Amongst the chaotic muddle, there is a tiny little, magical space, where one feels at peace; where one can pretend to understand, the meaning of existence. Where one can recreate a world of fantasy and anguish, all based on exactly one feels like doing or finding, in that moment in time. This is what Saadiya (b. 1979), after finishing a diploma in Mass communication was looking for. And she found that accidentally, in photography.
After being told it would be a good additional skill, she started learning photography at Triveni, under the guidance of Mr. O.P. Sharma, where she completed her first Diploma in photography. By this time, she was hooked. So she went ahead and studied some more. At that time International College of Professional Photography, Melbourne was collaborating with NIFT, to start a new course in photography. This was the year 2000.
Saadiya enrolled into the course and for the first time, was exposed to the works of the great masters.
In 2003 after completing her Diploma from ICPP, Saadiya launched her first book called ‘BEING…..'.The book was an intrinsic quest, dealing with questions of existence and using the bare body to express emotional upheaval. It was a self-published endeavor that on the one hand got Saadiya, applauds and brick-backs for having done a book at the age of 24 and on the other has serious financial repercussions. Selling a nude, self-published photography book was a tough task.
After a year of trying to get out of a huge financial mess, Saadiya started working again. Then came a second display, called ‘within…’ and then a month long sufi festival in ’06 called ‘ZIKR…..’. Zila Khan, who the photographer had shot for the series, opened the show.
Since then Saadiya has participated in various group shows like ‘Vision Beyond’ with Art Indus, ‘Click’ with Vadehra Art Gallery, ‘em.body’ with Wonderwall, PFA etc and has had a solo at Apparao Gallery, Chennai.
She made her international debut in the year 2006 in San Sebastian, Spain; where she exhibited with 6 other Spanish photographers for a show called ‘Dialogues with skin’. Since then Saadiya has shown in Germany with Mulluer and Plate and in London with Grosvenor Gallery.
In the summer of ’08, she traveled to Paris and New York to study with some of the best photographers in the world.
Saadiya Kochar lives and works in New Delhi and Srinagar; where she is currently working on a book. She does get involved with designer shoots and commercial work on a very arbitrary basis. Having taught photography for a year at the Pearl Academy Of Fashion and working on various long-term projects has given her considerable experience.
Saadiya Kochar has also apprenticed under Mr Sunil Gupta, world - renowned photographer and curator.