Entertainment

Acclaimed photographer Nemai Ghosh, who documented Satyajit Ray at work, passes away at 86

File photo of photographer Nemai Ghosh. | File

File photo of photographer Nemai Ghosh. | File   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

His photographs had a distinct style and those of the maestro reflected a rare intimacy

Widely acclaimed photographer Nemai Ghosh passed away in Kolkata on March 25. He was 86 and unwell after a recent surgery.

Ghosh, who was the official photographer of legendary film-maker Satyajit Ray, documented ordinary people, artist painters and musicians over the past five decades. His black and white photographs had a distinct style and those of the maestro reflected a rare intimacy.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed condolences over his demise and called it an irreparable loss for the world of photography. Recipient of the Padma Shri award in 2010, Ghosh had authored many books, such as Satyajit Ray at 70 (1991), Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema (2005) and Manik-Da: Memories of Satyajit Ray (2011).

Ghosh was introduced to Ray by actor Robi Ghosh on the sets of his film Goope Gyne Baagha Byne in 1969. He documented the maestro at work till Ray passed away in 1992.

After Ray’s demise, he dedicated his energies to other areas, and the landscape of the city he lived was a recurrent theme in his photographs. The black and white images in his collection Nemai Ghosh Kolkata (2014) are a rich tribute to the city. He also documented tribal life in Bastar in Chattishgarh, Kutch in Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh.

Nemai Ghosh’s collection of photographs on Satyajit Ray exhibited at the renovated Currency Building in Kolkata.

Nemai Ghosh’s collection of photographs on Satyajit Ray exhibited at the renovated Currency Building in Kolkata.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Sahay Singh

His photographs have been exhibited at numerous galleries in Kolkata and beyond, including at a permanent exhibition at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. Recently, his collection of photographs on Ray was exhibited at the renovated Currency Building in the city. The exhibition at the monument that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year was titled Satyajit Ray, The Man, His Films & The City.

Madhuja Mukherjee, professor of Film Studies at Jadavpur University, said Ghosh created or introduced a culture of “director-oriented documentation, which was a remarkable shift from the star-centric production stills of the earlier period”.

“He also recorded the process of film shooting, which is valuable for film history, and he was able to conjure a style particularly focussing on Ray,” Prof. Mukherjee added.

She pointed out that it was difficult to find directors at work from the same period, particularly the likes of Guru Duttor Mehboob Khan. “In most cases, they (Guru Dutta and Mehboob Khan) are seen posing, while Ray is principally seen in action,” she added.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:35:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/acclaimed-photographer-nemai-ghosh-who-documented-satyajit-ray-at-work-passes-away-at-86/article31162186.ece

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