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Digital Direction (MA)

Abodid Sahoo

Abodid is a multidisciplinary artist from India known for his evocative and immersive storytelling experiences that blend photography, film, sound, writing, sculpture, and performance. With a keen interest in understanding human behaviours and a transdisciplinary approach to storytelling, Abodid creates narratives that delve into nostalgia, introspection, and the interplay between past and present.

Drawing on his roots in Baripada, a culturally rich town in Odisha, Abodid's artistic practice is influenced by his love for art, music, and dance. While pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Rourkela, he discovered his passion for dance, music, photography, and films. Being an active member of the dance and film clubs during his engineering days allowed Abodid to enhance his skills and deepen his understanding of the medium as a means of self-expression.

After completing his studies, Abodid moved to Mumbai, the bustling hub of India's entertainment industry, to pursue his creative endeavours. Immersing himself in the vibrant arts scene of Mumbai, he dived into the world of advertising and commercials, collaborating with ad agencies and lifestyle brands. He has been a freelance director and editor for global ad agencies like Animal and Wieden+ Kennedy and produced visual works for companies like Budweiser. Through these experiences, Abodid further refined his artistic voice and continued to explore the medium in new and innovative ways.

Eager to deepen his knowledge in visual media, Abodid briefly studied film and video communication at the National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad. However, an exciting opportunity awaited him at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, where he was awarded the "The Apple Scholarship" to pursue his studies in the Digital Direction program.

Abodid's education, exposure and interaction with the outside world have sparked his interest in a plethora of subjects. His interest in psychology and human behaviour motivates him to explore psychotherapy, neuroscience and tools like EEG in his practice. 

Abodid's artistic practice reflects his diverse background in performance, music, photography, and film. Rooted in his cultural heritage and influenced by his journey from Baripada to Mumbai and now London, his work invites audiences on a journey of exploration and self-discovery. Through his relentless questioning and challenging of the medium, Abodid strives to create immersive narratives that provoke thought, reflection, and emotional connection.

Degree Details

School of CommunicationDigital Direction (MA)RCA2023 at Battersea and Kensington

RCA Kensington, Darwin Building, Lower-ground and Upper-ground floors

A dark color image is seen with a streak of light from the right.

Grounded in the concept of Hauntology, the project sheds light on the lingering impact of unresolved emotions and memories. The project aims to understand the complex emotional states that intertwine memory and loss. It captures the dissonance between absence and presence, evoking a profound sense of longing and resignation. 

Drawing inspiration from Roland Barthes' concept of the punctum, the poignant detail in an image that evokes a deeply personal and emotional response, I dive deep into my personal archive to search for images that evoke vivid memories of the pivotal moments in my life. With an autoethnographic approach, I excavate memories and engage in intimate conversations with family, friends, and strangers. In the process, I explore my insecurities and strengths and gain a profound understanding of myself. The project seeks to illuminate the transformative power of love and death and shed light on the haunting allure of unrequited love and grief.

The project becomes a space where performance breathes soul into narratives, and writing unveils the depths of our inner worlds. The project creates an intimate sanctuary for contemplation, connection, and the profound exploration of the intricate tapestries that weave our narratives. Performance acts as a vessel, bringing forth raw emotions and experiences to spark empathy and understanding. Performative writing unveils the closely acquainted narratives etched upon the pages, weaving a delicate web of vulnerability, introspection, and self-discovery. And within the therapeutic embrace of phototherapy, the project harnesses the healing power of the image-making process and images, fostering personal growth and transformation.

Amidst the gentle melancholia that permeates the air, we are reminded of the transformative potential hidden within our deepest sorrows and the remarkable resilience of the human spirit.

