The Singh Project: British photographers’ exhibit celebrates identity of Sikh men (w/gallery)

Published: June 18, 2014

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Chaz Singh Fliy - Creative Director

VANCOUVER DESI

Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, two British photographers are able to put on an exhibit that celebrates the identity of the modern Sikh man.

Last month, U.K. photographers Amit and Naroop posted the campaign for their photo series The Singh Project, a collection of 35 photographs of different Sikh men sporting the traditional beard and turban. With 10 days left in the campaign they reached beyond their goal of £7,000 (about $12,000 US) and announced they’ll officially be opening the Singh Exhibition this fall.

In a video posted to their Kickstarter campaign, Naroop said the idea for the project came to them when they noticed the beard becoming a fashion statement.

“We saw beards were being worn by a lot of young, trendy looking people,” said Naroop. “All of a sudden a beard is considered to be cool.”

So they decided to showcase the diversity in styles of how the Sikh beard and turban are worn in modern Britain. They went on a “Singh hunt” and found subjects through family, friends and local temples.

Each photo was set up the same, with standard framing and a plain background “to make the subject the central focus of the image.”

“Every time someone came up each person was different,” Amit said. “They had different outfits, they were from different parts of the country, they had a different job.”

Completing the project gave the pair a “sense of pride,” added Naroop.

“It was very rewarding to us being Sikh ourselves, we’re not your typical orthodox Sikhs with a beard and turban,” he said. “It was great to see these men come into our studio, their pride for their look, their identity was so strong that it reinforced our belief even further in our religion and really made these images so personal to us.”

Visit the Kickstarter campaign and watch the video here.

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