Past Exhibition

Dayanita Singh  Adventures of a Photographer

The Shiseido Gallery is pleased to announce that from October 22 (Sat) to December 18 (Sun), 2011 it will host the first solo exhibition in Japan by Indian photographer Dayanita Singh.

Dayanita Singh has been active primarily in the West, publishing collections of her work with publishers like Steidl, and exhibiting in prestigious events including solo shows at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for the Present in Berlin in 2003, at the Fundación Mapfre in Madrid in 2010, as part of the exhibit Paris - Delhi - Bombay at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2011, and at the Arsenale at the 54th Venice Biennale.

Dayanita Singh was born in New Delhi, India in 1961. From 1980 to 1986 she studied at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, then went to New York to study photojournalism and documentary photography at the International Center of Photography in 1987 and 1988. Later she worked as a photojournalist for a variety of magazines and newspapers.

Singh has become known for her documentary photography, starting with a series on the renowned Indian tabla (a type of drum from northern India) player Zakir Hussain (1986), and later Myself Mona Ahmed (2001), a series on an Indian eunuch (sometimes referred to as India's “third gender.” These she has followed with the works on a variety of themes, including Privacy (2003), a series of portraits of women in Calcutta, and Blue Book (2009), showing industrial sites. Most series she typically accompanies with the publication of photo collection books. Such books she weights equally with exhibition activities and in them she has experimented with a number of different approaches.

For the past two or three years Singh has begun testing a rather adventuresome approach as an ideal way to present her work. Her method involves sorting through the photos she's taken to find her own sense of relationship among them, in the process spinning a new story, using each individual photo as an image in compilations that group them together as a new complete work. Singh also happens to be well versed in literature, and just as a novelist might interpolate her own experiences, memories, and imaginings into her writing, Singh does a similar thing by attempting to use her documentary photos to create a new fiction. She does not wish to push her own story, necessarily, but rather hopes to expand the photos by inviting viewers to apply their own interpretations.

This exhibition will show photos from two series, House of Love and Adventures of a Photographer. House of Love shows Singh's experimental fiction-creating technique in full swing, grouping of photos into several “chapters” that form a larger narrative. In Adventures of a Photographer Singh has taken representative images from her past series to lend a retrospective element, but has recompiled these with the addition of current perspective. Along with the images in the photographs, a “she” emerges as the subject, in the style of fiction, and this is accompanied by a text on the journey of the photographic process written by Singh herself. Some of the important fragments of Singh's career appear here in the form of this fresh new work.

The Shiseido Gallery welcomes one and all to come experience Dayanita Singh's unique method, in which the photographer allows her own photographs to go beyond the confines of documentary photography to create a new story.

Exhibiting works

  • From Adventures of a Photographer
  • From Adventures of a Photographer
  • From Adventures of a Photographer
  • From House of Love

Dayanita Singh Biograpy

Born in 1961, New Delhi, India

Selected Solo Exhibition

2011 House of Love, Peabody Museum, Boston
Dayanita Singh, Museum of Modern Art, Bogota
2010 Dream Villa, Nature Morte, New Delhi
Dayanita Singh, Mapfre Foundation, Madrid
2009 Blue Book, Nature Morte, New Delhi
2008 Ladies of Calcutta, Bose Pacia gallery, Calcutta
Sent a letter / Go Away Closer - Hermes traveling show New York, Berlin, Paris
2007 Go Away Closer, Kriti Gallery, Banaras
2006 Beds and Chairs, Valentina Bonomo Gallery, Rome
2005 Chairs, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
2004 Privacy, Rencontres d'Arles, Arles
2003 Dayanita Singh: Privacy, Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
Myself Mona Ahmed, Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin
2002 I am as I am, Myself Mona Ahmed, Scalo Galerie, Zurich
2001 Empty Spaces, Frith Street Gallery, London
2000 Demello Vado, Saligao Institute, Goa
1999 Mona Darling, Venezia Immagine, Venice
1998 Family Portraits, Nature Morte, New Delhi
1997 Images from the 90s, Scalo Galerie, Zurich

Selected Group Exhibition

2011 Illuminations, Venice Biennale, Venice
Paris - Delhi - Bombay, Pompidou Centre, Paris
2010 Today Art Museum, Beijing
2008 Blue series, Manifesta 7, Bolzano
Go Away Closer, Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju
Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London
2007 Private / Corporate, Sammlung Daimler Chrysler, Berlin
2006 Sub-Contingent, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
The Eighth Square, Ludwig Museum, Cologne
2005 Presence, Sepia International, New York
Edge of Desire, Asia Society, New York
2004 Ten Commandments, Stiftung Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden
2002 Red Light, Australian Center for Photography, Sydney
Kapital und Karma. Aktuelle Positionen indischer Kunst, Kunsthalle, Vienna
2000 Century City, Tate Modern, London
1999 Another Girl, Another Planet, Greenberg Gallery, New York
1997 Out of India: Contemporary Art of the South Asian Diaspora, Queens Museum of Art, New York
1995 So many worlds - Photographs from DU Magazine, Holderbank, Aargau, Switzerland


Zakir Hussain, Himalayan Books, 1986
Myself Mona Ahmed, Scalo Verlag, 2001
Privacy, Steidl, 2003
Chairs, Steidl, 2005
Go Away Closer, Steidl, 2007
Sent a Letter, Steidl, 2008
Blue Book, Steidl, 2009
Dream Villa, Steidl, 2010
Dayanita Singh, Penguin studio and Mapfre Foundation, 2010
House of Love, Radius Books and Peabody museum Press, 2011

Gallery Talk (Serial translation from English to Japanese)

Gallery talk by Aveek Sen (Journalist)

Date: October 22nd, 2011, 13:00-15:00
Location: Word Hall, Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building, 9th Floor
Capacity: 60 guests
Participation Fee: Free
Inquiries: The Shiseido Gallery (Tel 03-3572-3901 or Fax 03-3572-3951)

Dayanita Singh Adventures of a Photographer

Organized by: Shiseido Co., Ltd.
Venue: October 22nd (Sat) through December 18th (Sun), 2011
Location: The Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building, B1F 8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel:03-3572-3901; Fax:03-3572-3951
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM,
Sundays & Holidays 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM,
Closed Mondays (including holidays falling on Mondays)
Admission: free of charge

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