(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)August 25, 2003
(Mahwah) – Indian photographer Sunil Gupta, whose life and photographs draw connections between India, England, the United States and Canada, brings to the Pascal Gallery at Ramapo College of New Jersey works in which the artist addresses a range of identity issues. The exhibit, consisting of his Homelands series of photographs, opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 10, and runs through October 24. Gupta will present an artist’s talk at the gallery Wednesday, September 24, at 5 p.m.
Gupta’s photographs are strikingly beautiful and haunting, a subtle and sophisticated approach to a complex identity theme,” says Ramapo College Art Galleries Director, Sydney Jenkins. The exhibit represents the artist’s journeys between the different worlds Gupta called home over the years. He presents the images in oppositional pairs of the West and India, inside-outside, East-West. Titles of his works included in the exhibit are Mundia Pamar, Uttar Pradesh/Chelsea, New York” and Constitution House, New Delhi/Downtown Montreal” to name a few.
The making of the Indian photographs became a health issue for me,” said the HIV positive Gupta, who continues his creative efforts with an HIV theme and with visual juxtaposition of landscapes confronting the artist’s current life (the West) with those from the life he feels displaced from despite the strong ties (India).
In Homelands, the artist shows a landscape of the path through which the HIV virus travels and spreads. According to Gupta, HIV has a look… My presence in the landscape is ambivalent, since I am a carrier.”
Sunil Gupta stands at the forefront of that creative, ‘migrant’ generation which first exploded on the visual art scene in the UK in the 1980s,” said Stuart Hall, emeritus professor, The Open University, and co-author of Different: Contemporary Photographers and Black Identity. Determined from the outset to break the silence surrounding masculinity, male sexuality and desire, what really propels the work is the drama of confronting, through narrative juxtapositions–between frames and within the frame–the tensions which have shaped his experience and his practice: between tradition and modernity, being a gay Indian man, educated and living in the West…His courageous address to these issues has given a decisive shape to the contemporary debate about difference.”
Gupta grew up in India in the 1960s without a television and attended college in his late-teen years in Montreal, where he became interested in photography. Fate brought the artist in the mid-1970s to the erupting photo arena of New York, where Gupta frequented the center of the Gay Liberation Movement on Christopher Street as well as midtown Manhattan streets. He continued his art education in England where he also embarked on a professional career.
Currently, London is home to Gupta, who exhibited his works in one-man shows in India, England, Canada and numerous American art galleries. The artist’s group exhibitions in 2003 and 2004 include Sepia International Inc., Hammer Sidi Gallery, The Tate, The New Art Gallery Walsall, and Galerie Luis Serpa Projectos (Museum Temporario). Gupta will launch his new book Pictures From Here on September 10 in London.
The Pascal Gallery is located in the Berrie Center on the Ramapo College campus. Exhibit hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 to 7 p.m. For more information, call (201) 684-7147.
Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.
Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.
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