The Floating Vegetable Market of Srinagar, is a place where Kashmiris living within the Dal lake buy their daily fruit and vegetable supplies. Dal is an urban lake, which is the second largest in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is integral to tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is named the "Lake of Flowers", "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir" or "Srinagar's Jewel". The lake is also an important source for commercial operations in fishing and water plant harvesting. Early morning sight of vegetable vendors selling fruits and vegetables on their boats is a beautiful one to embrace. Life unfolds as usual in Dal Lake, Srinagar, even though the nearby areas are troubled by repeated insurgency and other political chaos. Shot in 1993 by Abul Kalam Azad, this photograph reminds one of the serene, and beautiful landscape that Kashmir is and the indomitable spirit of its people.
Floating market of Dal Lake, 1993
Abul Kalam Azad is a visual artist based in India. Abul’s photographic works are predominantly autobiographical, and they explore the areas of politics, culture, micro-history, gender, and eroticism.
His works attempt a re-reading of contemporary Indian history – the history in which ordinary people are absent and are mainly represented through beautiful images and icons.
During the early 90s, for a brief period, he worked as a photojournalist with leading National/International agencies including the Press Trust of India. Mid-90s, he renounced his journalism career to become an independent artist.
Besides, Azad’s maverick and pioneer experimental hybrid art that blends different styles and techniques pushes the boundaries of contemporary Indian photographic art practice.
His current projects focus on a search inside South Indian maritime history and connected cultures, inspired by ancient literature, folklore, and rituals. His works have been exhibited in prestigious museums/galleries in India and abroad since the mid-90s. He is the recipient of various awards that includes Charles Wallace Award, French Government Scholarship award, Govt. of India’s Senior Art Fellowship, and India Foundation for the Arts Grant.
Abul Kalam Azad is the founder of Ekalokam Trust for Photography, a non-profit foundation committed to creating, protecting and sharing contemporary photography and other allied art forms. He also extends his services as Editor-in-Chief of Photo Mail, an online photo-art magazine.