Dayanita Singh Awarded Hasselblad Foundation Photography Prize

March 10th, 2022

The Hasselblad Foundation today announced New Delhi–based photographer Dayanita Singh as the winner of its 2022 Hasselblad Prize. This year’s iteration of the prestigious award includes two million Swedish krona (roughly $206,500), twice the amount typically attached to the prize. Singh, the first artist of South Asian descent to win the honor, gained renown for her black-and-white photographs of people and architectures, which she often compiles in “book objects” or displays in unusual formats, including foldable teak frames, termed “mobile museums” by the artist.

“Through her extensive photographic oeuvre Dayanita Singh has paved new ways for engaging with images,” the Hasselblad Foundation said. “From a humanist approach to portraiture to a consistent interest in the archive, her wide-spanning photography is innovatively presented in books and installations.”

Singh began her engagement with alternative methods of display in the 1980s after photographing tabla player Zakir Hussain, who invited her to shoot him at rehearsal after she was shoved by a security guard while photographing him at a concert. The encounter led to her first book, titled after the musician. Having worked for over a decade as a photojournalist, Singh has an abiding interest in letting images speak for themselves, and in the poetic and narrative possibilities that attend the editing, sequencing, and re-sequencing of photographs.

The Hasselblad Prize is considered one of the world’s top photography awards. Previous winners include Nan Goldin, Graciela Iturbide, Walid Raad, Cindy Sherman, and Wolfgang Tillmans.

“To have this award as well as be in the esteemed company of previous awardees is beyond my imagination,” said Singh. I accept this award on behalf of my book objects and mobile museums.”

A survey of Singh’s work opens March 18 at Berlin’s Gropius Bau, where it is on view through August 7.