Jaya Ganguly was born into a large, Brahmin orthodox family in Calcutta in 1958. She graduated from Indian College of Arts in 1982.
Ganguly’s work expresses hypocrisy in society, particularly the strict impositions on women. Her work has grown out of a relationship with her body – her daring display of ‘disarticulations’ of the female form symbolises an inquiry into the ‘unspoken’ depths that engulf a woman’s life like those who have to deal with their orthodox backgrounds or those who have a placid existence. The female body is not just a form, but also a bearer of pain and conflict.
Ganguly asserts that she is not a hard-core feminist, but being a woman she looks at the world with a woman’s point of view. Her work focuses on men as well, as both genders can not survive without the other. They not only show women are oppressed, but also the men who live around them are suppressed with outdated rituals and values which bind the middle class.
Through her imagery of ‘painless pain’, she transmits the fear of our shared mortality through her imagery, increasing our awareness of our vulnerable and failing bodies. Her figures look voluptuous and primitive, giving them a distinct character.
Ganguly has had a number of shows in India and Sweden. Ganguly won the Birla Academy of Art and Culture award, Kolkata in 1997. She was awarded at the Bhopal Biennale in 1996 and the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, Kolkata, 1980.
She lives and works in Kolkata.