Ephemeral Encounters: Street Photography by Parvathi Kumar

Curated by Mary Birmingham

Curated by Mary Birmingham
May 19 - September 1, 2024

A sense of wanderlust has always propelled Parvathi Kumar. Coupled with her particular interest in street photography, it has led her to roam near and far, candidly documenting people in their everyday environments. This exhibition includes recent photographs shot in Japan, India, Mexico, Morocco, and the United States.

Like the best street photographers, Kumar uses her camera to compose and capture the unmediated, authentic moments that help define the human experience. With a combination of timing and intuition she recognizes significant moments and seizes them before they disappear. She often chooses unique vantage points, patiently waiting for the right combination of light, color, shape, and human activity to coalesce; other times she makes split-second decisions to arrest fleeting images. 

Wherever she wanders, Kumar looks for what she calls “signs of life,” sometimes finding them in shadows, silhouettes, and even empty spaces that suggest a mood or human presence. She strives to compose images that will linger in the viewer’s mind, conveying a sense of mystery. Hinting at untold stories, Kumar’s photographs invite us to imagine what lies just beyond the edges of the frame.

About the Artist

Parvathi Kumar was born and raised in eastern Canada, is of South Indian origin, and is currently based in New Jersey, USA. As a teen, she was initially trained by her mother in manual film photography. Her passion for this medium remained strong over the next 35+ years (while earning degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science along the way!) and after working in IT, she became a professional freelance photographer in 2010. She has received numerous awards and frequently exhibits her work in both solo and group shows throughout the US and abroad. 

She is a flaneuse, thoroughly enjoying the process of candid or street photography, wandering and observing in various locations to creatively capture our collective journey through life. 

To learn more, please visit ParvathiKumar.com or follow her on Instagram: @parvathi_kumar_photography.

Parvathi Kumar, Primarily Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, 2023, Color photograph

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