Tanima Das

Tanima Das was born on 5th Jan 1984 in Karimganj, Assam to her parents, Alpana Das & Tarun kanti Das. Till class 4th she grew up in Farakka, West Bengal. After that her father got transferred to Shaktinagar near Vanaras. She completed her BFA from College of Arts and Craft, Lucknow University in the year 2007. She joined her masters in Design at IIT Guwahati in 2008. After completing masters, She started doing a project on E-learning in IIT Guwahati, and simultaneously practiced in experimental videos.

‘Communication is key’

As I try and learn more about the Artist Tanima and a little bit about her life so far in a brief discussion under the tree.
Three weeks into the residency, and it was time, that each artist build on concepts and ideas for experimentations to be carried forth with their respective alternative photographic techniques. Hence, a conversation, an inquisition, into knowing more about the artist and his/her individuality.

Tanima and I had already been introduced to each other outside the Goa airport on March 1, which was officially day one of ALTlab 2.0. We exchanged a brief conversation on our way from the airport to the centre in Calangute. Little knows facts were revealed and much left for discovery along the time that we were to spend together for the next 2 months.

Name : Tanima Das
Date of birth : 5th Januray, 1984
Place of birth : Karimganj. Town located close to the border which is shared by Assam and Bangladesh.
In interview, trying to learn more about the artist. With Tanima Das, an art student who found herself at Goa CAP for ALTlab 2.0.

Tanima, tell us about where you spent your growing years.
My parents moved to West Bengal soon after I was born, and we lived there until I was the age of around 10. For the rest of my schooling life we lived in Auriya, a town located near Kanpur.
Increasing our knowledge of your educational endeavors, what area of study did you foray into after the schooling phase?
Having finished my primary education, I got myself enrolled at the lucknow University for a Bachelor in Commercial Arts, where I majored in graphic design. Photography, film, print media were some of the subjects I studied in this period. During the early years at the University I interned with Leo Burnett, which is an ad agency, for a period of 2-3 months. I also worked with Dot&Line, another ad agency, designing mainly book covers, during the final two years of college.

Getting qualified through the CEED (Common Entrance Exam for Design), I received my acceptance letter from IIT Guwahati. I spent the next two years pursuing a Masters in Design. 

What field were you investigating/studying during your time at IIT Guwahati?

I probed more into visual communication and mix media while here, mainly researching and making documentaries which were also my final projects for the term. One was based on Anti-smoking and the other centred around the Brahmaputra river and the pollution that is slowly but constantly reproducing ill after effects of the chaos of improper waste management. This project won me an award at the Student Film Festival organized by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Mumbai, in Januray 2011. Both projects were video format. 

Have you spent time with any corporate/agency scenario after completing your Masters degree at IIT Guwahati?

Yes. I worked with an agency called D Source for a period of about two years. website: www.dsource.in/

What kind of work were you involved with at D Source?

 D Source is a an online database website fulfilling the information and resource requirements of artists. It is a Government of India initiative. During the course of stay here I mainly created craft project videos. These videos were uploaded for other users to see on the D Source website. I experimented more with film documentation here and a bit of mix media.

Until when did you work with D Source?

I was with D source until the moment I decided and arrived at Goa for the 2 month residency.

What motivated your shift from it?

Working in a corporate environment definitely gave me lessons on team work along with how to handle expensive camera material, but after a point of time I wanted to shift my perspective out of the cubicle and give myself time to learn something more!

So what brought you back into still frames from your former interventions into video documentations which are essentially moving frames?

I’m open to exploring. And having practiced both, still as well as moving frames during my educational experience, just got me looking for more to learn in the related field. Mix media is something that interests me and is a bit more stretched in terms of limitations when it comes to freedom of creativity. I’d like to use still frames in between sequences of videos to render different effects to the document. And the learning and use of an alternative photo printing method to add to my palette of choice of tools simply came up as an option I did not want to leave.

How did you first hear about Goa CAP and the ALTLab 2.0 Residency program?

My IIT Professors Sonal Jain and Mridank Madhukariya suggested this alternative photography institute in Goa and I checked the website online and applied for ALTLab Residency 2.0.

What is your choice of alternative photo printing process for the 2 month residency?

I have chosen to practice and learn the Gum Bichromates during my time at ALTlab 2.0.

How is your current knowledge of the alternative photographic printing methods? Did you research into the process you chose, the Gum Bichromates?

I went through the brief info on the Goa CAP (www.goa-cap.com) website about the processes and a few links on the web which shared images, video tutorials and descriptions. I saw images and a few links which described how the Gum Bichromate Process is carried out and the effects it renders. I did not do a very thorough investigation though! Thats why I am here and hopefully will be able to learn more about it. 

Why were you keen on chosing this process in particular?

The organic nature and painterly effect that the Gum Bichromate process creates is what caught my eye and I was immediately excited about learning how to do this. I want to try and use this alternative printing process to create still frames which can fill in for surreal and dreamy scenarios in my video documentations. I want to try using this for adding more drama to what I want to create with fiction and non fiction based research projects in the future.

(Yukti Todi)

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