They Called it Love, But Was it Love? depicts scenes from the lives of 'kothis' living in India. Reduced to a “risk group” by public health campaigns and misunderstood through Western notions of gender and sexuality, these protagonists have real lives and inhabit unique worlds with their own quests for fulfillment and love.
Commissioned by Visual AIDS for Day With(out) Art 2020: TRANSMISSIONS
Charan Singh lives and works in New Delhi and London. Singh’s art practice is informed by HIV/AIDS work and community activism in India. He is a candidate for a practice-led PhD at the Royal College of Art, London. In 2016, he earned a Magnum/Photo London award for his portrait series “Kothis, Hijras, Giriyas and Others,” which was featured in the 2017 Photoworks Annual. He was a 2017 resident at the Fire Island Artist Residency. His latest book and exhibition (with Sunil Gupta), “Delhi: Communities of Belonging” was published by The New Press 2016 and exhibited at SepiaEye, New York in 2017. A later iteration, “Dissent and Desire” was shown at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, 2018 and also at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi, India in 2018–19.