Nemai Ghosh
Nemai Ghosh Nemai Ghosh

Nemai Ghosh

Nemai Ghosh

Nemai Ghosh

1934 - 2020

Nemai Ghosh

Globally renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray called his photographer Nemai Ghosh ‘Boswell with a camera, instead of a pen’.

Just like James Boswell’s biography of English writer Samuel Johnson is considered the finest in the language, Ghosh’s photo-biography of his mentor is one of the finest photo essays on a legend’s life; Ghosh was Ray’s photographer from 1968 until Ray’s death in 1992.

Before he picked up the lens, Ghosh was part of actor-director Utpal Dutt’s Little Theatre in Calcutta and played the lead in the 1959 play, Angar. A moment of serendipity put him on the path he was destined for. A friend, who owed Ghosh Rs 240, found a Cannonette QL-16 fixed-lens camera left behind in a taxi. Instinctively, Ghosh wrote off the debt for the camera. Soon, he was introduced to Ray by the filmmaker’s art director Bansi Chandragupta. Ray liked Ghosh’s pictures and asked him to join his production unit in 1968. The rest, to use a cliché, is history.

His books include Satyajit Ray at 70 (1991) with a foreword by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema (2005) in collaboration with Andrew Robinson, Manik-Da: Memories of Satyajit Ray (2011), Satyajit Ray and Beyond (2013), Faces and Facets: Ray in Colour (2020), the last two published by DAG. He has also photographed his beloved city extensively, and done a series on indigenous communities.

Ghosh’s photographs have been widely exhibited in India and abroad and are in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2010. Ghosh passed away on 25 March 2020 in Kolkata.

‘I must admit, the camera is no longer something outside my existence, distinct from me;
it is a part of my person’



dag exhibitions

‘Manifestations XI: 20th Century Indian Art’

DAG, New Delhi, 2014

‘Indian Portraits: The Face of a People’

DAG, New Delhi, 2013; Mumbai, 2014

‘Nemai Ghosh: Satyajit Ray & Beyond’

DAG, New Delhi, 2013; Mumbai, 2015

‘Home is a Place: Interiority in Indian Art’

DAG, New Delhi, 2021

notable collections

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

archival media

Express Newsline

16 January 2013

The Hindu

17 January 2013

The Crest

19 January 2013

The Financial Express on Sunday

27 January 2013

The Statesman

26 September 2015