Understanding the difference between a series and a sequence, I have come to understand that a sequence is a set of photos meant to be viewed or studied in a particular sequence or order like a book whereas a series represent images revolving around a central subject or theme.

As a research point for starting with Part III, I was advised by my tutor to go through Dayanita Singh’s sequenced images as well as his personal work. I will start with Dayanita’s work. Dayanita Singh is a photographer of Indian origin and has won various accolades for her work all across the world.

Her work “Museum Bhavan” ( is not only a clever way to store, organize and exhibit vast bodies of work but is also a unique way of displaying an exhibition. This whole idea reminds me of old traveling circuses. The clever way that it is organized turns it into a unique experience for the viewer as well and is also different to experience every time.

“Photography is such a magical medium. If you allow it, it will present all sorts of meanings.” – Dayanita Singh is truly an inspirational woman who has not only produced, displayed and archived some great sequenced images but which in her own words are constantly being edited, re-arranged and viewed differently. It’s an ongoing body of work which can be added to, rearranged, stored or displayed in a myriad of ways. Her mini museum books are an extension of the same cleverness that allows the viewer to arrange or play with their own mini-exhibits.

According to her, 70% of her work is editing and sequencing the images, though that does not mean that she is done with photography. Her sequenced images range over a variety of subjects since 1981 – family portraits (extremely influenced by her mother Noni Singh’s work), files (photographing inside government offices of India where paperwork is still huge and massive archives of old files and paperwork can be found), Little ladies (series on women of various ages), etc.

I really enjoyed looking at her work and her unique and inspirational ideas of exhibiting her work. It reminds me of the identikit portrait exercise where one is compelled to look at photography translated into other mediums and interesting experimentations as a result. It enforces the idea that photography is just not a 2-D way of documenting moments but can be translated into various forms and installations, pushing the boundary of it as a mere photographic art.

The one thing that I find common with her is when she says that I am really a bookmaker – photographs are just my raw material. I too find myself creating books/ catalogues of almost every work that I do.

Some great learnings and some thought-provoking work here –  my next point of research on sequencing will be my tutor, Robert Enoch’s work. Below is the list of reference sources that I used for research on Dayanita Singh’s work.

Reference – Series and Sequence – I – Dayanita Singh




2 Replies to “RESEARCH – SERIES AND SEQUENCE – I – Dayanita Singh”

  1. Thank you for sharing this thought provoking study. I have enjoyed following up on Singh’s work.
    File Room, Sent a Letter and Museum of Chance are all very different, and exciting to look at. File Room in particular is inviting. The lighting captures the intricacy of the many shadows on the files, the sheer complexity of what lies within. So many documents to explore! And I can almost breathe the dust.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha Sarah! I love the comment that you can actually breathe the dust. That is so true. Welcome to my country. That is one thing that there is no dearth of here. Thank you Sarah, for going through the work – I think it’s extremely inspirational and after going through this course, I do understand the works and the thoughts behind it better.


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