Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham
Photographer and Installation artist Leena Kejriwal specializes in books, history and human stories. Leena, weaves magic through her lens helping photography to transcend to the realm of art.
For Leena each and every moment of life is a beautiful one and she aims to capture the joy of living through her images. Her photographs tell a story of human lives and living as never told before.
Leena had a childhood which in her own words was “simple, relaxed and fun filled.” Being the 5th among 6 children in a joint family she was not under tremendous parental pressure to be a super achiever. The laid back nature of her childhood matured into a more focused nature after her graduation.
Right from her childhood Leena enjoyed art. Her artistic temperament found an apt expression as she took up photography as a hobby post her marriage. Leena started her career as a portrait photographer in Kolkata when she realized that there were many takers for good family as well as individual portraits but not qualified photo professionals.
Her first works were with her friends and family but later, as the word about her excellent photography skills spread word of mouth, a steady stream of clients started pouring in. Today though Leena runs a premium portrait photography studio in Kolkata where she photographs select clientele by previous appointment, yet her main focus has shifted to fine art photography and in a short span of time she has established herself.
Accreditations and Certifications
Leena Kejriwal is a Licentiate member of the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP). This well known Kolkata photographer is also a Professional member of Photographers Guild of India (PGI).
Leena has had various exhibitions of her works depicting Life on the streets.
- Her “Kalikatha” series pays homage to her hometown Kolkata
- In her still life series “A Life of its own”, in Ranjit Hoskote’s words”... her eyes dwell on details that form part of everyday life.
- “On the Streets of Paris”: In this show Leena Kejriwal captures the life in the city through glasses. She was there in Paris as a part of Indo-French “Artists-in-Residence” program initiated by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in India.
- “Hampi—Living History”: This captures the ruin of this once magnificent civilization .
- “Babu Bibi Series” is a graphic take on the 19th century Kalighat Pats of Bengal.
- “East City Kolkata” before the campaign captures the innate contradiction in the city of joy. The show was curated by Shaheen Merali, who is an independent curator and writer living and working in Berlin and London.
- “Her Work is Never Done” is a series that aptly captures gender biased social mechanisms. It was exhibited at the BMB art gallery which is considered to be among the most well known contemporary art gallery in India.
Awards and Credits
Leena has many achievements in her portfolio some of which are enumerated below.
- Presented a series of photographs at the Exhibit A, held by the PGI. Her print was among the top 10 selected among all the Indian photographers from a forum of the best in India in 2002 & 2004.
- Bilkey Llinas Design, a U.S. based leading interior art consultancy firm has selected a large collection of her prints for all the guest rooms at the Hyatt Regency in Mumbai and Kolkata.
- Leena Kejriwal was one of the Super Six, the brand ambassadors for Fujifilm for the year 2005.
- She was sent to France on their Indo-French “Artists-in-Residence” program initiated by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in India in December, 2005 and an exhibition of her work there was showcased in the year 2006 as a part of the innovative cultural dialogue between the two countries.
Books and Publications
Leena Kejriwal has contributed to various books and other publications. Some of her noteworthy works are mentioned below:
- She has designed the book cover for the Sahitya Akademi Award winning novel “Kalikatha via bypass” by Alka Saraogi and “Shesh Kadambari” and “Koi Baat Nahin” by the same author.
- Leena Kejriwal has captured in her photographs the life at Flurys (A Swiss confectionery, which has been a landmark in Kolkata since pre-independence) for The Apeejay Group. The author for the book was eminent journalist Bachi Karkaria.
- Leena has done the photography for a book based on quaint craft based cottage industries in villages around Kolkata.
- She has worked as the principal photographer for a book based on Shiva in Mumbai conceptualized by Rajiv Sethi of the Asian Heritage Foundation.
- Leena has worked with the Divya Chaya Trust (an organization committed for the upliftment of the girl child) to commemorate two decades of their service to society. The exhibition was held in Nehru Centre, London in October, 2004. Barbara Llyod, renowned British photographer, was the other participant.
- Right from the very beginning Leena has lent her expertise to “Save the Girl Child” issue. While working for this cause she has joined hands with various NGO’s and has worked on a number of gender related issues like female education, trafficking or female infanticide.
- Leena has worked on a photographic collection for Apne Aap, an NGO which deals with human trafficking. Specially in their center in the Araria, North Bihar with the Nat community. She has shown her photographic installation based on this work.
- Has also worked with New light, NGO working with the sex workers in Kolkata’s historical Kalighat area. Capturing the good work they are doing in the heart of the district.