Originally a biochemistry graduate, Tahia has already created her style and visual language to express her view of the story of women, she is one of the most talented young Bangladeshi photographers based in Dhaka.
Tahia Farhin Haque’s work shatters traditional stereotypes about women, by bringing
women’s unique perspectives to the forefront of her photography practice. She hopes to lend a voice to issues that are unheard of and unseen in the rest of the world, while making her viewers question their paradigms on a personal level. She has worked with New York Times and United Nations on a project which later became a best-selling book “Thisis18”. She had her exhibition in Dhaka Art Summit 2020.
CONTACT SHEET INTERVIEW WITH TAHIA FARHIN HAQUE
Hi Tahia. Thank you for your time, tell me about your start, when and how you started taking photographs?
My fascination with art began at an early age as I found myself exploring various exhibitions and art galleries at every opportunity. Right after school I got my hands on my first smartphone which opened up a whole new world as I could express my thoughts and emotions through the magical powers of photography. I derive immense joy from the ability to frame a moment through my lens and highlight emotions that encapsulate the different perspectives in society.
Tell us about your inspirations and what motivates you?
My inspiration has always been to highlight the plights and wonders of a woman and her journey through society. Trauma both physical and mental, is something I want to comprehend and thereby express the emotions involved in an artistic manner to inspire and encourage inquisitiveness in young audiences, both male and female, about the blatant and hidden atrocities occurring all around us.
You see your surroundings from your own perspective and create your version of the story, tell us more about your thought process of storytelling.
I want to create genuine and engaging content. I want my art to grab an audience’s attention while simultaneously evoking emotions within them that inspire them to question and reflect upon the veiled reality all around us.
You have got several recognitions from some reputed international platforms, which are few you want to name as a great source of inspiration.
I have been fortunate that my efforts have come to fruition. One of my achievements was that I worked with New York Times on the project “This is 18” which later on became the best-selling book of the same name. I had my exhibition at Dhaka Art Summit 2020 as I was one of the finalists for the Samdani Art Award of that year. This year 2021 I worked with Goethe Institut and produced offline and online exhibits. I was the awardee for their grant “Futures Beyond the Self”.
Recently, I was one of the artists for the art auction for “Bangladesh Art Week” on the “Ora Egaro Jon” I am proud to say I sold my photography in art auction, and it was one of a kind in Bangladesh as we rarely see photographs be in art auction in Bangladesh.
I was published by Forbes, Aperture and the Swedish magazine C-print and Exibart, which I can recall in the past year.
You photograph people, people around you, how do you select your story and who is your favourite subject?
I usually have few ideas/concepts running through my mind all the time and as I traverse the world around me, I find myself scanning and eagerly awaiting a moment to capture or get inspired by. I find human beings fascinating; their body language and expressions help me express my perspective on a topic/idea. Human beings strutting around without any inhibition and subjects sitting stoically both have their own charm and help tell stories in drastically varied manners. Sometimes I conceptualize and do studio practice and sometimes I find that specific photograph while I actively look for it subconsciously.
Technical question, what is your most comfortable Camera? Do you think camera matters a lot?