Photo Feature: Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh is a photographer whose primary format is the book. She studied Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York City. She has published twelve books. Her books rarely include text; instead she lets the photographs communicate and speak for themselves. These ideas are furthered through her experimentation with alternate ways of producing and viewing photographs to explore how people relate to photographic images.

Singh has created and displayed a series of mobile museums, giving her the space to constantly sequence, edit, and archive her images, in large part due to her interest in archives. Each mobile museum contains 70 to 100 photographs displayed in wooden vertical frames.

On a personal note, while Dayanita uses less text in a book and lets the image speak for itself, one can’t help but wonder about the placement of the image on the page. This brings back memories of studying graphical appeal of photographs in California. The entire page is an image. The canvas is only bound by the size of the page.

Museum Bhavan has been shown at the Hayward Gallery, London (2013), the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2014), the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2014) and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi (2016). Singh was awarded the Prince Claus Award in 2008. In 2013, she became the first Indian to have a solo show at London’s Hayward Gallery.[