Amit Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta in 1962 and grew up in Bombay. He was a student at the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay, took his first degree, in English, from University College London, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on D H Lawrence’s poetry at Balliol College, Oxford. He is married to Rosinka Chaudhuri, and they have one daughter, Aruna. His father, Nages Chandra Chaudhuri, was the first Indian CEO of Britannia Industries, and his mother, Bijoya Chaudhuri, was one of the greatest exponents of Tagore songs of her generation.
He is the author of seven novels, the latest of which is Friend of My Youth. His first major work of non-fiction, Calcutta: Two Years in the City, was published in the UK and India in 2013. It was published by Knopf in the US in September 2013. His first book of critical essays, the influential Clearing a Space, was published in 2008. His second book of essays, Telling Tales, was published in the UK in August 2013.
THE SWEET SHOP OWNERS OF
CALCUTTA and other ideas
This is a debut exhibition by Amit Chaudhuri of artworks conceptualised and created by him. It sees a further extension of his interest in working across genres in a way that involves a fresh engagement with the everyday world and its uniqueness. The exhibition is arranged in three parts. Each constitutes an encounter. The first has to do with the portraits of sweet shop owners which you may or may not notice whenever you walk into a mishtir dokan, a sweet shop, in Calcutta. To confront them is to face their mystery, for the owners possess the same air that the ‘great men’ of 19th-century Bengal did. This bit of the exhibition attempts to look at the human figure in its unexpectedness while allowing oneself to be transformed implicitly by its everyday context.
A Note On The Music
Amit Chaudhuri is a trained and critically acclaimed singer in the North Indian classical tradition; he has received high praise for his singing from various newspapers and journals, including the Times of India, the Hindustan Times, Ananda Bazar Patrika and India Today. He learned singing from his mother, the well-known exponent of Tagore songs and devotionals, Bijoya Chaudhuri, and, extensively, from the late Pandit Govind Prasad Jaipurwale of the Kunwar Shyam gharana. He was then guided in Hindustani music by Pandit A. Kanan.
Amit Chaudhuri regrets he cannot read unsolicited manuscripts.