The exhibition offers a glimpse into Raghu Rai’s life’s work in the five decades where he travelled and captured every nook and corner of our vast nation - India. Much is already known about Raghu Rai — a critically acclaimed photographer who has received national honours and gained international eminence over the years through the intensity of his photographic practice, primarily through his career as a photojournalist and photography books. This exhibition claims to focus on the enigmatic and lesser-known Raghu Rai, his extraordinary ability to gather the breadth of experiences and his all-encompassing vantage point in photographing India and her people. Very few have explored India and its multi-dimensional reality, its buzzing streets and bylanes, nooks and corners, walls and facades, bridges and bazaars like Rai has for nearly six long decades. Fascinated by the world around him, he has photographed the pulse of the ‘everyday’ and its simultaneous unfolding as ‘live theatre’.

This exhibition focuses on the pre-digital phase of Rai’s career, when he used analog/ film photography, exploring it with unprecedented fervour, freedom and imagination. From his inexhaustible archives of photographs that defy being contained easily within any of his exhibitions, a fresh slice has been pulled out which brings many extraordinary photographs into the public domain for the first time. Concentrating on his black and white photographs, this exhibition presents his longterm interest in photographing political and spiritual leaders, and also traces his practice that evolved at the interstices of his years as a photojournalist.


Raghu Rai (b.1942, Jhang, Pakistan) qualified as a civil engineer and began photographing at the age of 23. He joined The Statesman newspaper as their chief photographer (1966-1976), and thereafter he became the Picture Editor with Sunday, a weekly news magazine published from Calcutta (1977-1980). In 1971, impressed by Rai’s exhibition at Gallery Delpire in Paris, Henri Cartier-Bresson nominated Rai to Magnum Photos. Rai took over as Picture Editor-Visualizer-Photographer at India Today (1982- 1991), and worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays on social, political and cultural themes of the decade.

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 for his work on the liberation war of Bangladesh and its refugees. In 2009, he was conferred the Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. In 2019, Rai was honoured as the laureate of the first edition of the Académie des beaux-arts Photography Award - William Klein.

Rai’s exhibition history in India and abroad is exhaustive and his photographs are widely collected by public and private collectors. Solo exhibitions include A Journey of a Moment in Time, Palais de l’Institut de France, Paris (2019), Trees at PHOTOINK (2013), Foto Freo Festival, Perth (2011), Format Festival (2011), The Journey of a Moment in Time: Raghu Rai at National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi & Mumbai, 2008), Photographs: Raghu Rai at Casa Asia, Barcelona (2008) and Asiatica Film Mediale, Rome (2008), A Retrospective: Raghu Rai at Les Rencontres De La Photographie, Arles (2007), India at Museo Capitolini Centrale Montemartini, Rome (2005), Bhopal 1984-2004 at Melkweg Gallery, Amsterdam (2005), Exposure at Drik Gallery, Dhaka and at Leica Gallery, Prague (2004), and Solo Show at Sala Consiliare, Venice and at Photographic Gallery, Helsinki (2003), La India at Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City (1999) and A Retrospective: Raghu Rai at National Gallery of Modern Art (1997).

Raghu Rai lives in Delhi and his works are represented by PHOTOINK




New Delhi

145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket
New Delhi, Delhi 110017
011-4916 0000

10:30 A.M - 6:30 P.M

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Plot No. 3 A, Sector 126,

10:30 A.M - 6:30 P.M

The museum is closed on Monday and all public holidays.