Seeking Moksha is informed by encounters with people who seemed more lost than found in their search for transcendence, as perhaps I was too.
In 2011, I walked to the source of the Ganga in the Himalaya to collect water for my grandfather, a Hindu priest, who was on his deathbed. I hoped it could give him some connection with a place of which he had spoken, but was never able to visit. By the time I got back, he had lost his memory, and could no longer recognise his grandson.
In subsequent journeys I often fantasised about spending my time as a hermit, and considered finding a cave to live in. During those visits I collected wildflowers, stones, earth and water to offer to those close to me, and carry them, in spirit, to the places where these things came from.
Seeking Moksha evolved through such personal journeys. It is informed by encounters with people who seemed more lost than found in their search for transcendence, as perhaps I was too.
Seeking Moksha, printed in India in a first edition of 1,000 copies, is the first book of photographs by Nishant Shukla. More info and availability: www.nishantshukla.com
This edition has been published and enabled by the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts: Photography Grant 2016. AWARDS: Winner Alkazi Photobook Grant 2016, Shortlisted for Kassel Dummy Book Award 2016, & Shortlisted for Unseen Dummy Award 2016.
Nishant Shukla is a British-Indian visual artist and photographer currently based in New Delhi, India. His personal body of work addresses questions of identity, origins and essence through an exploration of the margin: peripheral times, spaces and people, commemorated with images and objects, and entangled into his own journey.
In 2009, he was selected for FreshFaced+WildEyed at The Photographers’ Gallery (London), focusing on emerging talent in the UK. In 2016, he was awarded the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts: Photobook Grant for the publication of his first photobook “Seeking Moksha”. Nishant is also a co-founding member of BIND, a multimedia collective based in India. While running a public photobook library for the region, BIND is interested in fostering new narratives, developing original practices and using inventive forms of engagement with the medium.