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Having an eye for the perfect moment

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29-year old photographer S.Magendran is a professional photographer, based in Kuala Lumpur. An accounting and finance graduate, he quit his job to follow his passion for photography.

His break came when Sutra Foundation had selected him to take photos for a production, when the troupe performed within the precint of the Bayon Temple, Angkor in Cambodia which resulted in his first exhibition called Sublime Angkor which successfully sold out. He has been associated with Sutra ever since and has photographed almost all of Sutra’s major productions.

Sublime Angkor

When asked about his experiences photographing dance movements, he admitted that it was quite stressful when he first started because he could not freeze a moment, so he took it up as a challenge, to catch the magic at the right time. You can see the results of his hard work and practice in his photography. S.Magendran even takes into account the lighting against the silhouette of dancers to bring out the mood of the dance composition.

“It is not about just taking a nice photo, you have to understand what they are trying to convey. I learned and studied what the project is as I have to bring the images to life when people look at it. Do studies, go for rehearsals, understand the movements.”

Following Sutra for over 7 years, S.Magendran gets inspiration from learning the meanings and history behind the dance. He aspires to produce a book, compiling all his experiences and learnings.

He tells us, “In Sutra, you can see the growth of a dancer’s journey; from when they first come in as a small child and begin dancing to developing their skills into a matured professional dancer, I would like to portray that journey of growth into my book. That would be my future project.”

“Dance photography has opened up new and different horizons for me to explore, and the best part is that I get to learn and evolve with various perspectives and directions. Yet I still believe as a photographer, one needs to have an eye to capture THAT moment, and to see beyond the mechanical focus of the subject in a photograph.”

Sutra Gallery will now be hosting S.Magendran’s second solo exhibition called Temple of Delight. The exhibition consists of 19 photographs taken from Sutra’s recent Odissi production Amorous Delight directed by Datuk Ramli Ibrahim with costume design by Dato’ Sri Bernard Chandran and lighting design by Sivarajah Natarajan. The exhibition will run until 31 August 2017 at Sutra Gallery, No. 12, Persiaran Titiwangsa 3, Kuala Lumpur.

(From Left to Right) Sivarajah Natarajan, Dato’ Sri Bernard Chandran, S.Magendran and Datuk Ramli Ibrahim
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