Aditya Arya - The Director of Museo Camera Museum
Aditya was only 15 when his father gifted him his first camera – a Zeiss Ikon. Since then, photography has been his great love for almost 40 years now.
Till date, he has a personal collection of 1500 antique cameras and other allied gadgets dating back to the 1860s, collected from across 100+ countries.
An eminent travel and commercial photographer, Aditya Arya began his work as a professional photographer in 1980.
He graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University, with a specialization in History.
In the early 80s, he worked as a still photographer in the film industry.
He is known for his expertise in the field of advertising and corporate photography, specializing in products, interior, and food.
He led expeditions and treks for some of the leading travel outfitters in the 80’s and 90’s all over the Himalayas.
He has played a pivotal role in the establishment of the India Photo Archive Foundation.
Today in the fast-paced world, he is immersing himself in the slowness of analog processes and at the same time mentoring many born-digital photographers and artists.
Aditya also practices and teaches the art of vintage photographic processes such as salt prints, egg albumen prints, gum bichromate, and wet plate photography.
He has been on the Jury of the National Art Exhibition 2014 organized by Lalit Kala Akademi and many other national shows.
He has curated several shows of archival and contemporary visual works, both nationally and internationally. This includes the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad,, and several galleries and museums in Canada, London, France, Spain.
He was a guest faculty at Sri Aurobindo Centre of Art and Communication and also previously at the Jamia Millia Islamia University’s Institute of Mass Communication.
He also mentored at Habitat Photosphere, a photography festival initiative by Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre.
He has been the Director and one of the founding members at the Academy for Photographic Excellence (APEX), one of India’s leading photography academies based in New Delhi,
He was the curator at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
He has worked with several hotels chains that include chains like the Radisson, Club Mahindra, and Oberoi group. His work has been published widely in books and travel magazines around the world.
He has also worked on the Musahar Community in Bihar and covered Landscapes in Ladakh and the JalMahal in Jaipur. Apart from this, Aditya has photographed the Khampti tribe in Arunachal Pradesh and a lot of Rural India too.
Internationally, Aditya has worked in collaboration with the German Embassy to cover ‘Germany through Indian eyes’ as well.
His work focusing on Buddhist art in the 900-year-old monastery in Alchi, Ladakh was covered by the Smithsonian Magazine.
The owner of Aditya Arya Archive which contains rare photographic collections like that of Kulwant Roy, Aditya has been one of the founding members, chairman, and trustee of the India Photo Archive Foundation. His work includes preserving and restoring such rare collections and providing them for viewing through publications and exhibitions.
He most recently curated the exhibition – “Kulwant Roy: Retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art.”
Over the last few years, he has indulged himself in the photography subject and photographic conservation practice. He has honed his skills and knowledge on preservation, restoration, and archiving.
At present, he divides his time between his photography archive and Museo Camera, the largest not-for-profit photography museum in South-East Asia. This museum holds 2000 cameras which Aditya has collected in the last 40years. It was only when the officials from the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon saw his collection, they decided to give him land. The entire amount for this project (nearly 70Lakhs) was arranged through crowdfunding.
Aditya plans to utilize the ground floor of the museum to conduct workshops regularly and allow photographers to develop their prints there. On the first floor, he plans on starting a photography institute where a year-long diploma course will be provided.
Apart from photography and working on his museum, his passion for working with his hands extends to his farm where he grows a range of pesticide-free vegetables and medicinal plants.