Sanjay Garg takes done-to-death flowers and turns them into something extraordinary with his new line, Vana. Garg returns to Bungalow 8 with this collection. “After our last show in November, Sanjay asked me what we were dreaming about for the summer, and I said it was on the lines of an English garden re-imagined the desi way. Mid-sentence he replied that he has been obsessed with botany and studying Ayurvedic plants from the British era,” says Maithili Ahluwalia, founder of Bungalow 8. “What I love about this series is that it’s both a continuation, but also a departure from his earlier work. It’s local but global; it’s an unexpected take on tradition.” We caught the two in conversation:
Maithili Ahluwalia: This edition for me is sort of like Sanjay baring his soul by editing the series down to the bare essentials. It also confidently mixes tradition with technology in its use of digital prints. Maybe I’m reading too much here, but I’m sensing a very secure Sanjay who cares less about what others think.
Sanjay Garg: I’ve always been confident, I’ve taken risks and been unsure, but I have always been confident in making those choices. I’m influenced by those who wear my clothes. by seeing the youth wear them, and how wearable they find them, are things I register. Anything that notes the required shift in perception is important to me.
Maithili Ahluwalia: I’ve seen you feature powerful women in your campaign and then work with only the toughest in the trade.
Sanjay Garg: I like women and men who have a voice. It is not about working women versus stay-at-home moms – both are equally important. I really believe in this woman and always want to show her in my photos. As for working with them: they don’t compromise, which I love. They are a joy and challenge to work with.
Maithili Ahluwalia: You are obviously inspired by strong photographers and it reflects in your campaigns too. Who inspires you?
Sanjay Garg: I am very inspired by culture and the visual arts – especially those looking at Indian minimalism. Raghubir Singh’s photography has wonderful compositions and a certain quirk. Dayanita Singh loves the banal and mundane.