Posted on 28 October, 2015 on The Daily Pao
When Dead Ships Travel at Project 88
Ship-breaking yards are not tranquil, dreamy places. In Bangladeshi artist Shumon Ahmed’s photographs, however, they’re transformed. Ahmed first visited Baro Aulia, one of the biggest ship-breaking centres in the world located near Chittagong in Bangladesh in 2009. And the sights there have intrigued him ever since. When Dead Ships Travel is a selection of Ahmed’s older photographs of Baro Aulia as well as those he took earlier this year. Milking the noir possibilities of black and white, he turns its sites of back-breaking labour into mysterious landscapes. The broken, skeletal remains of freighters look like haunted houses in some photos. In others, they become ghostly ships made up of blurred outlines and the rich graininess of old-fashioned film. Taken using a variety of cameras (including the Polaroid and the Holga), these photographs are a love letter to the beautiful imperfections and the artistry that can lurk in the ‘mistakes’ (blurred images, leaked colours) one made when using analogue cameras. Don’t miss this show.
Shumon Ahmed – “When dead ships travel” at Project 88, Mumbai