Erasing Borders: Passport to Contemporary Indian Art  Feb-June 2008

Shrinivas Kuruganti

Shrinivas Kuruganti Shrinivas Kuruganti

My work has focused on the lives and relationships of people in communities that face both economic and social hardships in India. My photography documents the daily lives of manual laborers, from the ship-breaking yards of Bombay to the coal mining villages of Dhanbad. The Dhanbad series in particular highlights labor and living conditions when extreme industrial pollution from mining transforms the workers' ancestral lands from fertile fields to a scared, barren landscape.

Since 2001, my work has expanded upon this theme by exploring the impact of disease- in this case the AIDS epidemic-on the living and working conditions of people in India. I began photographing patients and staff at Freedom Foundation HIV/AIDS clinics in Bangalore and Hyderabad, one of the few free private run facilities where HIV+ people can seek treatment. I have documented through photographs how the virus spreads through the inter-connected communities, including a series on high risk groups such as truck drivers, eunuchs and male sex workers.

The effort most recently evolved into a collaboration-The Lives in Focus Project- which documents through interviews, photographs and video the impact of India's new patent law on the country's HIV+ population

In addition to these photo essays, I take photographs which reflect personal experiences and impressions. I have a very personal engagement with the people and places I document, which I return to year after year. Although I left India as a teenager, through my work I constantly revisit the country where I spent my childhood. With each coming and going between New York and India I relive something of the initial transition I made. These images are a way for me to explore and engage with the land and people I left behind.


Angkor Watt Photo Festival, 2007
Series of images documenting HIV high risk groups in India.

Tributaries, 2007
Travelling exhibition to accompany 'Tribuaries' a book of poems by Purvi Shah.

Postcards from the Edge Benefit, 2005
Annual Art Show and Auction
Photo of AIDS orphan in India

Chobi Mela Photo Festival, 2004
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Series of photos from Freedom Foundation AIDS clinic in India

Ninth Istanbul Slide-Show Days, Istanbul, Turkey, 2004
Group Show
Series on eunuch community in South India

World Press Photo Workshop, 2003
Maxmueller Bhavan , Delhi, India
Group Show
Series on coal mining in India

United Nations, New York, NY, 2001
Group Show
Series of photos from Freedom Foundation AIDS clinic in India

Williamsburg Art and Historical Society, New York, NY, 2001
Group Show, Alchemical Body
Series of street scenes from India

National Arts Club, 1999
Group Show
Series of Portraits

Black Paint Studios, 1999
Toronto, Canada
Series on South Asian youth culture in New York City

Desh Pardesh, SAVAC, 1998
Toronto, Canada
South Asian Club Culture
Series on South Asian youth culture in New York City

Gallery 648, 1997
New York, NY
Group Show
Series of street scenes from India

American Museum of Natural History, 1997
New York, NY
Group Show
Series of street scenes from India


Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children January 2002
Photos of HIV+ women from AIDS clinic in India

Facing AIDS

Umbrage Editions
Image of AIDS patient from Freedom Foundation Bangalore, India

Sarai Reader 3
Series of photos of coal miners from Dhanbad, India

Identity Dub: The Paradoxes of an Indian American Youth Subculture by Sunaina Maira
Series of photos of South Asian youth at clubs

SAMAR: South Asian Magainze for Action & Reflection, no. 9
Series of photos of child labor in India.

Village Voice
Ku Klux Klan rally- Story on KK Rally in New York City
South Asian youth culture- Story on South Asian youth in Queens and Brooklyn

New York Times
Photo of South Asian DJ- Story on South club culture

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