panorama of ethereal images with an innate spirituality that evokes a sublime,
blissful experience engages you as you encounter Param Tomanec's
Rasa Yatra photographs. With their focus on eternity,
rather than a momentary reality, his photos offer you an inner journey, a
pilgrimage beyond the obvious and the physical or bodily toward the meditative,
spiritual, and blissful-: sat-chit-ananda.
devotional iconography that is replayed visually by this artist suggests
in-depth meditation, study, and research, which the artist confirms preceded
his experimentation. About fifty carefully framed photographs and an art film
in the collection feature some amazing portraits of people, pilgrims, and
priests beside pristine sites, in engaging situations, or behind the scenes.
Various primeval landscapes, sacred mountains, incessant waterfalls, and
flowing holy rivers (some illuminated in moonlight or star light), live
performances, temples, celebrations, and festivities that connect people with
nature all figure in his work.
gave up a promising commercial career in films to live a monastic life and
embark on a spiritual journey of self-discovery. The confluence of cultures
that Param has encountered across Africa, Asia, and Europe is reflected in his
current repertoire, with its meditative leanings and philosophical layering.
empathy for the natural environment, cleaner air, and mother Earth figures
prominently in his imagery. The beauty and bounty of nature resonate through
his photo montage, which presents the world as a pilgrimage, where people come
and go. But the earth and the environment, his work seems to urge, must be
sustained for future generations. The characters and visuals he presents,
remarkable for their spontaneity and soulful silence, and the artist's
emotional rapport with his subjects and various situations, penetrate the
viewer's innate feelings, beyond what the naked eye can see.
artist uses fairly complex cinematographic neutral lights, density filtration
and optics to explore the relationship between the time impression of moving
and still images. His visuals evoke physical beauty and the soul of the image.
Param tells me he spends hours on location, looking and waiting, till his eyes
and mind meet with that of the subject. And they talk, trying to understand
each other, before the photography really happens. What he captures then is not
just the physical persona but sensitively photographed portraits, landscapes,
mind-frames, scenes, and celebrations that transcend the obvious. The subject
is figured holistically, with subtlety, soul, and character in place.
multi layered mythology and intricately entwined narratives, featuring people
and iconic landmarks, inundate Param's art-scape. Aesthetically rendered in amazing compositions and
palettes, his photos call for nurturing nature and preserving the environment.
His work invites you to meditate and penetrate deep within and beyond the
surface, to soak in the image and celebrate life, while also doing some
introspection. Param's Rasa Yatra
takes one on a pilgrimage into the heart of spiritual India, a metaphor for
a delight to present RASA YATRA: A Pilgrimage into the Heart of India as the
first temporary exhibit of the Museum of Sacred Art (MOSA). MOSA is nested in a
picturesque Ardennes, Belgium and it has two main galleries in the Chateau de
Petite Somme, also known as Radhadesh.
launched the Museum in 2009. Since then its art collection has grown
significantly. The collection has grown so significantly that today it offers
close to 1600 pieces of Indian tribal, traditional and contemporary works, such
as paintings, sculpture, film and photography celebrating the idea of devotion.
A brand new MOSA gallery has been recently opened in Villa Vrindavana mansion,
just five miles from the historic town of Florence in Italy to better serve the
photographer and filmmaker, Param Tomanec, is a
talented artist with a unique vision. Throughout his work the viewer can
discover the vibrant spiritual culture that endures in India. He reveals as
well some of the major challenges India faces today as
consequence of fast-paced, often forced modernization. Working with Param for
the past several years, it has been for me a learning event, as he has the
natural ability to make you see things you are used to see from a quite
different yet coherent, enlivening perspective, which is an invaluable asset
for the visual poet.
fortunate to have several distinguished writers contributing texts: Sushma K. Bahl, Joshua M. Greene
and Silke Lange. I envisage for the show to travel to
other museums and cultural centers worldwide. Rasa Yatra truly is an odyssey where the viewers can experience
deep emotions as if one would visit such sacred places as an insider. I am
happy that the Museum of Sacred Art can offer you a pilgrimage into the heart
of India in this book.
JOSHUA M. GREENE
Image as Pilgrimage
Portraits of Sacred Place
PHOTOGRAPHY & LOCATION
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