French Ambassador’s concrete architecture photo exhibition opens in city - Hindustan Times
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French Ambassador’s concrete architecture photo exhibition opens in city

Apr 18, 2023 09:38 PM IST

Chandigarh Government Museum and Art Gallery is hosting Tender Concrete, an exhibition of 16 photographs by Emmanuel Lenain, the ambassador of France to India, to mark World Heritage Day. The exhibition showcases Lenain?s ?personal and subjective approach to photography? ? capturing the beauty of concrete architecture. It is open for public viewing until June 30.

To mark World Heritage Day, the Chandigarh Government Museum and Art Gallery is organising Tender Concrete, an exhibition of 16 photographs by Emmanuel Lenain, the ambassador of France to India.

Visitors taking a look at the works on display (HT Photos)
Visitors taking a look at the works on display (HT Photos)

The exhibition was inaugurated by UT adviser Dharam Pal (IAS) here on Tuesday.

The exhibition showcases Lenain’s “personal and subjective approach to photography” – capturing the beauty of concrete architecture.

“I am not among those left aghast by Brutalism. Quite the contrary: concrete, when handled by the greatest architects, has always seemed tender to me. It allows for sensual and dizzying curves, alternation of empty and full, and a plunge into solitude and reverie,” says Lenain.

Emmanuel Lenain, the Ambassador of France to India
Emmanuel Lenain, the Ambassador of France to India

“I believe, concrete allows for a constant, almost musical tension – a rectangle contrasts with a curve, sharp edges with softened profiles, static with fluid, and rest with movement. Buildings of strict verticality and horizontality contrast with the freedom of a curved ramp. And, as is often the case, a certain harmony emerges from these opposites,” Lenain adds.

On the City Beautiful’s architectural marvel, Lenain says, “There is nowhere better than Chandigarh – the Indian graft of international style, with powerful symbolism. India is a formidable field for modernist architecture. Nowhere, except maybe Brasilia with Oscar Niemeyer, has carte blanche been given to an architect to build a full city from scratch as Le Corbusier did in Chandigarh.”

Lenain’s photographs focus on architectural details that, taken out of context, acquire a poetic dimension.

The exhibition allows visitors to discover the captivating allure of concrete architecture, and explore the “sensual and dizzying curves of concrete, the alternation of empty and full, and the musical tension of the contrasts”.

The exhibition is open for public viewing till June 30, except on Mondays and gazette holidays, between 10am to 4:30pm.

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