Kushal Ray: Intimacies
Based on an extended Bengali family in Kolkata, this project began in 1998 and has spanned more than a decade. Intimacies was originally more of an effort to explore relationships and intimacies, and to let members of the project enjoy themselves, rather than any perceived social documentary work on the intergenerational family system. The artist, who is very close to the family, made the project personal and autobiographical. As an insider-outsider for four years, and then a quotidian visitor of another seven years to their 90-year-old house, which had initially housed a primary school, he and his camera have chronicled the multiple folds and layers of the everyday lives of the ten people belonging to four generations living under the same roof — a long journey.
The family had revolved around Muni (Shibani), the matriarch of the Chatterjees. Her son (Amiyo), daughter-in-law (Bani), two unmarried, working daughters (Manju and Leena), two grandsons (Apurba and Amal), a granddaughter (Padmini), a granddaughter-in-law (Mithu), a charming great-granddaughter (Teesta) and Manju, a college lecturer, who has served as the backbone of the family and also the virtual architect of the series. The project culminated in the artist’s first book Intimacies, dedicated to Manju’s memory.