a wide photo with six pages of my journal with text written and teardrops soaked on the sheets
The OriginSometimes I wonder if the ghost of my brother sees me miss a living person more than him, will he feel jealous?
a wall with lots of old photos of a kid aged 10-12 years.
Fukun and LuckyThe sweetest memories haunt me silently in my dreams. Photographs were shot by my father in India using a 35mm analog camera.
a set of photos on the wall with handwritten texts over them
Why did you cry?Performative Writing on Family Archive which has photos of my brother and me primarily.
Touched the earth to fly like a birdPerformance Duration: 6 mins Shot by Garance Paule in London 2023
a grid of four photos, one is of person performing, second is bare ground, third is foot, fourth is a shirt in the air
Fly like a bird with freedom and love. In the Frame: Garance Paule, M.Res Fine Art, RCA
a grid of four photos of person performing with bare body on the ground
Amidst the gentle melancholia that permeates the air, remember the transformative potential hidden within our deepest sorrows. Filmed by Garance Paule M.Res Fine Art, RCA
a grid of images with about 50000 thumbnails, looking like a huge cluster, resembling the looks of a woven fabric
ArchiveOne night I was scared that this might be the end of it. I wanted to cherish all the good moments and keep a memory of them. That night I took about three thousand screenshots of our WhatsApp and Instagram chats. Since then, it's been an obsession to voraciously capture everything that I am scared to lose someday.
Digital NegativeThe origin of an endless obsession.
set of three dark images in a row, each  dark image has a greenish light streak from the left
IMG_19846th November 2021 05:18 AM

unknown existence

undiscovered beauty

that's how you are

so far

but one dawn just like a sun

right from within

you will arise

Source: The Spiritual Poems of Rumi


Mixed Media - Photography, Film, Performance, Writing


three obscure images in three columns, dark look, slight light streaks visible from some parts, the third seems like a silhoutte
a set of three photos with seemingly no people in them, only the structures are visible, a building, a garden space,  an airport
A lot of times I would be in a moment when I can't capture the moment at that very moment. Later on, then I would not feel like going away without a picture of that pivotal moment. I would just go back and take a picture of the same without the subject and that's it. I don't really need anything else to go back to that moment. Such images have something we call an invisible punctum, a concept Roland Barthes refers to in his book, Camera Lucida. They aren't really there. But they are there.
a montage of 7 photos from a Coldplay concert, I am happy, smiling, stage is visible in some photos, a huge crowd in the stadium

A simple kind of love letter for you.

It felt unreal to see Coldplay for real. I was in the front row, literally inside the barricade, a meter away from them the whole time. Coldplay has been with me in the happiest and saddest points of my life. And I am emotionally attached to specific songs in Ghost Stories very profoundly. Always in my head, Another's arms, O fly on, they all mean the world to me. I pray that I will be able to work with Coldplay someday. Hello Chris, Guy, Will, Jonny, and Phil, are you listening? Heh3e :)

Why am I putting this up here on the RCA site?

Hmm, there is a reason I dropped out of NID and came to London. I feel blessed that RCA happened to me at that point in my life in 2022. Perhaps it was a deliberate escape from a haunting, a strategic plan for a dormant craving, or pure luck and destiny. But one thing I know for sure, it was a journey to breathe better. It was a journey to understand myself better. Thank you, London, for being kind to me like a mother. Thank you, Apple and RCA, for allowing me to explore the city freely and work on my interest areas with freedom and love.

The first project you see throws light on the whole story subtly. The book I am writing now, which hopefully will be done soon, would be something you might love to read. We can call it a photobook, in fact, but with a lot of words from my heart.

I love Sam Kolder's quote and would like to share it with you. "Don't ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive because what the world needs most is more people who come alive." 

I needed to come alive first to solve more significant problems in the world. Thank you, Destiny, for allowing me to do so. Meeting such a diverse range of people here within just a few months was dramatically life-changing regarding perspectives and ideologies. The number of art exhibitions and concerts I attended this one year surpasses my last 27 years combined. And I couldn't be more thankful. 

I pray that the needy and hungry ones get food on their plate. I pray that everyone feels safe in this world irrespective of their gender and race, and social status. I pray that everyone feels at home anywhere they go, just like the kind of belongingness we all felt during the Coldplay concert. Those few hours transcended me to a utopian world. I pray that the needy and hungry ones get food on their plate. I pray that everyone feels safe in this world irrespective of their gender and race, and social status. I pray that everyone feels belongingness everywhere, as we all felt during the Coldplay concert. I pray that you have people around you to speak to when something bothers your heart deep within.

To end this, I would like to share some messages from the moon. "I pray that we both get to do things with freedom and love and be able to express ourselves in the most authentic way. God bless you with good people in life and lots and lots of creativity."

If you are still reading this, I would like you to take a deep breath and feel grateful for the privilege of a healthy mind and body. :) 

And then slowly read these few lines from one of my favourite songs Saturn composed by Sleeping at Last,

"You taught me the courage of stars before you left

How light carries on endlessly, even after death

With shortness of breath

You explained the infinite

And how rare and beautiful it is to even exist."


Love and hugs, Abodid

The Apple Scholarship