Born in Rajkot, an army officer’s son from a family with rich artistic lineage, Udit Kulshrestha spent his childhood travelling the length and breadth of the country. His remarkable skill in understanding and documenting culture and society had its genesis here. Kulshrestha’s storytelling perspectives are not easily realised. They are the outcome of extensive research into his subjects – exploring philosophy, literature, design, politics and film in pursuit of comprehension. A keen observer and a watchful eye, coupled with the tools of photography, whether its commission or assignments related to photographic expressions or grants or his personal expression in challenging the medium of photography in the domain of contemporary visual arts, he strives hard to create honestly and ethically, whether its for corporate, editorial and journalistic, Government & Non Profit as well as Art related Institutional clients. He also undertakes pro-bono work for artists and few progressive societal causes that are dear to him.
In terms of subject matter, his ongoing focus is in two key areas. Born a Hindu, he seeks understanding of the human condition of religion and faith with an open liberal mind. His Hindu series is an ongoing exploration into the depth of meaning created and derived from pilgrimages, gatherings and rituals, traditions and festivities, while at the same time he explores the same with Buddhism, Islam, Christianity or various spiritual groups.
Importantly, he is strongly compelled to find and realise the 'unseen' stories of what he considers to be underreported geographies in India – especially in the conflict lands of northeast of his country, India. His current work is fuelled by frequent travel to borderland geographies of Bodoland (BTC) in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh where he is seeking perspectives on the ongoing land based conflict. In his Graphein series, he takes a considered abstract approach to capturing social expression and dissent conveyed through graffiti – a relatively new but growing subculture in India. A keenness to understand people, reflects in his portraiture work across the strata of society from Corporate Leaderships, Politicians to Artists as well as regular people. An Assignment photographer, he has been commissioned by various newspapers, magazines and wire agencies, corporate clients, industrial houses as well as Non Profits, internationally as well in India. His photo essays and photo features on industrial photography is a testament of manufacturing in contemporary India.
Udit’s work is widely recognised and published in magazines and newspapers - including Time, BBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Boston Globe, Zeit, Gotebergs-Posten, The Caravan, Femina, The Hindu, Times of India, Hindustan Times and FountainINK to name but a few. He has also carried out magazine covers assignments and contributed to cover stories with India's leading news and journalism publications. His photographs have been published by nearly every international publication.
His work has been part of several prestigious Art Exhibitions including the Indian Art Fair 2014-2020 and his Prints and Photographic Objects are part of several Private collections internationally as well as in India. In 2018, he was the recipient of Sahapedia Grant. He often mentors emerging photographers and interns from institutes like NIFT as well. A Photography patron, he's the Co-Founder of Chitr Sanstha, a Non Profit Foundation for Photography in India. In the past, during Uttarakhand Floods, he had initiated a charity fundraiser with Actor Sushant Singh to help connectivity and education in the region using Photography. Recently during the pandemic, apart from volunteering in Sanitation and food drives, the foundation celebrated a month of photography dedicated to visual literacy by hosting talks with Indian & International Photographers, Curators and Artists to mark the World Photography Day.
His works are exclusively represented by Wonderwall, a leading Photography based art gallery in New Delhi.
Udit is based out of New Delhi and Agra and lives with his Canine son Watson.
♦ Faith, Delhi Art Week, Wonderwall, New Delhi 2021
♦ India Art Fair – 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 with Wonderwall, Delhi
♦ The Portrait Project, 2017 Serendipity Arts, Goa 2017 (Curated by Dinesh Khanna)
♦ 50:50, A 50 Year Centenary of Birla Arts, Kolkata, 2017 (Curated by Johny ML)
♦ Parallel Cities, ProHelvetia-TimeOut, Max Mueller, New Delhi (Curated by Devika Daulet Singh)
♦ Living Art Expanse, Galerie De Arte, New Delhi 2009 (Curated by Sushma Bahl)
♦ DestinAsian: Viewfinder - Photography from India in the UK – Viewfinder Gallery, London, 2008
♦ 2007 onwards part of over 20 group exhibits with Gallery Sanskriti (Calcutta) & Wonderwall (New Delhi)
Awards & Grants:
- Nominee, One Show Awards, 2009 (Advertising)
- Rising Tide Award, Hong Kong DDB Wordwide, 2009 (Advertising)
- Honorary Mention Photo Essay category, Media Foundation of India Awards, 2013 (Photojournalism)
- Times Now: Seagrams’ Good Crusaders Talk Fellow, 2017 (Documentary Photography)
- Sahapedia Frames Grantee, 2018 (Culture)
While my stint with Rediffusion I extensively worked on LG Account and had lot of Photography requirement. Udit was the first one who I would always call to discuss the brief, importantly because he not only provided with his availability on SOS basis but also provided with excellent solutions as well. With Udit, I had to never re-look at quality, schedule or deliverables. Always kept me updated at each and every step of planning and execution, which is the main reason I always have confidence in him.
Among the numerous positives that I find in Udit I would like to highlight is his ability to create a lasting impression on everyone with whom he interacts. That person will always remember him for his balanced outlook , his passion for his assignments, his willingness to help and the guaranteed smile.Udit believes in empowering his team entirely and stands by them. He also has the uncanny ability to give an idea its due and make a success out of it. Have known him for almost 5 years and it has been a pleasure working with him as a unit.
Udit has a great eye for subjects. He plays with light boldly, bringing out what he expects from a shot. His attitude towards work is exemplary; I have never see him shirk away from a hard day or a tough shot.
Above all coming up and building upon an idea is his strength.