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Jyoti Bhatt: The photographer who preserved rural Indian life

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Image source, Jyoti Bhatt

Jyoti Bhatt was among the early students of one of the first art schools set up after India’s Independence in 1947.

Born in the western state of Gujarat in 1934, Bhatt documented rural Indian culture and captured the traditional ways of life and craftsmanship that are at risk of vanishing.

He went to study in art schools in Europe and New York and became one of the most innovative modernist photographers in South Asia.

In 2019, Bhatt was awarded the Padma Shri – one of the India’s highest civilian awards – and his work can now be found in the collections of the Tate Modern, London and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, among others.

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The first major exhibition of Bhatt’s photographs titled Time & Time Again will be launched early next year at the newly-opened Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) in India’s southern city of Bangalore.

Here’s a selection of Bhatt’s works.

This photograph of Haryanvi women creating a Sanjhi mural painting, was made in the year 1977,

Image source, Jyoti Bhatt

Wall painting showing odiya motifs, 1987

Image source, Jyoti Bhatt

A woman from the Meena community decorating a bullock for the Govardhan festival (Rajasthan), 1969

Image source, Jyoti Bhatt

A woman guarding a Mandana painting (Rajasthan), 1986–1987

Image source, Jyoti Bhatt

A woman from Mithila working on the initial stages of a mural of the goddess Durga, 1977

Image source, Jyoti Bhatt

Presentational white space

Rajasthan artist

Image source, JYOTI BHATT

Mother and child in Gujarat

Image source, Jyoti Bhatt

Presentational white space

Pictures by Jyoti Bhatt, Courtesy Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), Bangalore

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