22nd June – 21st July 2023 | Bihar Museum, Patna
Nature Strikes Back
As a curtain raiser to the upcoming Bihar Museum Biennale, photography exhibition ‘Nature Strikes Back’ by Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain will be showcased at the Bihar Museum, Patna.
Curated by Dr Alka Pande, the chief curator of Bihar Museum Biennale Edition 2, this thought-provoking exhibition will be inviting visitors to explore the darker side of nature and its delicate relationship with human existence.
Throughout history, nature has been celebrated by poets, writers, and painters for its lush and fertile landscapes. However, Lenain’s lens captures a different narrative, focusing on the ravages of time and the impact of human intervention on the natural habitat. While documenting the deterioration of the environment, the haunting beauty of his images captivates viewers, inviting them to contemplate the intricate balance between man and nature. The exhibition features a series of evocative black and white photographs, each offering a unique perspective on the decaying remnants of our environment.
One such image portrays an abandoned double-decker bus, entwined with healthy creepers, symbolizing nature’s mourning for the loss of its former beauty. As viewers progress through the exhibition, they encounter scenes of abandoned buildings, engulfed by trees, shrubs, and creepers, vividly illustrating the stark yet poetic effects of time, environment, and human habitation. Lenain’s artistic vision combines elements from both Western and Eastern traditions.
Working with his signature style of grids and columns, he presents a collection of 41 frames, seamlessly blending landscapes and vertical compositions. In this mesmerizing interplay between man and nature, Lenain prompts contemplation of the delicate balance between the two forces.
Dr. Alka Pande, the Curatorial Advisor of the exhibition, remarks on the profound impact of Lenain’s work. “Lenain’s photography transports us to a space where the lines between the Occident and the Oriental blur,” she notes. “His images capture not only the fury and wrath of nature but also its inherent beauty.”
Having traveled extensively across India, Lenain’s lens has captured the essence of 18 vibrant cities, each contributing to the overarching narrative of ‘Nature Strikes Back’. From the sacred city of Varanasi to the remnants of colonial history in Kolkata, and the maritime charm of Kochi, Lenain’s photographs encapsulate the powerful clash between man and nature.