Ram Rahman

Street Smart

Museum of Asian Arts-Guimet
6, place d'lena
75116 Paris

19 October to 23 January 2023 

  . VIEWS              . ARTWORKS             . PRESS RELEASE         

The Guild is delighted to announce an exhibition featuring the works of Ram Rahman at Musée  Guimet, Paris. The exhibition, Ram Rahman: Street Smart opens at the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet (MNAAG) in Paris on 19 October 2022, and continues until 23 January 2023, presenting works by artist Ram Rahman. The exhibition is organised by Musée Guimet as part of the 2022 season of Asia Now Art Fair which aims to honour contemporary Asian creation. The general curator of the exhibition is  Sophie Makariou, President of Musée Guimet. The exhibition is presented by Musée Guimet and The Guild.

Ram Rahman has captured the vibrant visual culture of the Indian street in these photographs. His camera delights in the curious juxtapositions of advertising, political sloganeering, religious icons and graffiti which abound on India’s streets. His use of the black and white image flattens and compacts the frame to create images which are collage-like. He sees this as a people’s visual culture, much of which comes together by sheer chance. These chance assemblages, often on a huge scale, are the stage sets against which daily life unfolds in a theatre of the street. The images capture the chaos, irony and humour of the public culture of India. The street in India is like a visual text, a random people's art which reflects the aspirations, cinematic dreams and also comments on current political issues, on history and mythology in often unlikely combinations. The still camera is the perfect tool to capture these visual texts and Rahman creates new stories in his assemblage of images. Some hand painted images, the proliferating digital imagery, offset posters and signs are all elements of this pop culture mashup which has survived the sanitising homogeneity of global consumerism.


Ram Rahman

Photographer, artist, curator, designer and activist, Ram Rahman initially studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Later, Rahman completed a degree in Graphic Design from Yale University’s School of Art in 1979. Born in 1955, Rahman has shown his photographs in individual and group shows in India and around the world. His most recent shows include at Centre Pompidou, Paris; 2017, Houston FotoFest, 2018; Gwangju Biennale, 2018; and the Chennai Photo Biennale, 2019.

Amongst the shows Rahman has curated are Delhi: Building the Modern, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, 2017; Sunil Janah: Vintage Photographs 1940-1960, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, 2015; Delhi Modern: The Architectural Photographs of Madan Mahatta, Photoink, New Delhi, 2012; Heat: Moving Picture Visions, Phantasms and Nightmares, Bose Pacia, New York, 2003; Sunil Janah Photographs: A Retrospective, Gallery 678, New York, 1998.

Rahman has been lecturing on aspects of contemporary Indian photography and architecture in the last few years, at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Jnanapravaha, Mumbai; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris, including major lectures on Sunil Janah, Raghubir Singh, and the modern architecture of New Delhi.

Rahman is one of the founding members of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) in New Delhi, a leader in the resistance to communal and sectarian forces in India through its public cultural action. He is co-curator of the SAHMAT retrospective exhibition which opened at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago in February 2013. The artist lives and works in New Delhi. Rahman’s photographs are in the collections of The Devi Art Foundation, The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, in Delhi, The Museum of Modern Art and the MET in New York, The Pompidou Centre in Paris, and The Tate Modern in London, besides private collections. 

The Guild

The Guild was established in 1997 with an aim to function as a semi-institutional space within the bustling art-hub of Mumbai, India. Since its inception, it has been providing a platform for discursive practices, innovation and experimentation in contemporary art. The Guild represents artists of diverse generations who have brought in robust dialogue within and across their disciplines. The Gallery has held major retrospectives of Navjot Altaf, Sudhir Patwardhan, and G. R. Iranna in collaboration with premier national art centres.

The gallery has published a number of books with essays by preeminent critics and curators on contemporary Indian artists, such as Sudhir Patwardhan, Navjot Altaf, Jyoti Bhatt, K.G. Subramanyan, A. Ramachandran and T. V.  Santhosh, amongst others.

The Guild celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2022. For this silver jubilee year, The Guild is organising a series of critical curated exhibitions marking the trajectory the gallery, its artists, and the Indian art world has taken in the past twenty-five years.




For more details, please contact us at:
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