The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is inarguably the most prestigious competitive exam conducted in our country. The reputation is based primarily on the starkly clean image that JEE has in the public perception. And this reputation is fully deserved. Every year over 10 lakh students appear for the tests of which a mere 10 thousand make it to the IITs.
The advertising pages of every newspaper or periodical and public walls in the smallest of townships bear witness to a flourishing industry spawned by this examination. This industry dominates the education system as the dependence on institutions that offer intensive coaching for these examinations accelerates significantly. The practice of drilling often affects the inherent curiosity that is integral to science and instead relies on the methods of pattern recognition central to clearing the test.
The image of the IITian has hence become an indispensable symbol of aspiration in the popular culture in our society. Despite this iconicity, it induces a latent homogeneity by dissolving the identity of these individuals and reducing them simply to their rank among the other candidates.
The series of works seeks to represent the uniformity induced by this multiplicity. As having once been a part of the populace that trained to take the examination, I lend an aspect of my own identity to these images and investigate the difference between the appearance and the individuality of subject.