Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Sunil Gupta at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography

Ottawa - November 24, 2005

 Internationally acclaimed artist Sunil Gupta offers a unique and very personal look at identity, culture and the immigrant experience in a new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Sunil Gupta is on view in Ottawa from 25 November 2005 to 23 April 2006.

The exhibition, organized by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, features two series of large-scale autobiographical photographs. In Social Security (1988), Gupta uses family photographs and his mother’s words to narrate the story of the family’s move from India and settlement in Canada. In Homelands (2001-03), Gupta conjoins East and West in colour diptychs that pay homage to the places he has called home: India, Canada, the United States and England.

Gupta was born in New Delhi in 1953, grew up in Montreal, studied in New York, and is now based in London, although he retains his Canadian citizenship. Throughout his career, his work has been informed by his personal experiences and circumstances as an immigrant, artist, writer, curator, cultural activist, and as a gay man with HIV.

“Sunil Gupta’s work is a powerful testament to the challenges of moving between cultures – not just national cultures, but social ones as well,” says Martha Hanna, Director of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. “I think it’s a theme that resonates with many Canadians.”

In his introduction to his series Homelands, Gupta writes: “In making this body of work, I wanted to connect the places I had an affinity with: northern India, the north-eastern part of the United States, and the eastern part of Canada. These places had all been homes to me over the years, and I wanted to make work about the journeys travelled between them. The work also continues the HIV theme of previous series and the idea of visual juxtapositions.”

Sunil Gupta will be at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography for a free Meet the Artist event on 12 January at 6:30 pm.

A second exhibition will run concurrently with Sunil Gupta on the terrace level. Imprints: Photographs by Michel Campeau, Marlene Creates, Lorraine Gilbert, Sarah Anne Johnson, and Sylvie Readman, from the Collection features 19 recent acquisitions that explore nature and its forces as they intersect with the human world.

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