|Mr. Raghu Rai
|Raghu Rai (born in December 1942) qualified as civil engineer, started photography at the age of 23 in 1965. He joined The Statesman newspaper as their chief photographer (1966 to 1976), and was then Picture Editor with Sunday—a weekly news magazine published from Calcutta (1977 to 1980).
In 1971, impressed by Rai’s exhibition at Gallery Delpire, Paris, the legendary photographer Henri Cartier Bresson nominated him to Magnum Photos, the world’s most prestigious photographer’s cooperative.
Rai took over as Picture Editor-Visualiser-Photographer of India Today, India’s leading news magazine in its formative years which Rai could start only in 1977. He worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays on social, political and cultural themes of the decade (1982 to 1991) which became the talking point of the magazine.
He was awarded the ‘Padmashree’ in 1971, one of India’s highest civilian awards ever given to a photographer. In 1992 he was awarded “Photographer of the Year” in the United States for the story “Human Management of Wildlife in India” published in National Geographic. Recently he has been conferred the award of Officier des Arts et des Lettres.
His photo essays have appeared in many of the world’s leading magazines and newspapers - including Time, Life, GEO, The New York Times, Sunday Times, Newsweek, Vogue, GQ, D magazine, Marie Claire, The Independent and the New Yorker. He has been an adjudicator for World Press Photo Contest, Amsterdam and UNESCO’s International Photo Contest for many times.
He has done extensive work on the photo documentation of 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy and its continuing effects on the lives of gas victims under a special assignment from Greenpeace International. This documentation was compiled into a book with 3 sets of exhibitions traveling in Europe, America, Australia, India and South East Asia from 2002 to 2005, which created greater awareness about the tragedy and bringing relief to many survivors.
A special exhibition and picture book was created on India and Mexico in year 2002 in which his work was published along with two renowned photographers Graciela Iturbide (Mexico) and Sebastiao Salagado (France). His works have been published in major books done by Magnum Photos including Exhibitions.
In the last eighteen years, Rai has specialized in extensive coverage of India and has produced more than 20 books including:
• Bihar shows the way ( 1977)
• Raghu Rai’s Delhi(1985, 1992),
• The Sikhs (1984, 2002),
• Calcutta (1989),
• Khajuraho (1991),
• Taj Mahal, (1986)
• Tibet in Exile (1991),
• India (1985)
• Madhya Pradesh (2000)
• Indira Gandhi (1971, 1985)
• Indira Gandhi – A living legacy (2004)
• Mother Teresa – Faith & Compassion (1971, 1996)
• Mother Teresa - A life of dedication (2004)
• Men Metal and Steel (1998)
• Lakshadweep (1996)
• My land and it’s people (1995)
• India notes (2005) curated by Magnum Photos,
• Raghu Rai’s India – Reflections in Black & White (2007)
• Raghu Rai’s India – Reflections in Colour (2008)
• Delhi – Contrast and Confluences
• Calcutta – it never begins… never ends…
Besides winning many national and international awards, Rai has exhibited his works in London, Paris, New York, Hamburg, and Prague, Japan, Zurich and Sydney. His solo show has been held in many countries:
• Bunkamura Museum, Tokyo, -2001,
• Kendamy Museum – Italy,2002,
• Museo De Capitolini- Rome- 2004.
• Museo di Storia Naturale- Milan,
• Galery Caolmine- Switzerland,
• Centro Cultural Recoleta- Argentina,
• Centro Universitario Belas Artes- Sao Paulo,
• Leika Gallery-Prague,
• Art Car Museum- Texas (Houston),
• Australian Museum, College St, Sydney,
• Fait et Cause Gallery – Paris.
• Earthscapes series, India – 2007
• Earthscapes series, Singapore – 2007
• Just by the way – clouds, rocks and nudes, India – 2007
• Master Musicians of India – Singapore – 2007
• Raghu Rai’s retrospective, Arles Photography Festival – 2007
• Raghu Rai’s retrospective, Madird, Barcelona, Valladolid, Spain – 2007
• Raghu Rai – A retrospective – National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi -2008
• Raghu Rai – A retrospective – National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai -2008
• Drik Gallary – Bangladesh - 2009
Raghu Rai lives in New Delhi with his family and continues to be an associate of Magnum Photos.