we the living

Construction sites are dotted across every metropolitan city’s landscape. The rickety structures made of bamboo sticks tied together with jute ropes, do not call for a second glance by any passerby. It’s a sign of ‘work in progress’, we say, without putting much more thought into it. However, photographer Jatin Kampani had something else in mind while constructing the idea for his new Taxi Fabric, ‘We The Living’.

Composed of a single photograph, repeated, to form a symmetrical pattern, Jatin explains his design, “We The Living speaks about survival in a metropolitan. The rigidity of the scaffolding represents the stereotypical mindset of the higher and the middle class people. They are stuck in a race to own a pigeon hole in the city.” For most, it a symbol of success and livelihood, which has to be attained. He sees these construction sites coming up across crowded cities as the perfect example of such stereotypical thought, as more people join the race. “Mumbai or any crowded metropolitan city in the world is an influence on this piece.” he says.

While the architecture of this image symbolises the rigidity of thought, it also “speaks of freeing one’s mind from prototype and living out of the Matrix”, Jatin reveals. Taking a second glance at the design, we see a bunch of light hearted butterflies hovering about the scaffolding, adding an element of fluidity to the firm structure. Just as the butterfly escapes from the cocoon into the sunlight, Jatin hopes that people will attain freedom from a conventional mindset.

Speaking of having an open mind, the inevitable question follows, “How is design perceived in India?” Jatin expresses his feelings, “We are a great country with already existing in-exhaustive design resource, its upto us now to be able to tap into it’s potential. I think India and people here underestimate their own sense of design.” He adds, “It’s beginning to change with initiatives like yours.”

Photography, on the other hand, is a relatively new medium, which is why it isn’t recognised as much as other mediums. Jatin feels that today, photographers struggle to get an artist designation. “Design exists in all forms”, he says, “That’s why I co-founded my new venture Merchants Of Cool , an online design platform for one and all who have a similar sense for art and design.”

Survival is a challenge for each one of us today, but Jatin rightly put it, “Challenges are a part of any exciting journey. It’s a great thrill when you overcome them. As they say, you never win or lose, you only learn.”


Written by Isha Jhunjhunwala.

Images courtesy : Architectural Digest India, Neville Sukhia and Siddharth Samant.


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This Taxi Fabric Project is supported
by Architectural Digest