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Exhibition | 2024
Drenmo Odyssey

A Mother's Tale


Opening on 5th July


Palay House. Phey, Ladakh


Abeer Gupta and Saloni Bhatia

Curator's Note - Saloni Bhatia

Throughout human history, there have been numerous creatures, large and small, that have shared space with each other and with people. The bear is one such creature whose presence elicits fear and awe in equal parts. 


There are eight species of bears found across the globe of which four are found in India. Ladakh is home to a sub-species of brown bear called the Himalayan brown bear, Ursus arctos isabellinus. Given its omnivorous diet, the brown bear can often be seen scavenging close to human settlements or feeding on livestock, besides fruits, small mammals and even insects.


There are a number of myths and legends around the bear that talk about its prowess, mystery and wisdom. In fact, across the world, one can find many references of alliances between bears and women. Such stories propel us to question the arbitrary boundaries that we tend to create between people and wild animals. 


This moving photo series by Karamjeet poses similar questions regarding the nature of our interactions with the brown bear in Ladakh, a mother's struggle for survival and the blurry line between ideas of right and wrongdoing. It pushes one to think about not only what it is to be human, but also what it is like to be a bear in a world dominated by humans.

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