Nature - NOMINEE: Asis Kumar Sanyal
Photo © Asis Kumar Sanyal
A PIECE OF PARADISE
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As the eagle flew up on the Golden land of America, I looked down and felt like gliding in the air forever viewing the real to surreal beauty of nature.
I am basically a street photographer from India and have traveled extensively within my country. Things took a turn when I won a Photography award held jointly by National Geographic and Intercontinental Hotels Group in the year 2007. I was given the most priceless and memorable reward … to attend a few expeditions conducted by National Geographic on different locations in the Americas in 2008.
As I started traveling taking flights from Newark, New Jersey, my temporary shelter for six months , I saw a very common thing—people are always in a hurry, running around doing errands and the needful. As soon as they boarded a flight, they became oblivious about the outer world. But according to me they were missing out on a very integral part, which the mother earth offers . It is the picturesque beauty of nature. I remember when my first flight took off , I happened to look down through the window (I was provided with a window-seat at the rear) and that is when I found paradise on earth. Landscapes with beauty that mere words couldn’t describe. Beauty, which took me into another world – from reality to surrealism and fantasy. I immediately made it a point that I must have a window seat at the rear every time I fly to capture those moments in my camera. What followed was an ignition of passionately capturing the beauty of the land through views much higher than the eagle. Every time my flights took off, I started capturing this macro beauty, which later turned into magnanimous and even larger than life pieces of Art. And when I just stare into them, I am carried away to distant lands of blissfulness. Here I share with you a part of my Paradise.
Asis is a self-taught photographer. Photography was not his profession but a passion since school days, which ultimately turned into an obsession as a result of which he took voluntary retirement from his Bank’s service in the year 2000. He has had no formal education in photography. However, he attended two National Geographic Photography Workshops under Mark Thiessen and Jim Richardson at Santa Fe, USA and at San Miguel de Allende, Mexico respectively in 2008 as a part of his Grand Award in Intercontinental Insights Photo Contest, 2007. Being sponsored, he also attended another photography workshop in LOOK3 Photo Festival, 2008 in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA under David Alan Harvey.
He used to participate in different photographic salons and competitions both national and international since 2003 and in the process won numerous awards and exhibited in many countries. Till date, the most significant award he won is the Grand Award in Intercontinental Insights Photo Contest, 2007 organised internationally by National Geographic Society, NGTI Ltd and Intercontinental Hotels Group plc, London. He also won 2nd Award (Merit of Excellence) in Nature category of the International Colour Awards, 2007 and 2nd Award (Merit of Excellence) in People category of the Black And White Spider Awards, 2008. He won two Nomination Awards in Humanity Photo Awards, 2009 organised by China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA) and UNESCO and won the ‘World of Difference’ category award in International Environmental Photographer of the Year (EPOTY), 2009 of CIWEM, U.K. In 2009 he also won an award of Best Portfolio in All India Photography Competition organised by State Lalit Kala Akademi, U.P. In Better Photography Photographer of the Year, 2009 he was the winner in ‘Man and his environment’ category. Two portfolios of his work were nominated to the prestigious ‘Prix Pictet’ Swiss Award, 2009 on Earth. In Feb. 2011, he won the KODAK-Better Photography Golden Roll Award, 2010. In ‘2010 WPGA Annual Pollux Awards’, he won two First prizes in ‘People-Single image’ category and ‘Portrait-Single image’ category. The other significant awards he won are one second prize and two third prizes in ‘Zoom in on Poverty Photo Contest’ organized internationally by UNDP and Xinhua News Agency, China in October, 2011. In International Nikon Photo Contest 2016-2017, Asis won a 2nd Prize in OPEN AWARD Category. The other significant aspects are participation in the Photography Exhibition ‘Click! Contemporary Photography in India’ organized by the renowned Vadhera Art Gallery simultaneously in New Delhi, India and London in February—March, 2008. And participation in ‘Snapshot’ photography exhibition organised by Indian Contemporary in Hongkong during November, 2010. Participation in (1) An International group exhibition of Painting & Photography and (2) ‘What Lies Beneath’ Photography Exhibition at State Art Gallery, Hyderabad and at Lalit Kala Akademy, New Delhi respectively in 2017. Asis also participated in the International Artists’ Residency organized by CHITRASALA in 2015 at Nahargarh, Rajasthan in India.
In September, 2013, Asis conducted a two-day workshop on Street Photography in Kolkata. He along with two other photographers also gave training in photography to inmates of ‘Anand Bhavan’ a ‘Home’ in Howrah run by a Spanish NGO for four months from Sept.,2013 to Jan.,2014; the outcome of which has been published as a book titled ‘Through The Eyes of Girls’ from Switzerland .
At present he lives in the City of Joy, Kolkata with his wife and only son.