INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
- Born in 1955 in India
- Lives and works in New Delhi, India
UNDERSTANDING THE ARTIST
He arrived at a time when photography was just beginning to be taken seriously in India. Ram Rahman’s mostly black and white photographs are sedate, pensive and poignant. They focus mostly on the Indian hinterlands and on the most downtrodden and neglected sections of society. His socio-political leanings clearly get reflected in his work.
His father was an architect and mother danseuse with part American ancestry. He studied physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology but went on to get a degree in graphics design from Yale. Such diverse formative experiences have had a profound impact on his work. His background also helped him in graphic arts, as can be seen in many of the SAHMAT poster designs.
As a curator, he has managed several collections and exhibitions. A lot of them concerning with old and vintage photographs with an intention to showcase and preserve them. Rahman has also authored several books mostly concerning art and ambition. Among others, he has authored a book on Sunil Janah, a pioneering Indian photographer and has also curated a show of his photographs in the past.
Photographer and art curator Ram Rahman is probably known better for his association with Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), an organization he founded with the likes of Habib Tanvir, Bhishm Sahani and Vivan Sundaram. It is an organization that strives against communal and sectarian powers of the society and is named after theatre activist Safdar Hashmi, who was once assassinated in broad daylight for doing exactly that.
Rahman is involved in projects that seek to preserve the deep-rooted culture and traditions of the country. It is part of Rahman’s larger ambition to use photographs as historical documents and develop a visual archiving culture in India.
Ram Rahman, Wrestlers, Delhi, 1998
Ram Rahman, The Funeral of Safdar Hashmi, 1989, photograph.
Ram Rahman, Sikh Riots, Delhi, 1984, photograph.
Ram Rahman, Rohit Bal, Delhi, 1990
Ram Rahman, Red Fort, Delhi, 1996
Ram Rahman, 2012, Matia Mahal
Ram Rahman, Bhagat Singh, Delhi, 2002, photograph.
Ram Rahman, Bhavai Actor, Delhi, 1983, photograph.
Ram Rahman, Boys, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, 1999, photograph.
Ram Rahman, Neemrana, 1999, photograph.