Priyanka Gandhi’s son Raihan Vadra’s third solo exhibition ‘Upamana’ is all about nature and people

As you step into the Living Traditions Centre (LTC) gallery of Bikaner House, you feel like you are walking above the clouds. The sky is laid out on the floor—illuminated life-size photographs of clouds, all captured from the top and on the floor as an installation. This is the entry to Raihan Vadra’s exhibition of installations and photographs titled ‘Upamana’ (The comparison).

Raihan Vadra is the son of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. This is Vadra’s third solo exhibition. His first solo exhibition was titled ‘Dark Perception: An Exposition of Light, Space and Time’. It was held in 2021 at the same venue.

Raihan Vadra with his photograph | Sanjay Ahlawat

Vadra started taking photographs when he was eight years old. He prefers to be called a visual and installation artist instead of being called a photographer.

Like his grandfather Rajiv Gandhi who loved nature and wildlife, Vadra too has chosen to turn his lens to wildlife. In this installation, one of the rooms displays photographs of leopards clicked in the jungles of Rajasthan as an installation surrounded by trees, creating a natural habitat, to make it immersive. The other rooms have installations of photographs of expressions of people shot in studios with life-size mirrors—a very powerful trick. Yet another installation is the photographs shot with red backgrounds of people from all walks of life.

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Raihan Vadra with his photographss | Sanjay Ahlawat

This exhibition is part of a series of five solo shows, spread over a decade based on the five schools of logic in Indian philosophy (five Pramanas). Vadra’s photographic work with evocative mirrors suggests cognitive comprehension, demonstrating that knowledge emerges through comparing the unknown with the known.

Apart from the solo shows, Vadra has also participated in group shows in different parts of the country. He says now he will take time to do two more shows to complete his five-part series.

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Raihan Vadra with his photograph | Sanjay Ahlawat