In partnership with Vacheron Constantin, supported by Singleton

Christopher Taylor - Institutions

The exhibition Institutions by Christopher Taylor explores the interiors of some of the quintessential architectural emblems of British rule in Mumbai and Kolkata, unravelling the legacy of colonialism, considering its ambiguities and impact on contemporary Indian society.

Christopher Taylor’s photographs were described by the noted author and publisher Naveen Kishore as “haunted by the ‘then’ of a previous long-passed moment.” His eloquent depictions explore notions of memory both real and conceived, considering the idea that the past can be revealed, understood and revisited through enduring symbols and emblems within the landscape. A zoologist by training, and a self taught photographer, Taylor’s interest in photography began in his teens when he worked as a beach photographer in the seaside town of Skegness, UK. His extensive travel through Asia, (particularly India and China), has inspired his various photographic projects, exhibitions and books. Most recently, he collaborated with Soumitra Das of The Telegraph, for ‘White & Black, A Journey to the Centre of Imperial Calcutta’.

From his first visits to India in the 1980s, Taylor was struck by the country’s architecture, particularly fascinated by the once colonial capital of Calcutta, and the industrial centre Bombay. For Taylor, these cities were windows into history, once the proudest of the British Raj, built on a heritage inherited from pre-Independence with buildings conceived by European architects. Intrigued by the palpable residue of colonialism, which appeared not just in architecture but also in organisational structures, daily life, and in the outdated British traditions and customs which strangely still remained, Taylor began his visual anecdotes of India’s tumultuous history, focusing on the interiors of buildings that he had a personal resonance with.

Rather than a documentation of a true past or history, Taylor’s photographs invite an intuitive connection with his subject, triggering a romanticised, fictitious memory of an imagined past, inspired and informed by the artist’s own fascination with history and literature, as well as the viewer’s residual memories. His approach to image-making avoids colour, with a focus on specific elements, characteristics and outwardly mundane details of the environment, all of which have a significance, but aren’t necessarily or immediately descriptive. Taylor’s photographs consequently build an atmosphere, creating an aura of hidden tension, that leaves the viewer with an impending sense of of déja vu and familiarity. As a result, these images expose the transformed faces of what are the last redoubts of Colonial rule, accentuating the traces of glamour which still linger within these structures, where age and dramatic historical changes have mellowed their initial hauteur to a quiet dignity, that perseveres, resisting being disregarded or forgotten.

This exhibition is organised in partnership with Vacheron Constantin.

Exhibition Schedule

New Delhi

13 August - 31 August 2021

F- 320 Lado Sarai
New Delhi - 110030
+91 11 46130637
Monday to Saturday 10.30 am - 6.30 pm


10 October - 22 October 2021

The Harrington Street Arts Centre
8 Ho Chi Minh Sarini
Harrington Mansions 2nd Floor
Flat no.5 & 25B
Kolkata 700071 
Monday to Saturday 12.00 pm - 7.00 pm    


07 November - 28 November 2021

Sua House
26/1 Kasturba Cross Road
Bangalore 560001
Monday to Saturday 10.00 am – 6.00 pm


19 December - 05 January 2022

Story LTD
Industry Manor, 3rd Floor

Mumbai 400 025
Monday to Saturday 11.00 am - 7.00 pm   


01 April - 12 April 2022

National Institute of Design
Design Gallery, Paldi
Ahmedabad 380007
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily