“Moving Still” Traces Evolution of Self-portraiture Photography in India

“Moving Still”, courtesy Vancouver Art Gallery.

Contemporary photography in India has been on the rise since wealthy figures like the Maharaja of Jaipur – India’s first “Photographer Prince” – started snapping “selfies” in royal court in the 1800s. The fascinating historical journey that traces the evolution of self-portraiture photography is explored in-depth at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new exhibit, Moving Still: Performative Photography in India, running April 19 to September 2.

Moving Still displays the works of 13 artists from regions across India who use performative self-portraits to explore issues related to gender, sexuality and religion. Spanning three generations, the collection of portraits begins with key works from the 19th century, such as Umrao Singh Sher-Gil’s self-portraits of reading, yoga and spiritual solitude; and continues through history to Sunil Gupta’s exploration of gay life and Pushpamala N.’s ironic portrayal of Indian family life post-independence.

The exhibit will be enhanced by public programming that includes a conversation between co-curators Diana Freundl and Gayatri Sinha (April 20 at 3pm) and an artist talk by Pushpamala N. (April 27 at 3pm). The full schedule of public programming is available here.

The Vancouver Art Gallery has also partnered with Capture Photography Festival to display a photo mural of artist Naveen Kishore’s work at Vancouver City Centre skytrain station on Granville Street (now to September 1). To learn more about Moving Still, visit www.vanartgallery.bc.ca.

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