Khichdi (Kitchari) is the first major artist book by Nick Sethi, American-born photographer of Indian heritage living in NYC. Taken over a 10 year period Khichdi (Kitchari) explores India’s rapidly changing identity, focusing on gender, technology, and the balance of traditional Indian and western culture. The work is intentionally conscious of photography as a shared experience, and Sethi incorporates his own interests and history, as well as himself, both as a photographer and participant throughout the work. His intimate and complex images push the boundaries of where art, photography, and daily life intersect. At the core, Sethi's work deals with ideas of perception, challenging the intended meanings of images, symbols, materials, and even relationships. Inspired by India’s ubiquitous decoration and hyper-color, as well as the serendipitous nature of his encounters, Sethi's inquisitive approach encourages himself, his collaborators, as well as his audience to find and enjoy the beauty, humor, and absurdity in everyday life.
Khichdi, a traditional Indian dish, is made from boiled rice and lentils, and includes a variety of spices, vegetables, and sometimes meat. Eaten throughout the entire country, and recently proclaimed the national dish of India, Khichdi takes on an infinite number of forms and preparations, changing region to region, state to state, and even household to household. No single recipe, list of ingredients, or even spelling is deemed to be official, with the only constant quality of the dish being its ever changing identity. In a similar fashion, Sethi’s work never offers a singular permanent viewpoint. Rather, it serves as a expanded, ever changing self portrait documenting an evolution of the country, its people, and the artist himself.
― Statement from distributor