological tool as an unblinkered sociological enquirer. The human element and its context are finely knit into a texture that’s as fragile as it’s brutal, provoking both guilty sympathy in viewers and their horrified recoil.
Soham Gupta (b.1988) completd his Diploma in Photojournalism at the Asian Center for Journalism, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines in 2012-13.