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Pioneering Photographers

Pioneering Photographers

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Published by Tenzin C. Tashi
Media report on retrospectives of TTT and PDT on World Photography Day, 2012. The exhibition also travelled to the Sikkim Raj Bhavan for a private viewing of His Excellency, the Governor of Sikkim and his guests.
Media report on retrospectives of TTT and PDT on World Photography Day, 2012. The exhibition also travelled to the Sikkim Raj Bhavan for a private viewing of His Excellency, the Governor of Sikkim and his guests.

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Published by: Tenzin C. Tashi on Sep 21, 2012
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05/31/2014

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A Tribute to Sikkim’s Pioneering Photographers
photo-exhibition dedicated to the consummate skills of the father-son duo of Tse Ten Tashi [1911-1971] and his son Paljor Dorji Tashi [1942-2003] was held here at Gangtok, at the Star Cinema Hall complex at MG Marg. Showcasing the delicate intimacy with which two generations of Sikkim’s pioneering photographers captured moments from the grand and the tantalizing to the charmingly routine in the Sikkim of their times – the 20 photographs on display were from 1950 to 1990, the exhibition was organized by Vividh Kala Academy of Sikkim [VIKAS] in collaboration with Journalist Union of Sikkim to mark World Photography Day. The photographs for the exhibition were put together by Yap Tse Ten Tashi’s granddaughter, Tenzin C Tashi, who also included a detailed background on the craft and inspirations of her grandfather and father which visitors can read at the exhibition and gain some more perspective on the works on display and also return with a deeper appreciation of the passion with which they pursued photography. The inaugural function had Editor, Sikkim Observer, Jigme N Kazi, as chief guest and was also addressed by Kiran Rasaily of VIKAS who presented the welcome address and Ms. Tashi who touched briefly on the inspirations which nuanced the photography of her father and grandfather. Mr. Kazi welcomed the organization of the photo exhibition, stressing that such dedications and reflections on the Sikkim of the past should be held more often. Yap Tse Ten Tashi, or “TTT” as he liked to call himself, “doffed many hats: orchidologist, amateur botanist, photographer, entrepreneur, and much-loved friend and family man”, Ms. Tashi informs in her introduction, adding that “above all, he was a Sikkimphile”. And this reflects as much

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in the official positions he held and recognitions he received as in the moments he has framed in the photographs on display at the exhibition. He served as Private Secretary to Chogyal Tashi Namgyal, Crown Prince Paljor Namgyal and Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal. In 1963, he was conferred one of Sikkim’s highest honours, the Pema Dorji, in recognition of distinguished service rendered to the Sikkim Darbar. He also set up Sikkim’s first photographic studio, Tse Ten Tashi & Co [“As TTT found it taxing to send his slides and photographs all the way to Mumbai to get them developed,” the introduction explains]. His eldest son, Paljor Dorji Tashi, popularly known as ‘Yap Penjorla’, inherited his love for photography as the exhibition amply displays and also followed in his father’s footsteps in service to the Darbar, joining the Palace in 1966 as the Aidede-camp to Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal and soon rose to the post of Deputy Secretary to the Chogyal. He went on to become appointed the first Director of the Information and Public Relations Department took voluntary retirement as Secretary to the Government in 1997. He introduced the first aerial photography shots for the annual IPR calendar; strapped into his seat but dangling precariously out of a helicopter, he captured frame after frame of Sikkim’s natural beauty from his dangerous vantage point, the introduction informs. For those thirsting for still more images framed by this prolific photographer there is good news – his collection is currently being worked into an under-production coffee-table book on Sikkim called, ‘Hiatus in the Himalayas’. [Courtesy NOW!]

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Talk Sikkim September 2012

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