Spotlight on experimental, new age works at India Art Summit

August 5th, 2009 - 12:34 pm ICT by IANS  

By Madhusree Chatterjee
New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Video art, interactive projects and sound installations — the second edition of the India Art Summit here promises the best in innovative, experimental, digital and new age art, shifting its focus from the conventional large format paintings and sculptures.

“I am expecting to see a lot of new and a wider variety of art because of the participation of at least 17 international galleries, unlike last year when the focus was more on big and elaborate paintings, installations and sculptures,” Sunaina Anand of Delhi-based Art Alive Gallery told IANS.

The summit will be held at Pragati Maidan in the capital Aug 19-22.

Anand is presenting two shows at the summit — an exhibition of miniatures titled “Think Small” and a body of photographs called “Return to Eden”, by Prabir C. Purkayastha curated by art critic and writer Ina Puri.

“‘Think Small’ is an innovative project. We have invited 45 leading artists to create works within 12″ X 9″ frame. They have taken up the challenge. It is an attempt to turn to the scale of small formats in contemporary art, which has been rather engrossed in larger expanses,” Anand explained.

“Return to Eden” is about the Biblical concept of genesis, said Ina Puri.

“The photographs are divided into three sections — ‘Creation’, ‘Temptation’ and ‘Flight’. While in ‘Temptation’, we portray Adam and Eve through photographs of temple sculptures, we use imageries of exotic birds in ‘Flight’,” Puri told IANS.

Renu Modi of Delhi-based Gallery Espace, who will screen select works from her large bank of video art at the Art Summit’s “Video Lounge”, said “video art has become an important and popular medium not only abroad, but also in India”.

The specially-curated video lounge would be one of the chief attractions of the event.

“We plan to make it one of the biggest showcases of video art in India as well as of select international artists. A growing number of young artists in India are using video as a medium to convey contemporary realities,” a senior Art Summit official said.

Over 90 video works will be screened at the lounge Aug 19-21.

The summit, spread across 4,500 sq metres, will feature 54 galleries.

Latitude 28, a new venture by Delhi-based art curator-turned-gallerist Bhavna Kakar, will present experimental video projects by leading Indian video artist Surekha and the Propellor Group from Vietnam.

“The Vietnamese group is represented by three artists Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Phu Nam Thuc Ha and Thi Trinh Nguyen — an advertising photographer, a video artist and a text writer. Their video project ‘Uh’ is centred around Ho Chi Minh city,” Kakar said.

“The texts pun on rap lyrics and the accompanying photographs show people walking past government buildings and public walls, splashed with the graffiti ‘Uh’. It is an expression of people’s anguish at the socio-economic problems that ail the country. ‘Uh’ is a seven-minute video,” Kakar added.

Surekha’s new age video “Bhagirathi” is on female infanticide, while “Making a Flower” is a statement on ecological conservation.

The shows to watch out for, says the India Art Summit team, are the “One Year Drawing Project” — an exchange of experimental drawings between four artists from Sri Lanka –and “Navgunjar”, an interactive art project on the main facade of the British Council Building by Vishal K. Dar.

Other interesting shows are “Hawkers Ki Jagah” — a sound installation by Rashmi Kaleka — and “Yokomono-Pro”, a sound composition of horn patterns of auto-rickshaws by Khoj-International Artist’s Association and Mondriaan Foundation.

The idea behind the summit this year, said associate director of the India Art Summit 2009 Neha Kirpal, is to tell the world that the Indian art fair has established itself as a brand like the Dubai, Hong Kong and the European art fairs.

“India has over a 5,000-year-old art history and it needs greater exposure. We want to showcase all the new trends,” Kirpal told IANS.

The Indian art market is estimated at $400 million and has been growing at nearly 30 percent annually.

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