Sunday, April 4, 2010

'Perception of Indian art and artists in the West needs to evolve.'

The president of highly influential New York-based think tank group Asia Society, Vishakha N. Desai, in a recent interview mentioned about a wider scope and interest in contemporary Indian art.

Asia Society is among the most important organizations that run a series of India-related program in the US. It has been doing so since the 1960s. According to Ms Desai, the cultural diversity of the country and its rich art needs to be carried to the mainstream art collectors in the US.

Vishakha N. Desai was chosen as the first Asian-American president of the society and also the first ever woman holding this prestigious post. She is making efforts within her organization itself to help India establish a connection culturally with other leading Asian countries. The formation of the India chapter of the Society in 2006 is a major step in this direction.

She is clearly enthused by the growing stature and visibility of Asian cultures in the global context. In an interview with Ishani Duttagupta of The ET Bureau, she stated that rising cultural status of India has largely to do with the increasing importance of the country as an influential player in business & commerce globally rather than sheer ethnicity

Noting her observations about the changing perception about contemporary Indian art and artists in the West, she stated that the interest sure is on an upswing with the country’s emergence as an economic superpower. She elaborated: “Contemporary Indian art is still bought by the Indian Diaspora in the US in a big way. Some contemporary artists like Sheela Gowda, Subodh Gupta, Atul Dodiya and Nalini Malani are, though, now getting mainstream recognition.”

People of Indian origin, however, still largely dominate the marketplace, according to her, and also the recognition is restricted to some modern masters such as F.N Souza and S.H. Raza.

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