Photo Studio: Ketaki Sheth | In Collaboration with PHOTOINK

17 September - 20 October 2022

Chemould Prescott Road in collaboration with PHOTOINK is pleased to announce Ketaki Sheth’s solo exhibition of colour photographs, Photo Studio. She has been photographing for four decades and until 2014 was a committed analogue photographer who used black and white film. Photo Studio marks her extraordinary transition to colour using the digital medium.

Between 2015-2018, Ketaki Sheth travelled across India and visited over sixty-five photo studios, most of which were in a shabby state of decline. Photo studios in India have been explored by many photographers and written about extensively. Sheth’s approach to the photo studios is anything but conventional as she often ignored the strict conventions of making formal, mannered portraits of people with inscrutable expressions. Instead, she used ageing studio lights when available, one handheld camera and lens to exhume tales of past glory and draw one’s attention to objects and a cast of characters that surrender gracefully to her gaze.


Photo Studio is as much a story about photography in the age of selfies as it is about contemporary life and attachments. Over the years, Sheth has shown remarkable facility as she shifts seamlessly between two distinct ways of making photographs—the posed portrait and street photography. The book, Photo Studio designed by Itu Chaudhuri complements Sheth’s aesthetic sensibility without conceding to either humour or pathos in the way the book unfolds. Christopher Pinney’s essay provides the historical and theatrical context to photo studios in India and Sheth’s fluid interventions in those spaces.


To accompany the exhibition, we have created a studio within the gallery using original backdrops from her project. Visitors are invited to use the studio to make their own pictures aided by a lighting technician.

Ketaki Sheth will be available to make commissioned portraits by appointment only. For enquiries, please email:



Ketaki Sheth (b.1957, Bombay) has been making photographs for almost forty years and until 2014 was a committed analogue photographer who only used black and white film. Her publications include Twinspotting: Photographs of Patel Twins in Britain & India; India (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1999); Bombay Mix: Street Photographs (Dewi Lewis Publishing and Sepia International, 2007), A Certain Grace: The Sidi, Africans of Indian Descent (PHOTOINK, 2013) and Photo Studio (PHOTOINK, 2018).


Sheth’s key solo exhibitions include On Belonging: Photographs of Indians of African Descent, National Portrait Galleray, London (2015); A Certain Grace: The Sidi, Africans of Indian Descent, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2013); Bombay Mix at Emile Zola Gallery and at Fête du Livre, Aix-en-Provence (2008).


Her photographs reside in major museum and private collections including Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Massachusetts; Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Modena; Higashikawa Museum, Hokkaido; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts; Raphael Tous Collection, Madrid; The Alkazi Collection, New Delhi; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai; The Tia Collection, Mumbai, Dubai, London and The University of Arizona, Museum of Art, Arizona and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.

Sheth lives and works in Mumbai.


For enquiries on available edition prints, please contact: