Thursday, September 10, 2009

‘Art Expo India hopes to raise awareness of modern Indian art on the international stage.’

“Discover how Art Expo India, to be held in Mumbai this month, hopes to raise awareness of modern Indian art on the international stage,” proclaims Georgina Wilson-Powell of The Khaleej Times, providing an insight into the purpose of this ambitious art event.

Putting the event in a broader context, the writer mentions in an article (Title" 'Winds of Change'): “Indian art has been around for over 5,000 years — a complicated and vibrant reflection of the country’s myriad historical, religious and political developments. However, its impact on the modern art market at an international level has been relatively limited in the last century.”

It adds: “Art fairs, or expos, have always been a fantastic platform for a city or a country to bring together its eminent artists, curators and galleries with private and commercial buyers, patrons and investors. They act as flash points, attracting local and international attention and coverage for artists and galleries looking to extend their reach beyond the domestic market. In the last few years, India’s contemporary art scene has started to do just that.”

The writer points to the fact that a series of international art fairs that have brought together disparate artists under the broad banner of being Indian and working in the now. In a country as large as India and with such an unstructured art market, there's plenty of room for more than one art fair. In an effort to attract international attention, there is always strength in numbers, Georgina Wilson-Powell argues.

Vibhuraj Kapoor, owner of Gallery Beyond in Mumbai, has been quoted as saying: “Art Expo India needs to become a continuation of the revival of the Indian contemporary art. Art expositions are an effort to create bridges for information on the art practices of our times. Well-organized ones can be a great visual adventure; Art Expo India promises to be just that.”

He is an example of how things are changing — he used to travel to Singapore or New York to take part in art fairs, but is now heading to AEI for the first time, the article notes, makeing a pertinent observation that although modern Indian art has a relatively healthy pulse at home, it slows down abroad.

It adds: “The Middle East has started to reflect its diverse Indian expat population, with a wider inclusion of Indian art in its galleries. But generally speaking, the further west Indian art travels, the fainter the heartbeat. The concern over which path modern India takes and the domestic cost of global modernization is at odds with the immediate future for its art scene. What started with a small rumble is building to something much more urgent and explosive.

"Just as the tide of global economics is slowly sweeping east, the art world’s gaze is starting to follow and, eager to have their time in the spotlight, Indian artists are waiting in the wings, ready to claim centre stage,” the writer aptly points out.

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