We want to understand contemporary Indian culture: British MP

July 28th, 2010 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

David Cameron New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) A British cultural delegation accompanying Prime Minister David Cameron on his three-day visit to India interacted with young contemporary artists, writers and alumni of the Charles Wallace Trust at the Religare Arts.I gallery in the capital Wednesday.
The interaction was hosted by Religare Arts Initiative and the British Council India.

Addressing a huge gathering of artists, connoisseurs, scholars and Religare officials at the gallery, British member of Parliament Jeremy Hunt said: “Arts and culture are vital components on Prime Minister Cameron’s agenda. We have a distinguished delegation representing British arts and cultural institutions. We want to understand what is happening in the cultural scene of India and promote cultural diplomacy between the two countries. Both Britain and India have a deep respect for heritage and contemporary culture.”

The Charles Wallace Trust has been “working to promote better soft diplomatic exchanges”, he said.

“This morning, my colleague Niel MacGregor, director of the British Museum, told me about how the ruler of Magadh, Emperor Ashok founded the concept of an ethical state in 3rd century BC,” said Hunt, referring to India’s rich cultural, spiritual and artistic heritage.

The delegation comprised British member of Parliament Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, olympics, media and sport; Adam Smith, special advisor to the department of culture, media and sports; Mark Ellis Powell Jones, director of the Victoria and Albert Museum; Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum; Lynn Janie Brindley, director of the British Library and Vernon Ellis, chair of the British Council.

The delegation toured the gallery that provides a 360-degree module for the promotion of arts which includes sprawling display spaces, an art shop, art cafe, space for residency programmes and archives located in the heart of the capital’s prime commercial hub, Connaught Place.

The gallery mounted an exhibition by contemporary artists Kishor Chakraborty, Anand Moy Banerjee, Manisha Bhattacharya, Sushanta Guha, Mithu Sen, Datta Treya Apte, Kavita Nayyar, Ela Mukherjee and Reyaz Badaruddin.

Hunt spoke to artist Kishor Chakraborty enquiring about his installation “Lajjan (Shame)-Relevant/Irrelevant”- a mixed media collection of red sheep arranged like a montage of mobile flock. Hunt wanted to know what had inspired the artist and what had guided his choice of medium and colour.

The Charles Wallace fellows were introduced by media commentator and curator Shefalee Vasudev, former editor of Marie Claire magazine. The Charles Wallace Trust is an arts, heritage, conservation, humanities and scholarship funds.

The writers included Indrajit Hazra, Smita Singh, Siddharth Chowdhury, Parismita Singh, Devika Sethi, Siddhartha Chatterjee, Siddharth Chowdhury, Smita Singh, Swati Paul and others.

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