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    Between emulation and innovation: Upendrakishore Ray and the ambiguities of colonial modernity

    Sengoopta, Chandak (2017) Between emulation and innovation: Upendrakishore Ray and the ambiguities of colonial modernity. History and Sociology of Souith Asia 11 (2), pp. 83-100. ISSN 2230-8075.

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    Using the example of Upendrakishore Ray (1863-1915), a well-known Bengali artist, writer, technologist and publisher, this essay critiques prevalent theories that portray colonial Indian modernity as a largely derivative discourse. Addressing Ray’s globally-recognized contributions to the refinement of technologies for the printing of photographs and paintings, the paper shows howRay’s relative lack of resources could not obstruct his innovative approach and investigates why, in spite of his originality, his Western recognition was no more than transient. Turning then to Ray’s views on pictorial art, the essay shows how in this area, he merely followed the precepts of Western ‘academic’ art and failed to attain any originality. Indian engagements with modernity, the essay concludes, were neither exclusively original nor invariably imitative, and we need new theoretical approaches that can accommodate this diversity and unpredictability.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Chandak Sengoopta
    Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 14:02
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 21:13


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