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Lives in Chittagong
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Dayanita Singh

Indian Contemporary Artist

Born 1961,

Lives In New Delhi, India and working in New Delhi, India

Nature Morte, New Delhi, India

Birth 1961 

Awards 5 

First Graduation1995 Switzerlad  

Years in practice 24  

Solo show 1997 Zurich 

Graduation 1988 New York 

Dayanita Singh is a visual artist working primarily in the medium of photography. Her background in Photojournalism is a great stimulus to her body of work, focussing on the highly dramatic to the highly nuanced. She also uses the book format to play with pictorial narratives and uses these as exhibition pieces.


Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad - 1986

Photojournalism and Documentary Photogra - 1988

Artist of the Month

Jogen Chowdhury


Artist Statement

It has started off as an accident that Dayanita Singh was asked to shoot Zakir Hussain after a brief untoward encounter at a concert of the tabla maestro while she was on a graduate project. This was the turning point for her when she had decided to take up photography. She has an overwhelming inclination towards taking black and white photographs rather than coloured ones. The black and white images coupled with texts create a dialogue between image and text, and the ordering of images forms the narratives in the books. Her assertion about finding muses away from photography also found resonance with this first project with music being a thread through these images. She says, “... it is extremely difficult to shoot in colour, to find a language of one’s own that is not determined by what exists.” With black and white images, there is a certain freedom of expressivity that she manages to capture. She is also acutely aware and knowledgeable on the different tonalities that she would want along with the kind of prints like the silver gelatine print while producing her prints in the laboratory. However, she has also marked her photographic intensity and fervour with highly saturated coloured images in one or two of her projects. Fascinated by the archives and their presentation in rows and columns of cupboards in the bureaucratic offices, Dayanita has also reassigned her exhibition vision accordingly. For the display of her works, she creates structures and cases that resemble actual cupboards. Dayanita very consciously and particularly marks her identity as a bookmaker whose medium is photography. Her artistic practice transcends beyond the medium and embodies that of a visual storyteller instead. For her, all her artistic muses stem from cinema, literature and music, and not necessarily from photography itself.