Ketaki Sheth began taking pictures of Bombay in the late 1980s, under the guidance of renowned photographer Raghubir Singh. Her fascination with the city of Bombay and its teeming masses extends beyond the three P’s most other photographers seem intrigued by; namely the poverty, the population and the pollution of the city.
“While Sheth’s portraiture of the labourer is animated by compassion, she avoids the great trap of documentary photography in a poor country: pity. There are sympathetic figures here, but there are no victims,” notes Suketu Mehta in his introduction to the book in which Sheth’s Bombay Mix series of photographs was recently published.
Instead, Sheth captures the essence of the ‘Bombayite’; the vivacity of the people that dwell in the ‘city that never sleeps’. Her images focus on the strong undercurrent of unity that prevails over all differences in the city, may they be social, economic, religious or gender related. With no qualms about what the viewer may or may not prefer to see, Sheth tells it as it is. There is no prejudice or gimmickry in her representations nor is there an intention to portray things as either good or bad, positive or negative. Rather than drawing sympathy from her viewers, Sheth encourages them to rethink the way they see in Bombay.
This artwork description is an excerpt from Saffron Art’s artist page on Ketaki Sheth.
Ketaki Sheth was born in Mumbai in 1957. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Elphinstone College, Bombay University, in 1979. In 1980, she completed her Master’s degree in Communication Arts from Cornell University in Ithaca. Her most recent solo show, ‘Bombay Mix: Street Photographs’ was held at Cité du Livre in Aix-en-Provence, France, in 2008. Amongst her most recent group shows are ‘Gateway Bombay’ at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, in 2007; ‘Bombay, Maximum City’, Lille, France, in 2006-2007; ‘Overseas’ at Gallery Ske, Bangalore, in 2006; ‘Sepia at Seven’ at Sepia International, New York, also in 2006; and ‘Faces’ at Sepia International, New York, in 2003.
This artist bio has been sourced from Saffron Art’s artist page on Ketaki Sheth.