MOUNT DORA — Indian-American businessman and photographer Yatin Patel doesn't brag about the modernity of India's cities.
Instead, he treasures old sections, where for centuries people have added their stamp to streets built during the Mughal empire, which flourished from the 16th century until the British Raj came to power.
"Sutra," which means "thread" in Sanskrit, is the title of the new Mount Dora Center for the Arts exhibit, which opens at an artist's reception from 6 to 8 p.m. today.
Patel photographs street scenes of women hanging laundry to dry across hand-carved pillars sporting TV antennas.
"People live outside our houses," he said. "Streets are part of our community. It is a more harmonious way to live — a life we lost in the New World."
His images include building facades that act as living documents of 500 years of history, with a zig-zag of exterior water pipes and embellished by intricate metal gates and railings.
"It shows the time that has passed by," he said. "The evolution of growth is still visible, with layers of generations."
In "Dimensions," where the plumbing elbows its way up the building, Patel communicates the sense of energy he feels when he sees the building.
In "Approach," he shows a tiny neighborhood that has changed only to suit its residents.
"Everything is designed for the needs of society," he said. "It's not like a developer says, 'You need a Panera Bread here.' It grows organically."
Patel has his work printed on handmade, unbleached Japanese paper made from the kozo plant, known for its strength.
He created the Aids Awareness and Prevention Foundation and donates profits from the sale of prints of his photographs to the charity.
The exhibit will continue at the center, 138 E. Fifth Ave., through June 7.