Yesterday I had the pleasure of accompanying artist Jesse Bercowetz in a research visit to Hari Darshan Incense Factory. Jesse is looking into using incense as a material for his installation work for the Religare Artist Residency, and Hari Darshan's Director Pankaj Negdev kindly agreed to let him visit his factory in the industrial outskirts of Delhi. Moreover, he agreed to my tagging along with my camera and filming and photographing every step of the process.
Seeing how incense is made was on my list of improbable things I would love to do in India, so I was quite excited about it but I never thought the experience would be so overwhelming.
It was a feast for the senses: the colours, the textures, the sounds (ironically, smell seemed to take a secondary place). All the movements and repetitions, the people and the machines, the production chain working in perfect synchrony.
I will never light an incense stick again without thinking about the people and the stuff that make this commodity I buy so very far away.
You can watch some photographs in this slideshow. In the meantime, quite a lot of rather nice footage awaits my editing hand.