PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN, STUDIO CENTRAL, BOMBAY, 1930S, GELATIN SILVER PHOTOGRAPH 34.5 X 25.5 CM, NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA – TAASA Review March 2018
One of my most satisfying pockets of collecting within the Asia Pacific project was to represent the first generation of Asian photographers and any distinct Asian inflexions in local studio practices.
Bombay art photographer Shapoor N Bhedwar, for example, the first Asian photographer with a measure of international fame, turned British art photography modes of the 1890s to a Parsi purpose and personal spiritual quest in the early years of the 20th century (TAASA Review, vol 24, no.1: 14). Another thread was to track the development of distinct genres of hand coloured portrait photography across elite, middle and lower classes in India from the 1880s-1950s.
Examples of this kind of portrait photography formed a small sub-collection within Picture Paradise: Asia-Pacific Photography 1840s-1940s, significantly expanded over the years to comprise a very respectable representation unique in this part of the world...