Ari (2021)

The title Ari in tibetan literally translates to America, along with it conjures hopes and aspirations for a one way ticket — to live the american dream. For the diaspora community it holds a promise of wealth, a secure future and their family’s well being. For photographer Tenzing Dakpa it’s significance came to the fore front when his aunt scoured the markets of Sadar Bazar, New Delhi for a towel with a US Dollar print for her son (Dakpa’s first cousin) who was soon to emigrate to the US.

The photographs in this collection were made during Dakpa’s stay in the US(Queens, Cambridge and Providence) and India(Sikkim and Goa) between 2014-2020. Bearing in mind the significance of the word Ari, his parent’s wishes for him to settle in America and the pull of the tibetan-nepalese community that he found comfort in and spent time with, the photographs loosely reflect amidst the acculturation of a working class diaspora, Dakpa’s own photographic disposition.