Manjari Sharma's "Lakshmi," part of the series "Darshan"
Alumna Manjari Sharma's project Darshan continues to garner much-deserved attention. Most recently, her photograph of the Hindu goddess Maa Lazmi(or Lakshmi) appeared on the cover of the Nov. 2 issue of Forbes India.
The magazine covered the 100 richest Indians, so it is no surprise that Sharma's hyper-elaborately staged photograph of Lakshmi, who is a symbol of wealth and prosperity, was chosen as a visual representation of the topic.
The image is part of Darshan, an ongoing series that Sharma has been working on since 2011. She hopes to photographically recreate nine gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology. Her vision is to have print reproductions measuring six feet tall displayed in an installation that resembles a Hindu temple, complete with incense, lamps, and invocations.
Anjan Das, design director at Forbes India, chose the image after recollecting Sharma's project.
"The term 'rich' in the Indian context implies wealth and power—elements that you see in the striking image of goddess Lakshmi, " Das said. "All those who have made it to the Forbes Rich List are blessed by goddess Lakshmi. She's steered them through times of economic uncertainty. She is their fortune, wealth, and prosperity."
Sharma's project started with the recreation of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Creating each photograph in Darshan requires the help of nearly three dozen people to create the set, costumes, jewelry, props, makeup, and more. The Lakshmi image alone took more than three weeks to put together and cost nearly $5,000. For additional support, Sharma turned to Kickstarter, where she raised nearly $26,000.
Sharma has completed five out of the nine images in the series. You can learn more about her project, how to get involved, and view a video showing the entire production process by clicking here.
To read more about Anjan Das' decision to place Sharma's image on the cover, click here.