Arpan Mukherjee, born 1977, trained in visual art. His practice is based on research and process oriented, largely focused on socio-economic and political issues. He uses 19th century photographic process as his medium.
He did extensive research on 19th century photography methods and developed a practice-based research studio of historical photographic process in Santiniketan, named ‘Studio Goppo’. Arpan has participated in numbers of international and national exhibitions and conducted workshops. He has given lectures on history & contemporary practice of photography & printmaking. Presently he is teaching as associate professor in the department of printmaking, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan.
A discussion was initiated among a group of dark complexion boys and girls on their experience of being dark. The argument started with the fact that in 2012 the market of fairness cream was Rs. 3000 crores in India. Issues about discrimination on the basis of skin colour and its possible reasons were discussed. Apart from the general thought that it derived from our colonial past, they also think that in our society it has a roll in terms of power demonstration. It is related with discriminations and thus there is a simple equation which is fairer people meant beautiful people which in turn came across as being successful/powerful people. It is true that this group of people have suffered as they are black. As a result, at times, they all tried to be fairer using fairness cream. Arpan Mukherjee, used wet plate collodion and albumen print process to make their portrait, which has an established connection to anthropological photographic documentation process of Indian race and tribes by British photographers. The process is blue sensitive hence except ‘blue’ every skin tone will represent as black.This is a long term project which started in 2012.