Photographer Dayanita Singh receives Prince Claus Award from The Netherlands

NetIndian News Network

Well-known photographer Dayanita Singh has been chosen for one of the ten prestigious Prince Claus Awards 2008 from the Netherlands. The award jury said she had been chosen "for the outstanding quality of her images, for providing a complex and well articulated view of contemporary India, and for introducing a new aesthetic into Indian photography." The award was presented to her on behalf of the Prince Claus Fund by the Ambassador of The Netherlands, Bob Hiensch, today. The award includes a cheque for Euro 25,000. The Prince Claus awards are presented annually since 1997 to artists, thinkers and cultural organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Fund, through its Awards programme, seeks to identify and celebrate artists, cultural groups and organisations that are doing outstanding work in the field of Culture and Development. The theme of the 2008 awards was Culture and the Human Body. Dayanita, born in 1961, is known for her black and white portraits of India's urban middle and upper class families. She lives partly in Delhi and Goa. She studied Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the International Centre of Photography, New York. Dayanita has had several exhibitions of her work in India and abroad. Her books include, Myself Mona Ahmed, Privacy, Go Away Closer and Sent a Letter. She has been instrumental in raising the profile of "Art Photography" in India. An exhibition of Dayanita Singh's most recent project of colour photographs, Blue Book, will be held at the Nature Morte Gallery in New Delhi from February 9 to March 7. This is the fourth time that Indians are figuring in the list of Prince Claus awardees. In 1998, Dr. Jyotindra Jain, then Director of the Crafts Museum in New Delhi, and presently associated with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for The Arts and film maker Kumar Shahani from Mumbai were conferred with the honour. In 2000, three Indians --- Mr. Komal Kothari, scholar on Indian traditions; the late painter Bhupen Khakkar and the magazine Communalism Combat from Mumbai, represented by Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand --- received the award. In 2003, noted tribal language specialist and literary critic Dr. G. N. Devy, was chosen for the award. Besides the ten other laureates, every year there is a Principal Award which, for the first time, was conferred this year on an Indian --- author Indira Goswami. She received the award in Amsterdam on December 3 in the presence of Queen Beatrix and others. She was chosen for the award for her unique quality of writing, for identifying and expressing the inscription of cultural norms in the body, and for her influential social and cultural activism through literature. The principal prize money is € 100,000 (roughly Rs. 60 lakhs). INT