India is bewildering: it takes you off-guard and makes you lose your bearings. It stimulates you intellectually. There’s an energy there that springs from a sense of constant chaos: the people, the cities, the bustle of the crowd. What immediately grabbed me was the multiplicity of elements you can use to create an image and the orgy of colours that you must attempt to control, in order to avoid stumbling into cliché. Harry Gruyaert
Through a dozen of journeys over the last forty years, Harry Gruyaert has tirelessly criss-crossed the Indian subcontinent and bears witness in this book to a country in tension where permanently coexist tradition and modernity, effervescence and quietness. Multiple details, different layers are tangled in these photographs, most of which have never been seen before, oscillating between vivid colours and a nearly monochromic palette. The air is saturated with colours, light, noise, sometimes silence too. By sharing his multi-sensorial experience facing over the years the mysteries of this country, the Belgian photographer paints a contrasting picture that is the antithesis of exoticism.
Harry Gruyaert narrates, in the introduction, his discovery and fascination for India. While different excerpts from the Dictionnaire amoureux de l’Inde by French author Jean-Claude Carrière punctuate this visual exploration of the Indian subcontinent.