A moment with mother and daughter artists Lalhlimpuii Tripathi and Pooja Tripathi

Mother and daughter Lalhlimpuii Tripathi and Pooja Tripathi hold their work in the Witt Gallery, where their Through Our Lenses: Mother and Daughter exhibit is currently on display. 


Mother and daughter Lalhlimpuii Tripathi and Pooja Tripathi hold their work in the Witt Gallery, where their “Through Our Lenses: Mother and Daughter” exhibit is currently on display. 

Danielle Parkinson

With a love for capturing memories and great experiences that want to be shared, artists Lalhlimpuii Tripathi and her daughter Pooja Tripathi are setting up an exhibit on campus called “Through the Lenses: Mother and Daughter” to tell their stories through their photography.

What are your lenses?

Lalhlimpuii Tripathi and Pooja Tripathi: Our “lenses” are not just the ones attached to our cameras, but more as a metaphorical reference to the slits in the eyes – the refracted light that is processed into the way we see everything. Hiding behind our irises, they alter shape, shifting, giving us new perspectives in the lucid form of refracted light. Our lenses are the medium by which we see everything – the cameras are medium we use to share these simple sights.

How and why did this project start?

LT: It was just recently that the juxtaposition between our photos began to crop up. As the mother, I have almost by default seen and experienced more. My photos show my present life and future in the United States – specifically in Davis. After spending my entire childhood up to college in various parts of India, I find myself more caught up in my new surroundings and the differences in existence that I see.

PT: I mostly focus on the past – capturing and keeping memories so as to not lose them while growing up. Things veer and fluctuate and it’s difficult to remember everything worth remembering. I don’t want to forget and my camera has almost become an extension of my brain, providing the raw realities and leaving my mind in charge of the nostalgia.

How did you get your projects going on campus?

PT: We live in a small roundabout neighborhood that is on the university campus. Mainly, we both use digital formats, but I  really enjoy film too and use it sparingly so that it remains special in that way.

What are some typical subjects you enjoy working with?

LT: As stated before, I have an interest in the city and university setting. I also like to use my dog as a subject – albeit an unwilling one – and in the summers, I bring my camera to the collective picnics at our farmers markets to give a taste of the warm, festive atmosphere filled with rhythm and blues music.

PT: I love photographing the people I’m with and all the places I find myself in. More than anything, those are what revive past feelings and piece back together my faulty memory.

What is your personal story?

LT: I began my photography at an early age in Mizoram, the eastern state of India where I grew up. Later, I took it up again at college in Delhi and brought it here. I have been a mother for 15 years and my style has been transforming just as my life has.

PT:I have lived solely in Davis, omitting the scattered months spent in India during vacations. My photography first began with a plastic Sony camera I had in sixth grade that I used to record flowers and days spent with friends. Now, four years later, I have gone slightly astray from that, attempting to capture more than just events – the musings and reflection that comes along.

What is your message? What do you want people to take away?

LT and PT: There is no specific message in our work. The main intent is that people not just look at our photographs, but to join the introspection. We want the reminiscence to be palpable for the saccharine thoughts to be perceived, but not imposing. Our hope is that people can imagine themselves as part of the reflection and make the memory into their own, fabricating new feelings and sentimentality.

Lalhlimpuii Tripathi and Pooja Tripathi’s “Through Our Lenses: Mother and Daughter” exhibit is currently on display in the Witt Gallery in Kadema Hall and will run through Friday. 

Candice can be reached at [email protected]