Self-exploration and expression lie at the heart of Bangladeshi photographer Shadman Shahid’s series Ajna. The word ajna, Shahid explains to us, in Sanskrit means “the eye that one uses to see the immaterial”. The title is emblematic of Shahid’s desire to use his camera’s lens to understand the world around him. He explains: “My story is about exploring one’s existence. An attempt to find the answers to the questions of why and who. It’s my personal journey towards fulfillment.”
Shahid approaches his series by photographing various unexplained objects, people, animals and nature. Many of the images, oversaturated and blurred with motion, capture the evanescent nature of time. Shahid explains that he shoots with a slow shutter speed to “condense many moments into one”. Perhaps these condensed moments represent the collision of forces – both spiritual and material – which affect us and which Shahid is concerned with showing.
Ajna is diverse in its incorporation of loud and bright colours and its play with light. Both of these facets draw attention to the ephemerality of time and the ungraspable elements of the world.