Art as an ambassador – Artvalley

Art plays the role of ambassador, building cultural bridges: the works of contemporary Indian artists shine at Artissima

By Surupa Chatterjee

Communication is an essential necessity and one of the most powerful ways of exchanging messages is through art platforms.
Art encourage everyone to look beyond the obvious and present the truth in the form of perceptions and through art the world has seen historical recordings and emotions that have subtly invested perceptions themselves.

Through time, art has served as a cultural ambassador to open new windows and perspectives of exchange between countries and cultures leading to cultural bridges and the comprehension.

The month of November 2021 saw Italy’s most important contemporary art fair Artissima 2021 in Turin. Established in 1994, it focuses on experimentation and research as well as the presence of a huge international market, with the participation of more than a hundred galleries from all over the world.

The fair included the main section, dialogue / monologue, new entrances, art spaces and editions. In addition, the fair had three art sections led by a board of curators and directors of international museums, devoted to emerging artists (Present Future), drawings (Disegni) and the rediscovery of the great pioneers of contemporary art (Back to the future). These sections were hosted on a digital platform in 2020 and this year they were also physically presented in the exhibition pavilion..

This year India was the center of attention. In collaboration with Emami Art, Kolkata Artissima 2021 presented Hub India- Maximum Minimum, a new geographical orientation aimed at offering an overview of galleries, institutions and artists active in fields of capital importance.

Hub India is an exploratory step to tap into the dynamics of artistic developments that characterize the contemporary art scene in the Indian subcontinent, a region which assumes a very important part in the global scenario.

Hub India was conceived as a project for Artissima International of Contemporary Art in Turin. It has developed into a tripartite exhibition created in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts Albertina, Turin and the Turin Museums Foundation.

India Hub was held with the support of the Italian Embassy in New Delhi, the Italian Cultural Institute in New Delhi (IIC), the Consulate General of India in Milan and the City of Turin.

Speaking of Calcutta, Ushmita Sahu, Director and Chief Curator, Emami Art, declared,”Emami Art, as an institutional partner of Art Hub India art, the Artissima 2021 art fair was proud to be part of a larger project supported by KNMA and ICCR and organized by Myna Mukherjee and Davide Quadrio who brought together over 10 galleries and 65+ artists from all over India. It was a wonderful international collaboration that offered a new audience and a new appreciation for contemporary Indian art.”.

Emami Art has shown several artists at the fair, namely Arpita Akhanda, Prasanta Sahu, Bose Krishnamachari, Ravinder Reddy, Bholanath Rudra and Maksud Ali Mondal. Emami Art is also part of the museum exhibitions of Palazzo Madama (Raviinder Reddy and Prasanta Sahu) and of the Accademia Albertina (Prasanta Sahu, Gopa Trivedi, Bholanath Rudra).

Among the show’s collaborators were LATITUDE 28 New Delhi, AKAR PRAKAR Kolkata-New Delhi, ART ALIVE New Delhi, EMAMI ART Kolkata, GALLERY ESPACE New Delhi, SHRINE EMPIRE New Delhi, STILL LIFE New Delhi, SAKSHI ART Mumbai, JHAVERI CONTEMPORARY Mumbai, VADEHRA ART New Delhi, TIMES Mumbai.

At Palazzo Madama (Civic Museum of Ancient Art), works by artists such as Jayashree Chakravarty, Ranbir Kaleka, Manjunath Kamath, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Benitha Perciyal, G Ravinder Reddy, Himmat Shah, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, Prasanta Sahu, Ayesha Singh and LN Tallur was on display.

With a rich cultural heritage interspersed with historical journeys and stories of the Indian subcontinent contrasting with the museum’s unique collection, the intention was to give rise to a hybrid imagery of works from both neighborhoods opening up new dialogues between the two with the aim of finding commonalities between contrasting contexts and experiences.

The Museum of Oriental Art (Residues & Resonance) had works by contemporary renaissance that iconize and attempt to erase the classicism they represent. The works were steeped in a heritage that examined traditional styles and genres, which over time took on new forms preserving the vestiges of old styles. The artists who featured in this section were Waseem Ahmad, Khadim Ali, Anindita Bhattacharya, Sakti Burman, Sudipta Das, Priyanka D’Souza, Baaraan Ijlal, Manjunath Kamath, Puneet Kaushik, Samanta Batra Mehta, Piyali Sadhshorehan, Paula Senguptara, , Waswo X Waswo.

One of the striking features of the exhibition was a radical section of miniature neo-artists who, after being influenced by traditional miniatures and Vasli paintings, borrowed elements from them and incorporated them into their works.

Classical Radical presented contemporary and modern Indian works that explore the legacies of the past and antiquity in the sociological context of the present time. Paula Sengupta’s works deserve a mention which draws inspiration from traditional Tibetan craftsmanship and religious symbolism that she has put into her work titled “The Plain of Aspiration” – a project that tries to shine the spotlight on refugees Tibetans who had to flee their country and preserve their culture through memory. .

Harshit Agrawal in collaboration with 64/1, Amina Ahmed, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Sakti Burman, Sheba Chhachhi, Jogen Chowdhury, Sudipta Das, Priyanka D’Souza, Tanya Goel, Laxma Goud, Ganesh Haloi, Manjunath Kamath, Puneharet Kaushik Khoslaher, Marth , Neerja Kothari, Balbir Krishan, Rahul Kumar, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Shruti Mahajan and Ravindra G. Rao, Paresh Maity, Debasish Mukherjee, Dr Utam Pacharne, Manish Pushkale, Mona Rai, Vajir Rautya, Debhajan Rodwit Sahbu, Prasanta Shajan Shabbu, Prasanta Shajan Rodwit Sahbu, , Shambhavi, Gulam Mohamweremed Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, LN Tallur, Gopa Trivedi were artists whose works were exhibited at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts (Multitudes & assemblages).

Indian art encompasses a series of discourses and experiences drawn from colonialism, nationalism and international modernism. Through modern life and the concepts and developments around contemporary themes, Indian visual art has tried to strengthen itself and position itself in the production of contemporary art..

Common efforts and collaborations like these serve to strengthen the links between cultures, languages ​​and humanity, offering new opportunities for emerging artists, opening new avenues and doors to present their practice.

Join from Kolkata, a very promising and practicing artist, Arpita Akhanda, add, Being part of such a prestigious platform added a sense of confidence to present my South Asian roots and concerns in a global space. And I hope that such collaborations will certainly bring out the various languages ​​of contemporary practices in the international spectrum rather than having a single source.. “

About Margaret L. Portillo

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