b. 1953 India
Sunil Gupta is an artist, writer, activist, and curator. In a recent series entitled, Imagining Childhood, Gupta focuses on children diagnosed with HIV who are in the care of the NAZ Center in Delhi. By not stressing their pain or the nature of third world health care, Gupta instead creates images of an unsettling yet still innocent childhood. They are imbued by his own memories of growing up in India and by his shared diagnosed condition, which he has openly made a part of his work.
“It is here that the personal and the intimate remain sacred but become both public and political. This is sexuality at its most delicate but also its most powerful. Perhaps it is odd to be grateful for a book as its editor. Yet if Sunil Gupta’s images are to teach us anything, I can and must be all of editor, subject, friend, and colleague, all at once.” (Gautam Bhan, 2008)
In Country, the artist poignantly captures his ancestral home, Mundia Pamar, in Northern India. Alternating between majestic landscapes and traditional formal family portraiture, Gupta examines through his relatives, their lives, and their connection to the land. The images within Country form a rich “family album” and are in sharp contrast to Gupta’s earlier works (From Here to Eternity, Homelands, Mr. Mahotra’s Party etc.) where he focused his concentration on his own immediate life, and highly personal situation.
Gupta’s work has been seen in over 90 international solo and group exhibitions. His curatorial efforts are paramount in the monumental exhibition, “Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh” at Whitechapel Gallery, London and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.
Gupta’s published work includes two monographs: Pictures From Here (2003) and Wish You Were Here: Memories of a Gay Life (2008).