As we have all come to know, the South Asian diaspora in America is a wild and dynamic mix of tenacious traditionalism and postmodern sophistication that defies comparison with any other immigrant group. Gauri Gill, who offers up lucid color photographs of Indian Americans from across the country in varied settings and activities, is exquisitely successful in capturing the complexity and underscoring a singular vitality. Gill shows us sights familiar to our eyes—like a deadly serious manager of a Duncan Donuts shop standing in a sentry’s pose before his case of pastries—and then takes us behind the scenes to a store room where a young woman lies sprawled on cardboard boxes, surrounded by cases of Coke, absorbed in a cell-phone conversation. Appreciating the feat of social documentary that Gill has achieved requires keen attention to the endless juxtapositions in this well-curated show. (Michael Weinstein)
Gauri Gill shows at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, (312)744-6630, through December 28.