Saibal Das was born in Chandannagore near Calcutta in 1960 and took to photography at a young age, inheriting his love for the medium from his father. He began his career as a photojournalist with The Telegraph in 1986, going on to work as a staff photographer for Outlook and India Today and photographing the ULFA insurgency, the Taliban’s invasion of Afghanistan, cultural unrest in North-East India and other socio-political and cultural upheavals in Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Alongside his work as a photojournalist, Das has dedicated himself to the poetic documentation of the more singular aspects of India’s society and cultural landscape. He is noted for his book and photo-essay Circus Girls published by Seagull Books 2010, a commentary on the transient wanderings and nomadic lives of India’s female circus performers and was awarded first prize at the Humanitarian Photo Awards in Beijing for his work portraying Kerala’s Puli Kali – a dance performed during the state’s Onam harvest festival.
Tasveer held its first solo exhibition of Das’ work, Mera Naam Joker, in 2007. In 2008 his work was included in the landmark exhibition Click! Contemporary Photography from India at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi and Grosvenor Vadehra Gallery, London and in 2011 Tasveer organised Saibal Das’ second solo exhibition, Tales of Chitpore, at its galleries across India. Before the Birth of Time (2014) is Das’ third exhibition with Tasveer.