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Now, nudes on your mobile screen
Seema Sindhu
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September 12, 2008

Art has been a luxury of riches. For a common man, buying an art work is out of question. Not only this, art is exclusive in terms of accessibility too. Not every city has art exhibition venues. Imagine if you don't have to go to an art gallery to satiate your love for art and can own an art piece for 10 rupees which is sold for lakhs in an art gallery. The only difference is the former will be a decor for your mobile and the latter can adorn your living room wall.

One such instance is a photographer's pictures made available for download on mobile by a value added service (VAS) player. With the aim to showcase and reach out to a wider audience, Akash Das, a photographer and winner of more than a hundred national and international awards, recently unveiled his two-part art photography exhibition titled 'Asian Nudes in the Jungle' and 'Asian Nudes in the Urban Jungle' which can be uploaded on the mobile handset.

Das has tied up with Handygo which will undertake distribution of  his photographs on the mobile platform via various telecom service providers. "The idea is to increase the reach of my work to more art lovers. Bringing my work on mobile platform will take it to the masses," says Das.

The first part, 'Asian Nudes in the Jungle,' showcases Das' painstaking work with wild animals, especially tigers and elephants, in the forests of Corbett National Park and the Bandhavgarh wildlife sanctuary. The second, 'Asian Nudes in the Urban Jungle,' showcases his creative work exploring the beauty of the female form.

The 'Art on mobile' concept can open new opportunities for artists. First, as Das noted in terms of reach. Secondly, it makes business sense. Das will share revenue coming from the downloads with the VAS player -- he refused to reveal the share. Within two days of putting the pictures on the Handygo server, the company has seen 50,000 downloads. One download costs 10 rupees. Now, when Handygo puts the pictures on telecom operator's network, one can only guess the number of downloads and thereby the revenue for the photographer.

Mobile phones today have moved beyond their fundamental role of communications and have graduated to become an extension of the persona of the user. Value added services have added a world of possibilities to this existing scene. There exists a vast world beyond voice that needs to be explored and tapped and the entire cellular industry is heading towards it to provide innovative options to their customers.

Praveen Rajpal, founder and CEO of Handygo, says: "All high-end phones from Nokia, HTC, Samsung and the iPhone create buzz about features like big screen, good display and good music output. Music and pictures are the most adored assets on anybody's mobile phone. This initiative is an innovation to make imagery VAS artistic."

With around 296 million cellular subscribers in India and adding on an average 8 million subscribers every month, surely mobile is the best medium to reach masses. And with mobile VAS market in India at an estimated figure of Rs 55-60 billion in 2008, certainly, the art fraternity can hope to make good revenue too through art images.

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