press release

FotoFest 2018 Biennial
"INDIA - Contemporary Photography and New Media Art"
10.03.2018 - 22.04.2018

FotoFest International opens its 2018 FotoFest Biennial, dedicated to INDIA/Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art tonight, Friday, March 9, 8-11pm, at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street, Houston, Texas.

The FotoFest 2018 Biennial India exhibition is on view March 10-April 22, 2018 and features contemporary artwork from 47 living artists, from India and the global Indian Diaspora. Curated by photographer, curator and researcher Sunil Gupta, and Steven Evans, FotoFest Executive Director, the Biennial will be among the largest exhibitions of contemporary Indian art ever presented in the United States.

The central exhibition is located at four venues—three converted warehouses in Houston’s Washington Avenue Arts District, just west of Downtown; and the Asia Society Texas Center, in Houston’s Museum District.

“We’re known for bringing recognition to photographers from parts of the world that have been underserved by people looking at photography,” said Steven Evans, in a recent New York Times online feature on the FotoFest Biennial. Lead Curator Sunil Gupta followed with his hope that the FotoFest Biennial “is going to encourage people to look at this region more carefully and become better acquainted with it for a variety of reasons. We are seeing photography in India, certainly in art contexts, more and more. Already we have a kind of emerging art canon.”

The 47 artists, which include both established and emerging artists, are making work about a number of current and prescient issues including new technologies and development, the environment, human settlement, migration, integration, economics, caste and class, gender and sexuality, conflict, racism and religion. A full list of Biennial artists may be found on the FotoFest website at

The Biennial exhibition will be accompanied by six weeks of related programming including, exhibition tours, talks with artists, films, lectures, literary events and a special two day Symposium, March 23 and 24, 2018, presented at the Asia Society Texas Center and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The Symposium Keynote will be delivered by acclaimed journalist and author P. Sainath, the Magsaysay Award winning author of Everybody Loves a Good Drought. Panel discussions with multiple exhibiting artists and scholars on the following day address topics in Indian photographic history, gender status, and economic development in contemporary India.

An additional panel discussion on March 11 at the Asia Society Texas Center includes exhibiting artists Tenzing Dakpa, Sarindar Dhaliwal and Annu Palakunnathu Matthew talking about their work and larger contemporary issues in India and the Indian diaspora. Later that day, artist Max Kandhola will be in conversation with Biennial lead curator Sunil Gupta at The Whitehall Houston Hotel as part of the FotoFest dialogue series, Creative Conversations.

For the 2018 Biennial Film Program, FotoFest is continuing its long-time partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) Film Department to present a wide range of Indian feature, and documentary films on Indian society, exploring family, technology, and modern life in India.

Five Indian artists have received special scholarships, funded by the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, to attend the FotoFest International Meeting Place Portfolio Review, the oldest, largest, most international portfolio review program in the U.S. The Meeting Place brings together 150 curators, editors, publishers, gallerists, collectors, and photo agencies with over 450 photographic artists from around the world and across the United States.

Work from 12 Indian artists will be among the 76 lots auctioned at the FotoFest Fine Print Auction on Monday, March 19 at the Whitehall Houston Hotel in Downtown Houston, 1700 Smith Street.

FotoFest has partnered with the Ismaili Jamatkhana and Center in Sugar Land, Texas, a Houston suburb with a significant South Asian population, to present artist Ram Rahman on April 15. Rahman is a noted artist, curator, designer, and activist, who co-founded SAHMAT, a Delhi-based collective of artists and scholars dedicated to promoting cultural pluralism and secularism in India.

In conjunction with FotoFest’s 2018 exhibitions, author Sujatha Gidla will read from her book, Ants Among Elephants, a moving portrait of her Dalit family. Set against the backdrop of the growth of communism and formation of modern India, the book explores the caste system and discrimination that continue to afflict the country to this day.

As an extension of the Biennial, FotoFest has published a book titled INDIA/Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art to accompany the exhibition. Speaking to a number of contemporary issues in India, the book features artworks from the participating artists, along with essays by four prominent academics, and experts on India and its culture. The book is published by FotoFest and Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam.

FotoFest International was founded in Houston in 1983 as a platform for art and ideas. Over the past 35 years, it has developed a reputation for its thoughtful explorations of societal and cultural concerns through photography and art. It exhibits local, national and international artists, year-round, in Houston and abroad. Its largest program is the eponymous, citywide FotoFest Biennial, the first and longest running event of its kind in the United States.

FotoFest 2018 Biennial Artists:
Indu Antony (Bangalore, India)
Pablo Bartholomew (Delhi, India)
Atul Bhalla (Delhi, India)
Mohini Chandra (Fiji/UK/Australia)
Sheba Chhachhi (Ethiopia/Delhi, India)
Serena Chopra (Delhi, India)
Tenzing Dakpa (Delhi, India)
Sarindar Dhaliwal (Canada/Mumbai, India)
Anita Dube (Delhi, India)
Gauri Gill (Delhi, India)
Chandan Gomes (Delhi, India)
Shilpa Gupta (Mumbai, India)
Shivani Gupta (Goa, India)
Vinit Gupta (Delhi, India)
Apoorva Guptay (Mumbai, India)
Abhishek Hazra (Bangalore, India)
Sohrab Hura (Delhi, India)
Manoj Kumar Jain (Delhi, India)
Samar Singh Jodha (Dubai, UAE)
Ranbir Kaleka (Delhi, India)
Rashmi Kaleka (Delhi, India)
Jitish Kallat (Mumbai, India)
Max Kandhola (Birmingham, UK)
Roshini Kempadoo (UK/Guyana)
Asif Khan (Delhi, India)
Anita Khemka and Imran B. Kokiloo (Delhi, India)
Sandip Kuriakose (Delhi, India)
Dhruv Malhotra (Delhi, India)
Arun Vijai Mathavan (Ahmedabad, India)
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew (UK/USA)
Uzma Mohsin (Delhi, India)
Nandini Valli Muthiah (Chennai, India)
Pushpamala N. (Bangalore, India)
Dileep Prakash (Delhi, India)
Ram Rahman (Delhi, India)
Raqs Media Collective (Delhi, India)
Anoop Ray (Delhi, India)
Vicky Roy (Delhi, India)
Vidisha Saini (Delhi, India)
Hemant Sareen (Delhi, India)
Gigi Scaria (Delhi, India)
Mithu Sen (Delhi, India)
Rishi Singhal (Gandhinagar, India)
Leila Sujir (Montréal, Canada)
Ishan Tankha (Delhi, India)
Prince Varughese Thomas (Houston, USA)
Anusha Yadav (Mumbai, India)