Locals, Photographic Installation, 2012-

Locals follows the tradition of early 20th century photographic documenting processes in order to create an unofficial black and white photographic archive. I am always asking the question: Does anything ever exist if it is not recorded? I am interested in the images of natural history classification of plants and fruits and the way archives, information and identities are formed. I partake of some of those classification traditions and create edited and revised information to show filtered representations of most of the fruits and vegetables prevalent in my hometown of Bengaluru, India. Locals also involves collaboration with botanists and scientists in Bengaluru to research and reveal information and classification details about each and every documented fruit and vegetable that have been under-represented in the main canons of natural history texts. This project is still in progress.

Halasina Hannu, 12" x 36", 2012, archival ultra chromogenic pigment print, From the series Locals

Halisina hannu is also commonly known as jackfruit, from the Portuguese jaca, which in turn, is derived from the Malayalam language term, chakka. Sir Henry Yule, ca 1863, wrote that "the word jack is one of that large class of words which are neither English nor Hindustani, but Anglo Indian and the origin of which is often very difficult to trace." No one knows the halasina hannu 's place of origin but it is believed indigenous to the rainforests of the Western Ghats of India. It is the largest fruit that grows on trees and is a combination of sweet and tart banana in taste. The seeds may be boiled and included in curried dishes.

Kobri Kaayi, 12" x 24", 2012, archival ultra chromogenic pigment print, From the series Locals

The kobri kaayi is believed to have originated in Ceylon and the Moluccas but it has been cultivated in Southeast Asia for many centuries and is commonly grown in India. This fruit, when cut crosswise, bears a resemblance of a star. It tastes sweet and tart. The ripe fruit is administered to halt hemorrhages; and the dried fruit or the juice may be taken to counteract fevers.

Dalimbe Hannu, 12" x 48", 2012, archival ultra chromogenic pigment print, From the series Locals

Dalimbe hannu is native to Iran and the Himalayas in northern India. It traveled to central and southern India from Iran about the first century A.D. In Hinduism, dalimbe hannu symbolizes prosperity and fertility. Every part of the plant (root, bark, flowers, fruit, leaves) is used for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. John Riddle writes that dalimbe hannu is frequently prescribed in classical medieval medical sources. It is recognized as an abortifacient in ancient Indian literature, in modern folk medicine references and as a contraceptive, in modern science studies.

Sitapala, 12" x 24", 2012, archival ultra chromogenic pigment print, From the series Locals

The original home of the sugar apple is unknown. The Spaniards probably carried seeds from the New World to the Philippines and the Portuguese are assumed to have introduced the sugar apple to southern India before 1590. A sitapala has the reputation, particularly in India, of being a hardy, drought-resistant crop. The crushed leaves are sniffed to overcome hysteria and fainting spells; they are also applied on ulcers and wounds and a leaf decoction is taken in cases of dysentery. The crushed ripe fruit, mixed with salt, is applied on tumors.

Sapota, 12" x 24", 2012, archival ultra chromogenic pigment print, From the series Locals

Sapota is grown solely for fruit in India, especially in the central and southern regions. It may be necessary to spread nets over the tree to protect sapota from fruit bats. It bears some resemblance to the kiwi fruit on the outside but the inside is light brown and very sweet in taste. In other parts of the world, in particular southeast Mexico, Guatemala and British Honduras, it is grown mainly for its latex.

Seebe kaayi, 12" x 24", 2012, archival ultra chromogenic pigment print, From the series Locals

It is said to have originated in Mexico central and South America but today India is one of the major producers of Seebe kaayi in the world. It has numerous dialectal names in India. The best-grown Seebe kaayi are said to be from near and around Allahabad in India. According to Indian folklore, "it is believed that the leaves of this plant [guava] can cure jaundice within three days."

Chakotha, 12" x 24", 2012, archival ultra chromogenic pigment print, From the series Locals

It is native to Southeast Asia. Chakotha is the largest citrus fruit, is known in the western world mainly as the principal ancestor of the grapefruit. It is also known in the Western world as Pomelo, which is probably an alteration of the earlier pompelmous-French for grapefruit-from Dutch pompelmoes. It is sweeter in taste than the grapefruit.