Robi (Anirudha) Chakraborty was inspired to choose photography by a family friend who took photos on many family trips together while living in Kenya.
As a young adult, Robi studied photography under O.P. Sharma at Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi, India. He then worked in commercial and press photography in New Delhi. A highlight for Robi was working with Blossom Kochhar and photographing her models in New Delhi before moving to the United States in 1985.
Having lived for many years in the US, Nepal and Africa and being Indian-American, Robi feels his citizenship is one that is more global and anthropologic. "I feel I can often bring a foreign lens or a new perspective to what may be familiar to me culturally," said Robi of his work. His photography has focused on the people and landscapes of India, Nepal and the United States
Robi returned to India after 13 years of being out-of-country in 1998. "It was as if I was looking at a previous life experience. India and Nepal fascinate and pull me artistically: I feel like I am looking both from the outside in and the inside out. I discover something new every time I visit my country of origin as each state in India is vastly different in terms of language and customs," he explained.
India is rapidly changing. The big cities are looking more and more like the West with new townships, highway flyovers and new airports. Robi focuses on the India that is less affected by these changes, the villages that are ancient and timeless in their beauty. Robi also photographs parts of culture which are becoming extinct such as the elder women of the Apatani Tribe in Arunachal Pradesh who are the last generation to have facial tattoos. Robi also recently spent time photographing the way of life of the Konyak people in Nagaland, India.
Robi enjoys the whole experiential process of photography, which includes getting to know his subjects and spending time with them. He shoots with a full-frame digital camera and medium-format film camera.
Robi received the Photographer of the Year Award by International Color Awards 6th Annual Master Cup for his photo, Off the Ground, and several other awards from them. He received first place from ipa (in'tl photography awards) in the category of wedding under the people category also in 2013.
He appeared in Photographer's FORUM Magazine, taking fourth place for Best of Photography in 2014 (November issue) and received a Bronze Award for a photo of villagers playing Holi in Color Magazine (May 2011 issue). Robi has been in many juried exhibitions in the United States including the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins; Rayko in San Francisco; Mpls Center for Photography; Alliance Francaise--Paris and Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art, DC; and, Photo Place Gallery, Vermont. His photos accompanied articles in the Washington Post and Global Post.
He is currently creating a book on the people and landscapes of India which captures many of these award-winning photos.
Representative commercial assignments for Robi include photos marketing campaigns for Hines Global REIT, Inc, Elite Fragrances, Princess Jewelry, India House, Arlington Dance Theatre, National Cathedral--DC, Pangea World Theatre, Blossom Kochhar Health and Beauty, Alfred Allan Advertising, Indian Army, Asian Games 1982, and Delhi Press to name a few.