Vancouver Art Gallery Keynote Lecture: Sunil Gupta

July 13, 2019

Join artist Sunil Gupta for a keynote lecture critically addressing issues of race, migration and queer identity in India in relation to his photographic series Sun City (2011), now on view in Moving Still: Performative Photography in India.

Over the last thirty years, Gupta’s work has focused on agency and empowerment in India’s gay communities, where homosexuality, until September 2018, was a criminal act under colonial-era law, punishable with ten years of imprisonment.


Sunil Gupta is an artist, educator, curator and recent doctoral graduate of the University of Westminster’s School of Arts and Media. Throughout his practice, Gupta has consistently used photography to critically address issues of race, migration and queer identity. Gupta is one of the original members of Autograph ABP—founded in 1988 under the moniker The Association of Black Photographers—a collective devoted to promoting photography by minority artists and contesting the discrimination of marginalized artists in Britain. His early documentary series Christopher Street, New York (1976) was shot in the mid-1970s while Gupta was studying under the street photographer Lisette Model at the New School for Social Research and became interested in the idea of gay public space. In the 1980s, Gupta documented gay men in architectural spaces in Delhi for his Exiles series (1986–87). These images were presented alongside brief quotes describing conditions for gay men in India during the 1980s. Gupta's series Mr. Malhotra's Party (2007) revisits this theme in the 2000s, in an era where queer identities are expressed more openly in India, through networks of private parties as well as in the virtual space of the Internet.

Gupta's work has been presented in many major group shows including Paris, Bombay, Delhi... at the Centre Pompidou, 2011, as well as in Tate Britain’s Sixty Years, London, 2018. He is Visiting Professor at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, and Visiting Tutor at the Royal College of Art, London. His photographs are featured in many private and public collections, including the George Eastman House Rochester, New York; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; Tate Modern, London; Harvard University, Cambridge; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Room 4East
Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street, Vancouver

3:00pm (Doors open at 2:30 PM)

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