Indian art collector Shalini Passi lists 7 emerging artists to support right now

Art collector and mentor Shalini Passi is a force to be reckoned with in the art world. While her personal collection ranges from Indian artists like Bharti Kher, MF Husain, Manjit Bawa and Ram Kumar to international names like Jeff Koons and Damian Hirst, she always has her eyes open to emerging young talent.

The pandemic might see art and artists as non-essential players, but Shalini Passi strongly sees them as trendsetters in the digital space. We ask him to put together a list of emerging artists and young art practitioners who must be on your radar now.

Having been exhibited in museums and galleries from a young age, my relationship with art started very early. A passion for art and design has encouraged me to partner with art platforms like Khoj and Kochi Muziris Biennale, which focus on encouraging and supporting young art practitioners through their programs. Since 2012, I have been a member of the advisory board of Khoj, a Delhi-based non-profit contemporary art organization. As a member of the Advisory Board, I have met many young talents and have had the opportunity to invest in their practice. Likewise, being a patron of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and a mentor at The Art Gorgeous House allows me to be closely involved in artistic fraternity, allowing me to further recognize, encourage and support emerging artists and young practitioners. art.

Such coalitions have acted as a catalyst in creating my own foundation, The Shalini Passi Art Foundation (SPAF), and a digital MASH platform in 2018. MASH and SPAF have so far actively supported and orchestrated various artistic initiatives such as podcasts, exhibitions, webinars, research articles, and more.

In need of the dire COVID-19 situation, we recently hosted an online fundraising exhibit of my photo series titled ‘Forever Delhi’. Since 2010, I have been actively involved in the education of underprivileged children in Delhi, through a series of workshops that offer them the opportunity to learn arts and crafts with qualified people. I have also supported and donated to the Delhi Society for the Welfare of Special Children.

Shalini Passi
Image: Courtesy of MASH Instagram

The art industry has grown rapidly in recent years with a broad horizon for artists, art collectors and admirers. Speaking of new trends, we’ve seen the intersection of art and design pronto, which is a big step in the right direction. With globalization and digitization, NFTs are another booming artistic trend, joined by prestigious institutions like Christie’s. Uncertain, the current COVID-19 situation is taking a toll on the art industry and emerging artists as well as established artists have struggled to make ends meet. On the other hand, we have seen the art industry come together and grow through digital platforms engaging in virtual exhibitions, conferences, and artist support.

The growing Indian art industry is largely supported by a growing number of emerging artists. There are a few who caught my attention with their exemplary work, at such an early stage. We now see an exploration of various mediums as a means of artistic expression. These range from architectural interventions, textile art, interactive art to digital art.

Shalini Passi
Untitled # 50 by Saubiya Chasmawala, ink on printed photograph. Photography © artist and Tarq

I would like to start with a contemporary artist Saubiya Chasmawala, whose work explores the subject of scriptures, texts and papermaking. She has a delicate sensitivity in her works which are strongly influenced by her memories. His repetitive tagging process is introspective and almost meditative, which sets a tone of its own.

Shalini Passi
Flag (distorted) by Ayesha Singh, metal and fabric. Photography © artist and Still Life

Another emerging artist that I have followed is Ayesha Singh. His practice rooted in architecture sheds light on socio-political hierarchies and questions the lost and translated stories of buildings. She is a multidisciplinary artist who launched Art Chain India, a digital platform supporting aspiring artists and allowing them to present and profit economically from their works.

Shalini Passi
Page Turner by Shailesh BR, Kinetic Sculpture. Photography © artist and François Fernandez / Villa Arson

Shailesh BR is another intriguing artist who philosophically questions the functionality of routine objects through machines and drawings. His study in Sanskrit has a power play in its derivative connotations rooted in ‘Tarka Shastra‘ way of thinking.

Shalini Passi
Sphere (5) by Teja Gavankar, Brick, Cement and Metal. Photography © artist

Teja Gavankar is another emerging artist with a sculptural quality in her works. His geometric sculptures and drawings explore the idea of ​​physical space and materiality. Provocative and powerful, his works are essentially minimalist in nature.

Shalini Passi
Sahil Naik Observatory / Monitoring Center, Wood, Metal, Glass and Concrete Painting. Photography © artist and experimenter

Sahil Naik is a Goa-based sculptor who divides themes of architecture and modernism from religious, political and economic perspectives. His second personal exhibition ‘Monuments, Mausoleums, Memorials, Modernism’ explores the underlying political structure and violence of nation-building centered in South Asia.

Shalini Passi
Inhalation (2019) by Anupam Saikia, Performance Live. Photography © artist and Harshvardhan

In the list of emerging artists, Anupam Saïkia stands out for its emphasis on interactive experiential art and performance art. The works are a narrative of socio-political scenarios and their psychological impact. He co-founded the Anga Art Collective in 2010, which is the first in the North East region of India.

Shalini Passi
Sanctuary (Still life with partially pressed lime), Embroidery on Khatka cotton textile. Photography © artist and Tarq

Creative artist and writer Areez KatkiS’s work is individualistic with his use of thread and embroidery work as a means of exploring genetic landscapes. Her work challenges the idea of ​​textile-based craft traditions and cuts across queer intimacy, the colonial gaze, and social constructs of spirituality.

These artists are bright, young and successful, and the current Indian art scene is certainly receiving worldwide recognition. The dialogue between art collectors, curators and admirers seems more open and direct than in the pre-digital era. While the pandemic may have slowed the process down a notch, the future of contemporary Indian art is nothing short of bright.

All images: Courtesy of Shalini Passi

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About Margaret L. Portillo

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