Jekyll, Hyde and Joker: Fetish & Aesthetics with Kapil Das
Bangalore-based photographer Kapil Das sure has his Lens Kap off at the moment. Das has 3 of his haphazardly titled and dummied photobooks shortlisted simultaneously for 3 different book awards – Steidl Asia Book Award, SELF PUBLISH RIGA Dummy Award and the MACK First Book Award. The Steidl Results are out and Das will be published by the old man in a boxed compilation with his 7 fellow finalists.
But before all this was announced, Das posted a link on Facebook and said his website had been updated. The first images that actually tickled my fancy was Rapunzel, a deviant little book on hair fetish in India. The book was first conceived as a gift for his like-wise, gloriously maned girlfriend. And it’s beyond fetish, Das tells me. For him, exploring beyond cliched Indian stories and aesthetics is a challenge and obsession. I told him I wanted a copy. I wanted to smell the pages, as Gerhard would say.
Rapunzel by Kapil Das: Coated art paper 130 gsm, 21cm x 30cm, 50 pages, 28 colour and BW images, Edition of 200. Book Preview and ordering on: http://kapildas.com/Rapunzel
Aside from these book dummies, Das has also amassed numerous archives of found images of India’s hairy obsessions and, perhaps taboo, voyeurism. Blindboys was also an initiative he founded a few years ago and works with Akshay Mahajan on.
In person, Das comes off a little bit a Jekyll and Hyde character. He is brash and wacky – a joker. His photography is random, nonsensical, whimsical and wondrous; yet his day job at a firm he co-founded is all but that, working on human-centred design and on social projects burdened with research and methodology. Serious, white collar stuff you might say.
Below is an impromptu interview with Kapil Das, recorded before I took him to Singapore’s golden triangle of film and secondhand cameras. He told me he was a camera geek too.
Impromtu interview with Kapil Das
Joker book dummy preview.