Mumbai is undoubtedly the biggest city I have ever lived in. It is a testament to the paradoxical nature of urban life, where order and chaos dance in intricate harmony, creating a tapestry that is both bewildering and beautiful.
As an outsider, observing and visually representing this city has been a harrowing experience for my senses. Its complex urban fabric, with its towering high-rises, overlapping buildings, and constant cacophony from all corners, can spiral one’s attention into a pit of daze and confusion.
Only after I had come to terms with the pace of life in Mumbai did I begin to understand its undeniable allure. I realised that everyone has their own way of decoding this complexity, and for me, the camera is my tool. Documenting things comes naturally to me, and the constant bustle of my daily commute inspired me to document regularly.
But Mumbai has been photographed countless times before, so it was important to me to approach my documentation from a slightly different perspective and format. This was especially important when it came to visualising elements like noise, congestion, and bustle (which have undoubtedly been the best part of this creative exercise).
The multiple exposure style that has shaped this project is more spontaneous than premeditated. My fascination with double-exposure photographs, inspired by the late Ernst Haas, is at the heart of this idea. Double and multiple exposures can be difficult to execute, but they can also be very effective storytelling tools.
I was also inspired by the impressionist visual style of the late Michael Wolf. His images of urban abstractions have helped me to make sense of big cities in a new way.
I began working on this project in late 2018 after I moved to Mumbai. I had a few keywords in mind when framing the visual brief for this project: routine, commute, scale, confusion, and anonymity. Visual medium is my preferred form of expression, and so I have used it to share my takeaways and habits from living in this big city. All of the images in this project were shot using a combination of my cellphone and a DSLR.
Rahulnath S.R is a travel and editorial photographer and Photo editor from Kerala.