November 13, 2015
Mahesh Bhat
Comments Off on LIGHT

LIGHT was a magazine that I had started in 1996. I was doing a lot of advertising photography then and the creative atmosphere in the country was pretty boring. There was no Internet and we didn’t much access to information and inspiration from across the world. LIGHT was born then as a magazine on VIsual Thinking. LIGHT featured photographers, graphic designers, playwrights, choreographers..etc. The magazine didn’t have any advertising..well, there weren’t many advertisers either. Camera companies were not present in India then. LIGHT was clearly ahead of its times. I managed to publish three issues in three years, though it was supposed to be a quarterly-  then money ran out..perhaps I didn’t know how to raise funds. People remember the magazine even today!

My good friend Phillippe Dsouza designed the magazine. The name LIGHT was suggested by graphic designer T V Narayan. He even wrote a poem which said,

“If it’s all dark could I see,
all the things that are shown to me
could I then hope to grow in my garden,
the flower that I don’t even know
and colour, texture, saturation, hue
here they are known only to a few
composition, balance, shape and form
somehow I just don’t get along
someone show me what’s beauty
the eyes wail in all honesty
And to see with all my might
to let me grow and to find
what’s not and what’s right
to tell them all about
wonderful, vivid and white
and so there is light
for my eyes and heart
constantly stirring
a feeling called art.”

When I started the magazine there was no internet. So my first interview with Albert Watson had to be done over telephone. It used to cost INR 60 per minute to call the US. So I spent about INR1800 (in 1996) for the 30 minute interview over three telephone calls!

Print Systems & Products did the pre press work allmost free. Pragati (Hyderabad) ad Akhila HiTech Graphics (Bangalore) printed at cost. Balki who was then the creative director at Lintas (Now Lowe), photographers Sudhir Ramachandran, D Radhakrishnan and Suresh Natarajan supported financially.

Perhaps its time now to restart it!

I have photographed the old issues,made pdfs and hosted them on ISSUU so that everyone can read it. Here are the links –

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