KNMA Saket | Raghu Rai – A Thousand Lives Photographs from 1965-2005

by Team ACF
0 comment

A Thousand Lives
Photographs from 1965-2005
Preview: January 31, 2024
6:30 pm onwards
Preview is by invite only

Open to Public:
01 February 2024 onwards
10:30 am – 6:30 pm
Closed on Mondays and National Holidays

Feeding seagulls on the Jamuna, Delhi, 1995, Collection: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Photograph courtesy Raghu Rai & PHOTOINK

Much is already known about Raghu Rai—a critically acclaimed photographer who has received
national honours and gained international eminence over the years through the intensity of his
photographic practice, primarily through his career as a photojournalist and photography books. This
exhibition claims to focus on the enigmatic and lesser-known Raghu Rai, his extraordinary ability to
gather the breadth of experiences and his all-encompassing vantage point in photographing India
and her people. Very few have explored India and its multi-dimensional reality, its buzzing streets
and by-lanes, nooks and corners, walls and facades, bridges and bazaars like Rai has for nearly six
long decades. Fascinated by the world around him, he has photographed the pulse of the ‘everyday’
and its simultaneous unfolding as ‘live theatre’.

This exhibition focuses on the pre-digital phase of Rai’s career, when he used analog/ film
photography, exploring it with unprecedented fervour, freedom and imagination. From his
inexhaustible archives of photographs that defy being contained easily within any of his exhibitions, a
fresh slice has been pulled out which brings many extraordinary photographs into the public domain
for the first time. Concentrating on his black and white photographs, this exhibition presents his
long-term interest in photographing political and spiritual leaders, and also traces his practice that
evolved at the interstices of his years as a photojournalist.

Raghu Rai (b.1942, Jhang, Pakistan) qualified as a civil engineer and began photographing at the age
of 23. He joined The Statesman newspaper as their chief photographer (1966-1976), and thereafter
he became the Picture Editor with Sunday, a weekly news magazine published from Calcutta
(1977-1980). In 1971, impressed by Rai’s exhibition at Gallery Delpire in Paris, Henri Cartier-Bresson
nominated Rai to Magnum Photos. Rai took over as Picture Editor-Visualizer-Photographer at India
Today (1982-1991), and worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays
on social, political and cultural themes of the decade.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 for his work on the liberation war of Bangladesh and its
refugees. In 2009, he was conferred the Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. In
2019, Rai was honoured as the laureate of the first edition of the Académie des beaux-arts
Photography Award – William Klein.

Rai’s exhibition history in India and abroad is exhaustive and his photographs are widely collected by
public and private collectors. Solo exhibitions include A Journey of a Moment in Time, Palais de
l’Institut de France, Paris (2019), Trees at PHOTOINK (2013), Foto Freo Festival, Perth (2011), Format
Festival (2011), The Journey of a Moment in Time: Raghu Rai at National Gallery of Modern Art (New
Delhi & Mumbai, 2008), Photographs: Raghu Rai at Casa Asia, Barcelona (2008) and Asiatica Film
Mediale, Rome (2008), A Retrospective: Raghu Rai at Les Rencontres De La Photographie, Arles
(2007), India at Museo Capitolini Centrale Montemartini, Rome (2005), Bhopal 1984-2004 at
Melkweg Gallery, Amsterdam (2005), Exposure at Drik Gallery, Dhaka and at Leica Gallery, Prague
(2004), and Solo Show at Sala Consiliare, Venice and at Photographic Gallery, Helsinki (2003), La India
at Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City (1999) and A Retrospective: Raghu Rai at National Gallery of
Modern Art (1997).

Raghu Rai lives in Delhi and his works are represented by PHOTOINK.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment