Neil Chowdhury thinks in images.
He uses the camera to explore the relationships between individuals, their societies, and environments. Since 2001 he has concentrated his creative efforts on documenting and interpreting the process of discovering his Indian heritage.
Mr. Chowdhury is an assistant professor and director of the photography program at Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, New York. He has taught a study abroad course to India through the University of Connecticut, was a full time assistant professor of photography at Zayed University, Dubai, The United Arab Emirates; and has taught classes at Light Work Community Darkrooms, Syracuse, NY; the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan; and at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he earned an M.F.A. in photography.
In addition to an active local, national and international exhibition record, Chowdhury has attended a number of notable juried artist in residency programs, including Saltonstall, Ithaca New York; The Hungarian International Artist Residency Program, Budapest, Hungary; and Galichnik Art Colony, Galichnik, Macedionia.
Chowdhury also worked for several years as an industrial photographer for Ford Motor Company, and accepts freelance travel, editorial, and commercial photography assignments in addition to his work as a fine artist and educator.
Recently reunited with the long-lost large format negatives of portraits he made of itinerant street workers in Mumbai, summer 2008, and inspired by the opportunity to teach a class in alternative process photography, his most recent major work is a non-silver portfolio entitled Lost and Found in Bombay, produced for exhibition in the 2012 The Other New York Everson Museum Biennial Exhibition at ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse, NY. He is currently exhibiting this work in a solo exhibition at the Anne Felton Multi-Cultural Center Gallery at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse. In July 2012, his street photography and digital photomontage work was exhibited and shortlisted in three separate award categories, Documentary Series, Experimental Photo, and Best Moment at the Kolga Tbilisi Photo Awards, Tbilisi, The Republic of Georgia. In 2011 he earned the 37th Annual Light Work Grant in Photography for his series of digital photomontages, Waking from Dreams of India.
His work has been featured in many international survey exhibitions featuring Indian and Indian diaspora artists, including Radiate, The Gallery 400, The University of Illinois, Chicago; the FotoFreo Festival in Fremantle Australia, 2012; This is Not That, Gallerie Duboys, Paris, France, 2011; Sampling India: Of Blind Men & Elephants at the Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, 2011; and three years consecutively in the Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary Art of the Diaspora, 2009-11.
This March, University of Connecticut Art Professor Kathryn Myers presented a lecture Chowdhury wrote on his position an “outsider” photographing in India at the South Asian Studies Association Annual Conference, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA. Chowdhury is often invited to speak about his art in prominent venues, including his first lecture in India at the Attic Art Center in New Delhi, December 2011. He has given peer reviewed lectures on his art, teaching practice, and the photo scene in Dubai, at the Society for Photographic Education National Conferences in Miami in 2007, and in Portland, OR, 2005, where he earned the first Gary Fritz Imagemaker Award. He has also spoken at ArtRage Gallery; The Jorgensen Galllery, University of Connecticut; Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Cazenovia, NY; The Warehouse Gallery, Syracuse, NY; XL Projects Gallery, Syracuse, NY, Hungarian Multicultural Center Budapest Artist in Residence Program; the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Oswego, and many others. He has also curated the Society of Photographic Education Multi Cultural film and video festival in 2011, 2012, and is currently working on the 2013 program.
Neil Chowdhury’s photographs and digital video works can be found in the collections of Contemporary Museum of Photography in Chicago; the William Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut; The Light Work Collection; the National Gallery of Macedonia; the US State Department Art on Loan Program; Tasveer Arts Foundation, Bangalore, India; and in many other private collections.
Chowdhury’s work has been featured in numerous prominent photography and arts publications and blogs, including Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual 2012, Photo, Indian Vogue, Stone Canoe, Lens Culture, Mrs. Deane, Dodge & Burn, Conscientious, L’agenda, Tasveer Online, and recently in the cover story of the August-September 2012 Andpersand Magazine.
visits the towns of his ancestors in India, and tries to come to grips with the confluence of old, new and imagined. The results are intriguing photo-collages.