Fine Arts Photography is in Demand Nowadays!

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Manish Sehrawat, Associate Lecturer, IIP Academy for Fine Arts and Research Centre

Will NEP 2020 provide boost for a course like Photography?

NEP 2020 provides students the option of pursuing inter-disciplinary education. Earlier one had to complete Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and get a degree before pursuing MFA; however, with NEP 2020, both BFA and MFA can be merged together to provide a comprehensive subject knowledge. Second, NEP 2020 provides more scope for research-oriented courses. Third, there’s a provision for multi-disciplinary courses, meaning if a student is pursuing Science then, too, he can pursue Arts. Overall, NEP 2020 has come at the right time when the Education sector needed it the most.

What are two new subjects that IIP has introduced?

IIP has included two research-oriented subjects – Ethnographic Portraits and Fashion Documentary. Ethnography is the study of people and their culture. We have borrowed this concept of photography from the famous American photographer, Edward Sheriff Curtis. He was the one who merged ethnography with portraits. These subjects are taught to BFA and MFA students in the second year and third year, respectively. We provide students with opportunities for Ethnography research, wherein they need to visit a part of India and live sometime with the ‘subject’ in study and then prepare ethnographic portraits through photographs. In Fashion Documentary, the idea is to merge fashion with documentary and delve into the hardships faced by fashion models and designers through these photographs. We also teach them how to do Quality Research in Photography.

Which genre is mostly preferred by students?

Nowadays, students at IIP seem more interested in knowing about how the Fine Arts Photography evolved in the 1890s. They ask me about the best portrait or fashion photographers and about their works. More than 60% of our students first want to discover the art behind photography and only then do they decide which genre they want to pursue in life. The best thing about IIP is it gives students a plethora of chances to discover their own artistic side.  

Before deciding the genre, we have to know what the student knows, what’s his cultural background and individual experience, what’s his thought process, vision and sense about photography, how does he perceive photography, what feelings does photography arouse in that individual, and what he wants to explore in life and, consequently, we decide what genres are available for that student to pursue.

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