Samsul Alam Helal
September 2erd to 31st October
Love Studio is a portrait series about a studio in Jurain, Dhaka. This is a commercial area and it is home to numerous industries. Many of the people who work there strive for a better life but nothing changes much in their world and life continues in the same way. For them, the studio offers a chance to perform any role they want and escape from the reality of their life. The scenic backdrop is versatile, people from all walks of life can become a hero, a king or act out their dreams and hopes.
I started this project in Love Studio, an old studio of that area. I myself live in this area, and I have observed their hard lives up-close.
I enjoy representing reality in an alternate space, in the harsh reality of people struggling, and for me this seems to be the rare moment of self-release. What we see isn’t necessarily the whole story, and when I take pictures, I try to delve into the fictional aspects of the story. A boy working at a roadside might be a movie buff, and if I photograph his story, I will try to explore his love for movies rather than his daily life.
Tipu, a young boy, was placed next to a dummy of the actress Shahnaj in the studio. Tipu wouldn’t let go in an imperfect raw honesty. And similar to this, a truck driver turns into an action hero, twin sisters transform into Greek goddesses. This is an opportunity to escape from the banalities of real life, and it seems symbolic, not only of the escapist qualities that photography can grant, but of regaining control over photographic techniques previously used to exert Western role.
Through my photographs I want to continuously present their dreams, hopes, and desires from their unreal world.
Samsul Alam Helal
Samsul Alam Helal is a documentary photographer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He completed his graduation in photography from Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.
Helal wants to tell the stories of people and especially of minority groups, and neglected classes. Through his photographs, he explores their identity, dreams and longings to raise our curiosity and question. He often likes to stage in a studio setup where dramatic moods and vibrant colors are loudly presented. In oppose to mere fiction, Helal’s work represents a reality in an alternate space.
His work has been exhibited at Singapore photo festival 2014, Eyes On Bangladesh 2014 New York, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art 2013 Sunderland, Chobi Mela International Photography Festival 2013 Bangladesh, Festival of Promenades Photographiques 2013 France, 8th Angkor Photo Festival 2012 Cambodia, Delhi Photo Festival 2011 India.