Maria Penaranda // Arts & Culture Editor
Mahi Kaur // Photographer
There’s something otherworldly about Mahi Kaur’s portraits. The women in her photos, soaked in strange light and hazy film grain, feel like they exist in a parallel universe.
Capturing in-between moments of vulnerability, there’s a slowness to her work that makes you feel like you’re on the verge of seeing something blossom.
For the 21-year-old CapU student, photography is a process of strengthening friendships through aesthetic collaboration. “[The subjects] are my friends. That in itself has meaning— just making photos for your friends, seeing them happy, and you being happy,” she said.
Kaur’s style is marked by the imperfections she leaves untouched. Specks of film dust adorn her images, subjects are captured blurry in movement, faces are left a little unfocused, colours are intensified and saturated. “I feel like people take away the fun from photography so much, like it has to be perfect,” she remarked. “Shit happens, and being okay with that— having that transparency is nice.”
This embrace of imperfection is an attitude that shapes Kaur’s work aesthetically. With many other photographers, I read these kinds of imperfections as mistakes. With Kaur’s work though, they are absorbed into a greater visual identity that makes me feel like I’ve been swept up into a place of strange feminine tenderness, a place that makes the technical flaws of “good” photography feel totally foreign.
Follow Mahi on Instagram at @mahithecreator