The photographer's new collection of images are an affectionate tribute to the elements of the South East Asian country that may not be around for much longer.
In his book Delhi Dilemma, David Bailey turns his camera away from the fast-emerging new face of the capital – the traffic, shopping malls and glass high rises – to linger instead on bits of India that have yet to be stripped of their national identity and globalised. He photographs beggar children at the roadside in battered garish dresses, their hair reddish from malnutrition. He takes us to old cinema halls, and focuses on curved ceilings the colour of blood oranges, the elegant swirl of a staircase moulding, the wistful suggestion of glamour in a sign that reads “Balcony – Rupees 80” and “Dress Circle – Rupees 50”, next to an old fire-extinguisher. There are touching images of a pavement photographer (“Instant colour photo in just five minutes”) who uses old techniques (scissors, I think) to superimpose his subjects’ bodies into the jaws of a black-and-white lion.