'Prince Taj', Agra, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, by Sudeep Lingamneni

Life Photos: Sudeep Lingamneni

In our guest post series, we invite alumni, staff and current students to reflect on their time with the VCA. This week Sudeep Lingamneni reflects on being in-between cultures.

About Sudeep Lingamneni

Sudeep Lingamneni (PGDipCCD, 2011) is a gifted and self-taught photographer and music producer on a Victorian College of the Arts scholarship in Community Cultural Development Practice.

He has spent most of his adult life struggling to find a place to call home. He lets his Indian heritage, American upbringing and international ‘citizenship’ inform his work.

Sudeep’s story and his work has also appeared on SBS Documentary.

'Lemons', New Delhi, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, by Sudeep Lingamneni
‘Lemons’, New Delhi, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, by Sudeep Lingamneni

Sudeep’s reflection

I never planned or imagined I would become a photographer. It just happened. In 2004 my father died, just before my 27th birthday, so I decided to travel through India for a year and discover the country of my birth. Although I was born in Andhra Pradesh, I was raised in Boston, so I don’t speak Hindi or my mother tongue Telugu. I found myself walking for hours, photographing what I saw.

'Sole Provider', New Delhi, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, Sudeep Lingamneni
‘Sole Provider’, New Delhi, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, Sudeep Lingamneni

The hours became days, which became months. When I wondered what I was doing, I realised I was seeking some sort of truth, in relation to myself. Photography was connecting me in the most intimate, emotional way with the landscape around me and the people that inhabited it. India was teaching me to watch, and wait on life. The camera was becoming part of me, an extension of my arm, of my being. In many ways it vanished altogether, and the images I took in India were nothing more than my emotional experience, my interaction with the people I met along the way.

'Best Kept Secret', Bangalore, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, Sudeep Lingamneni
‘Best Kept Secret’, Bangalore, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, Sudeep Lingamneni

As a photographer, I see the sharing and receiving of photographs as something beautiful and personal, something that draws the viewer into the emotional life of the subject. These images from India represent for me a snapshot of life that place the viewer right in the middle of an experience that reminds them where they have been, where they are now and where they might be going. The intimacy of my personal photography lays bare a truth that is universal – this is the photography of my life, as seen through my life as a photographer.

'Pop Gun', Hyderabad, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, by Sudeep Lingamneni
‘Pop Gun’, Hyderabad, India 2004, SLR 35mm Film Camera, by Sudeep Lingamneni

For more information about Sudeep:

www.ABoyNameSue.com

Sudeep Lingamneni, self portrait
Sudeep Lingamneni, self portrait


A version of this article originally appeared on Channel, the Faculty’s previous publishing platform.