CENTER’s Project Development Grant Winner: Vikesh Kapoor
Congratulations to Vikesh Kapoor for being selected for The Project Development Grant recognizing his project, See You at Home. The grant offers financial support to fine art, documentary, or photojournalist works-in-progress and includes a cash award to help complete a project as well as platforms for feedback and professional development opportunities for the work’s final stages.
Leslie Ureña Associate Curator of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian shares her thoughts on her selection:
The over 500 entries of the 2018 Project Development Grant tackled a broad range of topics, including issues affecting LGBTQ communities, immigrants, refugees, and the environment, from a local to a global scale. Photographers were also attentive to photographic processes, sometimes merging old and new technologies that are integral to the understanding and success of their projects.
Given the richness and diversity of the entries, making a final decision was certainly not easy. Each time I was convinced I had found my top choice, I came upon yet another absorbing project. Throughout, however, I considered not only how visually enticing each work was, but also how well each project told a story.
“See You at Home” (0477) as my top choice. I was drawn to this project because it sensitively addresses and intertwines the themes of migration and aging. The photographs of the past and present, when presented together, bring to the fore the impact of displacement, even when it is by choice. “Home,” in the end, is both spatially and temporally unstable.
Leslie Ureña, Associate Curator of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian
Previously, Ureña was a curatorial research associate in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. and a curatorial assistant in the Dept. of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art. She also served as a curatorial assistant in the Departments of Ancient, Asian, and European art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Vikesh Kapoor is a songwriter and photographer born in Sunset Pines, Pennsylvania. He released his debut album, The Ballad of Willy Robbins (2013) to critical acclaim. His songs have been highlighted by The New Yorker, The Guardian, Interview Magazine, Rolling Stone and others, while Rough Trade awarded his albums one of the Best 100 Albums of the Year.
Kapoor is also currently a Masters Candidate in Photojournalism at Boston University. He has studied with Alex Webb of Magnum Photos, Jim Estrin of The New York Times, and has been published by The Boston Globe, Bullet Magazine, Willamette Week, amongst others. His work has exhibited in museums and galleries in Portland, Los Angeles, and London.
He resides in Los Angeles, California.
See You At Home
See You At Home is an ongoing personal narrative exploring the latent sense of loss from one’s heritage while aging as an immigrant in a non-native culture.
My parents, Shailendra and Sarla Kapoor, immigrated from India in 1977, settling in a small town of 10,000 people in rural Pennsylvania. They are one of only few immigrant families in the region. Although they left India for a better life, like many immigrants from the East, the shift from a collectivist nation to an individualistic one led to isolation just as much as it led to freedom. As they grow old in Pennsylvania with both my sister and I no longer living there, my parents’ isolation only becomes more apparent to me, despite their successes in pursuit of the American Dream. See You At Home explores this dichotomy using images of their current life in America imbued with memories of life back in India.
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