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Friday, 22 August 2014

A visual passage to Chennai

Rich in culture: Ramesh showing his photo of a religious ceremony in Chennai.

Rich in culture: Ramesh showing his photo of a religious ceremony in Chennai.

THE public can take in the unique charms of Chennai, India, through the lens of photographer S.A. Ramesh in an exhibition at The Star Pitt St. in George Town, Penang.

Ramesh, 53, is displaying 68 images in the solo showcase titled ‘Chennai Nalla Chennai’ which opens to the public today at the first floor of the building in Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling.

The visual feast of the Tamil Nadu capital, previously also known as Madras, encompasses its residents’ way of life, customs and traditions, landmarks, places of worship, festivals and quirks that make it tick.

Chennai-born and bred Ramesh, who loves strolling the city’s streets to capture these candid everyday scenes, hopes his photographs give viewers a better insight into his beloved hometown.

“It is a vibrant, multi-faceted place that is also rich in history,” he said of the city.

Besides sharing its charms with the world, Ramesh believes his snapshots are also a good record for posterity.

“Today, many of these scenes are part of daily life.

“But years from now, they might be gone,” he opined.

He added that the exhibition’s title is a play on the popular 1967 Tamil movie song Madras Nalla Madras.

Ramesh took up photography at a very young age after an uncle gave him a box camera.

He continued to pursue his passion up till his college days, winning many competitions and awards along the way.

Photography then took a backseat as he pursued a career in banking, with stints at various places in India and also Austra- lia.

Ramesh rediscovered the hobby several years ago and now spends his weekends snapping away.

His exhibition opening today also coincides with the 375th Madras Day, celebrated on Aug 22 yearly to commemorate the founding of the modern city.

It was on Aug 22, 1639, when Francis Day of the British East India Company secured a grant for a three-mile long strip of land, comprising fishing villages, and established Fort St George.

Ramesh felt Penang was the ideal venue for his exhibition as the state is home to a large Tamil population and Chennai has a history echoing that of George Town.

The showcase is a joint collaboration by the Indian Cultural Centre of Kuala Lumpur, Think City and the George Town Festival.

It will run from 10am to 5pm daily until Sept 22.

Admission is free.

Tags / Keywords: Northern Region , chennai nalla chennai


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