Mukul Roy

Women of India

Mukul Roy is a well-traveled, accomplished, and award-winning anthropological photographer.  Freelancing since 1981, she has been at the forefront of helping define women’s career choices. Initially, professional photographic equipment was unaffordable for her. Her first camera was a Kodak Instamatic. However, this simple point-and-shoot equipment became her passport to enter the universe of her subjects.  Later, she purchased a Leica camera and shot photographs using Kodachrome film, giving high-resolution color images. New assignments increased her reputation. Even Prime Minister Indira Gandhi invited her to take candid photographs, which were among the last of the Indian premier before her assassination.  Mukul Roy also covered visits of Asian leaders to the White House, besides documenting the deadly effects of the Bhopal gas tragedy. 

The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, India Tribune, India Abroad and other media houses have published her work. She has exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts in Calcutta; the Chicago Cultural Center; the Artemesia Art Gallery; the Field Museum of Natural History; and the University of Chicago. Many of her images comprise the book titled Asian Indians of Chicago. A collection of her photos is preserved in the Chicago Historical Society as part of The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago.

Women of India

Irrespective of the social status of the subjects, Mukul Roy's photographs take us directly to the personal worlds of the people portrayed in the images. She uses her rich imagery to create strong statements from vivid hues, splendid exposures, and precise shadows. Her pictures carry a purposeful spontaneity. Her pictures call us to encounter people who are foreign and familiar at the same time.   

Text © Julie Sacco