Omi Chowdhury was born in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, which in his opinion is infamous for torrential rain and back alley cricket. His formative years were spent daydreaming about art, cricket and literature under the cusp of a military dictatorship. He moved to the wilderness of the American prairies and western Canada for his university education, and eventually wound his way to Harvard. In between all this tiptoeing, rapidly developing wanderlust, he began to research and write on genocide, gender equity, war theory, and liberalism. During his PhD research and fieldwork, he found an outlet in photography.
Omi’s photography exhibits the equipoise between space and human identity. Initially, most of his photographs were taken at various war zones and dictatorships, from Somalia to Burma. Instead of replicating and imitating the dire conditions that are part and parcel of human existence within these war zones, Chowdhury’s photography captures the levity, beauty, and randomness of people’s lives in these places. It is ultimately an homage to undying human spirit that refuses to wither even in the most desperate of circumstances.
He has also ventured into the world of fashion photography and has photographed ballerinas, yogis and fashion models from all walks of life.
Omi has had five solo shows in Berlin, Boston, Ann Arbor, Copenhagen and Dhaka respectively. His work has been featured in a multitude of publications including Agave, BBC, Blur Magazine, Deux, ViewBug, LAT, Vogue Italia, Kartika Review, CHA Hong Kong, the Smithsonian, Leica France and in galleries from Minneapolis to Philadelphia. Some of his work can also be found in two chapbooks written by author Frances Wang. A retrospective of his work was also shown during Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Omi is currently working on a book project that dissects the unique architectural history of Washington D.C. He is also one of the four editors of Paris based avant-garde magazine, Deux and an influential voice for inclusiveness within the fashion industry. He routinely writes on liberalism, feminism and fashion for world's leading fashion magazines.