Photogenic Food


We mentioned recently that we are crowd-sourcing a new way of looking at decor for Cardamom County. National Public Radio (one of the great investments made by the tax-payers of the USA, in collaboration with loyal listeners who donate funds to their local stations) has a food-focused blog that has introduced us to a photographer of Indian heritage who grew up in the USA and has traveled around the world doing what photographers do: seeing the world through the lens, differently than we might otherwise see it. Here he is concerned, curious and creative in his exploration of what is in the food we eat:

These intriguingly abstract images are part of a photo series called Naturally Modified — the brainchild of photographer Ajay Malghan. To create them, he shines colored lights through thin slices of fruits and vegetables onto light-sensitive paper. So what you end up seeing isn’t a picture of the food itself, but an ethereal image of its shadow.


Malghan, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, began this project two years ago as a statement on genetically modified foods. “There are so many steps introduced from farm to table,” he says. “Everything’s so processed now. … They’re adding stuff, so why can’t I?”


Incongruous colors and extreme close-ups turn familiar food into foreign, almost alien abstractions. “It kind of removes you from it,” says Malghan. “It makes you realize how little we know about stuff.”


Although the project began as a statement on GMO foods, he says that it has since taken on a life of its own. And he no longer has a specific goal in mind.

“I don’t want someone to go into a gallery and have a preconceived notion,” he says. Nowadays, he’d rather have his images appreciated as abstract works of art, and he encourages viewers to walk away with their own interpretations.


“If you can slightly change the way people see or think or perceive, I think that’s pretty much it,” he says.

So enough talk. Let’s leave these pictures to speak for themselves.


2 thoughts on “Photogenic Food

  1. Pingback: Food, Water And Conservation | Raxa Collective

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