Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I'm a photographer based in New Delhi.
Where were you born?
I was born and raised in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala.
When did your parents come to India?
My parents came to India from Tibet in 1992. Like many Tibetan exiles fleeing Chinese repression, they actually made the perilous journey by foot!!! Along with a small group of 15 people, including my 9 year old cousin, they walked for days to reach the border.
Do you have family in Tibet?
Yes, most of my relatives are still in Tibet.
What is home to you?
To me, home is a place where you can return to.
Do you ever want to go to Tibet?
Yes, of course. I've always wanted to physically see the place where my parents grew up.
What's your favourite Tibetan food?
Tsampa, shapta and tingmo.
How did you get into photography?
I've had a penchant for art since childhood. But I briefly went down the wrong path after school—embarking on a B.Sc. Zoology degree. Thankfully after the first year, I switched to a BFA. degree, which had a short photography course. Since then I've been hooked.
What inspires you?
Tell us about your personal project.
My personal project deals with themes of longing, personal space, displacement and memories.
How did you get the nickname Mango?
Hahahaha. The first time I met you both, Aashna and Sneha, at a Bhaane party, you asked me what my favourite fruit was. And since then... I've been Mango.
Tell us a little bit about this shoot—the location, the concept, the styling.
We shot in Sikkim, in a small town where my girlfriend Karma was born.
Karma is wearing a traditional Chupa, brought to India from Tibet! It's a family heirloom, passed on to her from her grandmother. The make up is a replication of the native Tibetan look—red cheeks are very common amongst people who live in high latitudes and cold temperatures.
Finally, how was 2020 for you?
Like everyone else, 2020 was definitely a hard year for me. But as much as I would like to complain, I've also never felt more fortunate. It taught me to appreciate the littlest things and be thankful for everything I have. Despite not being able to work, I was able to sustain my life, which really brought things into perspective for me.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Model & make up artist: Karma Choezom