Suha met Nabil Ghandi at Osho Tapoban in Nepal and introduced us to him. We asked a few questions about his passion – and profession: photography.
How did your interest in photography start?
I have, since my early childhood, been very keen on anthropology and visual arts together as an area of artistic expression and exploration. I grew up in a stimulating, culture-rich environment that engendered in me the desire to explore the world and discover its beauty. But most importantly, I was inspired to get to know myself better and explore my own inner world.
How did you develop your perception?
My father was very passionate about photography and he passed down to me his view of life and the world. He used to tell me: “See with your heart, nothing else really matters.” It was only after many travels and a profound introspective journey that I started to better understand what he was trying to teach me. When we discover the hidden treasures that we have within, we soon realize that the world has so many esthetic and artistic paths to offer – thus leading us to see that everything is already perfect if we look past our limitations, illusions and socio-cultural conditionings.
Are you aware of what you want to express when you take a photo?
When I take a photo, it is always with the intent to transcribe and represent the esthetic, positive, and compassionate nature that is inherent in all things, like an anthem for life or a tribute for creation… always with gratitude for having the opportunity to take part in this amazing adventure… and I hope to eventually awaken this desire in others to go into the encounter with the Self – and perceive this omnipresent beauty and perfection that surrounds us all.
How did you come up with this series?
I dearly cherish this body of work, entitled Ineffable Mysteries, as it represents these precious, timeless moments where we are propelled into a profound personal reflection. These meditative moments where the Being meets the Self, when the spirit pauses from its routines and mechanical reflexes, and the human, in his sudden spaciousness, gets out of his usual references to let emerge the serene forces behind the senses and the perceptions.
These times are inevitable and necessary for the evolution and the stripping bare of oneself; moments where the joy of thriving melts with the occasionally hustling discomfort of change and transformation… a complex quest towards the essential simplicity.
Are technical skills that important? And in your experience, how important is photo-editing?
According to me, technical skills are very important, of course, since every artist can only succeed to transcribe and give birth to his or her inspiration through the means of these skills. However, it is also very important – even more important I would say – to pay attention to and develop one’s artistic sensitivity, and deepen one’s personal reflection… Otherwise, the technical can take over the artistic, and this can result in a work that is impersonal and deprived of sensitivity or meaning.
As for photo-editing, some minor improvements are sometimes necessary to bring the best out of a photograph – its power, its message… as long as the essence and the natural core of the photograph are kept intact. As for me, I never ‘photoshop’ my work or transform a photograph; it is pointless. I never add anything else than what the sensor of my camera was able to capture. Otherwise it can no longer be called photography but graphic design, and this is a very different field of creation.
However, it is sometimes important to develop the pictures, the very same way we used to do some time ago with analogue photography, when it was mandatory to develop the films inside a darkroom and make some adjustments in the contrast, colour tones, texture. It is somehow the same thing as when we adjust the equalizer of a music track – instead of keeping the balance at neutral, we can bring slight adjustments to the frequencies – the bass, the medium, the trebles – which will give the sound more amplitude and space, without transforming it or changing its structure – just adjusting and tuning all the information already recorded on the track. It is exactly the same adjustment we used to once do in a darkroom.
Can you tell us more about your future projects?
As of now, I have multiple ongoing projects plus other projects that I’m still preparing for. There are exhibitions in Bali, and in Morocco. Several galleries have shown interest in exhibiting some of my artworks. I hope it will work out, as I’ve never had the opportunity to share them in Indonesia, a country that I really love. I will let you know when everything will be confirmed and the calendar set.
I am also currently working on an anthropological study about primitive tribes and looking for a publishing house which would be interested in producing a book about it.
And of course, I will try to go back again to Osho Tapoban next year and spend more time there. Having discovered Osho Dynamic Meditation in 2007, I deeply felt the many and profound benefits it brought into my life. After a few weeks spent at Tapoban last year, I promised myself that I would do my best to at least try and spend 15 days a year in one of Osho’s communes. I would love to have the opportunity to volunteer in some of them around the world and do creative photography projects related to Osho’s activities – documenting everyday life in these communes.
Has your work already been published?
Yes, in 2014 I was invited to publish some of my photographs in the prestigious book, International Masters of Photography, Vol 2. This is an art book that is published yearly in the US by World Wide Art Books. It contains works of the top 100 photographers of the year, chosen after a rigorous selection process. And in 2015 I have work printed in the Contemporary Art of Excellence, Vol 1, published by the Global Art Agency in the UK.
Thank you, Nabil!
Nabil Ghandi is an artist photographer. He has received several international distinctions and awards and his photography projects have been showcased in exhibitions and galleries worldwide; New York, Vienna, Dubai, Singapore, Delhi, Casablanca and Bologna. They have also been published in several books, magazines and newspapers. web: nabilghandi.com – fb: Nabil Ghandi Photography – insta: @nabilghandi, @nabylone