Maybe the core of what makes photography still so uniquely fascinating is its almost inescapable necessity of dealing with light in various ways and modes. Mani Nejad’s photographs are informed by this idea and focus mostly on relations between light and space, on how we see the space because of light and on how we see the light because of the space and materials.
The notion of light in all its aesthetic aspects may be best described by the words of American architect Louis Kahn: “The sun never knew how great it was until it struck the side of a building”. In this sentence Kahn summarizes a photographic imperative and emphasizes how a building’s or an object’s atmospheric qualities are created through the interaction between structure and natural light. Seen in this context, the artist is less preoccupied with the light needed to create a photograph but more with the photograph’s ability to articulate the revealing journey of light through a scene.
The qualities of light as well as the feeling of coming out of the dark are both elements that are strongly defining the work of Mani Nejad. Apart from aspects of void and restraint it is also the preoccupation with the black and white image, its possibilities in terms of contrasts and nuances that drives the artist in his formal and aesthetic approach.