Nina Manandhar’s “Money on my Oyster”

July 20, 2013 , by DREAMS, Leave your thoughts
Nina Manandhar’s “Money on my Oyster” » My Dreams Mag
Photo: Nilesh Singh

Photographer Nina Manandhar's "Money on my Oyster" is a culmination of a 5 year photographic odyssey around London. The 82 page book is an anthropology of the local, a tour of chance encounters through London zones one to six and back again.

On Thursday 4th July 2013, DREAMS attended an exclusive private view of the accompanying exhibition and book launch also featuring a Nepalese traditional Lakhey dance. The exhibition continued from 5th-19th July 2013 at Eternal Youth, 378 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8. We bring you a brief interview with the 32-year-old aspiring photographer in which she shares more about her love for photography.


Please tell us briefly about your interest in photography.

I have been doing photography as a hobby for over 8 years, its only the past 5 years that I have taken it more seriously and received commissions etc.

My dad and both my uncles are great photographers and we have always had cameras around us growing up.


Have you exhibited yout works in the past?

I have had solo shows at Exposure Gallery, and worked on collaborative projects at the Institute Of Contemporary Arts and Tate Modern 


Why have you titled your latest book as “Money on my Oyster”?

The book is all about my travels around London. Some photographers feel like they need to go somewhere exotic to get good pictures but I’m most interested in finding new things close to home.

(‘Oyster’ refers to a pre-paid card used for public transport in London – DREAMS).


Please tell us more about the photos included in this book.

I love capturing images an engaging with the different people I shoot. A lot of the images are taken in east london as thats where I live now, a lot is street style but also some are taken as specific events.


How do you define yourself as a photographer. Is there any specific theme you are interested in?

I like to try to understand  the rituals people go through that give them a sense of belonging, in particular Youth Culture and how London cultures mix.


Your works in general reflect the daily lives of East London communities. Do you think your works are inspired by the local community?

I like to shoot my immediate surroundings, its a way of finding my way around where I am. I also like to see into different people’s communties and worlds.


Have there been any photographers or any community workers within your family? If so, do you thinks they have had any influence in your personality or professional interest(s)?

Yes, my mum is a community worker and my dad does great photos, my uncle Shiri in Nepal is a professional photographer too. One of my first chances to use an SLR was when I was 16 on a visit to Kathmandu.


In your current exhibition, we noticed two of your major photos had Nepalese models as the main subjects. How has been your experience with Nepalese culture and community in the UK?

I am half Nepalese and being part of the UK Nepali community has been a big influence in my work. Taking photos is a way of getting to know the culture better. I love the Lakhey dancer as I have seen him perform many times at the PPG events, he is so strking and memorable, and I bought him here tonight because I wanted others to see it too.

(PPG stands for ‘Pasa Puchah Guthi‘, a cultural organisation of Newar community in the UK – DREAMS).


What are your plans for the future?
I would love to continue with photography projects that excite me, and hopefully more books too!
I am also working on a book called What We Wore, its is a peoples style history of UK youth fashion, It will be out next year published by Prestel books.

Nina’s works can be viewed at www.ninamanandhar.com and her Instagram @warriorprintess.

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