Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Toran Project presents contemporary artworks from India in Canada

The Toran Project launched in 2011 has become a sort of a truly epic voyage – a deeper immersion course of Indian & South Asian contemporary art, culminating with an exhibition-cum-sale of several quality artworks assembled in the city of Mumbai.

From a list of close to 200 artists, five important ones – namely Mohan Singh, Vinita Karim, Manish Jha, Swapan Palley, and S.H. Raza, - plus a collection of etchings by many others have been put up during the exhibition. The works on view encompass folk art, profound mythological and spiritual art, laced with a dash of color. 

‘The Toran Project: Contemporary Art from the Indian Sub-Continent’ courtesy Concrete Contemporary Auctions & Projects at Waddingtons’ Toronto art gallery looks to bring Indian art in spotlight in Canada, unveiling the intellectual and artistic rigor behind it. Stephen Ranger, the vice-president (business development) of Waddington’s, mentions: “When one looks at traditional Canadian art forms, they tend to be rather somber; here our vision is about a culture, which is anything but somber.”

It’s the outcome of their collaboration with the Toronto based and Mumbai-born art connoisseur, entrepreneur and designer, Sushma Kilachand who enjoys long standing rapport with many of India’s top artists, consultants and galleries who helped in assembling the project. Kilachand reveals that a key criterion was not getting very specific in terms of both religious art and communities. “It’s important since if the project does succeed, it gives us the scope for a better and bigger showcase next time,” the art expert adds.

The exhibition is to appreciate the fact that contemporary art scene of India is thriving. Both Ranger and Kilachand feel it’s high time for the art from India to have a dynamic presence in Canada. The broader idea behind it is to give Toronto’s South Asian community something translatable and not just country specific.

The show runs at King Street East galleries from October 23-30. With the Toronto International Art Fair focusing this year on Asia, it's a timely and important event. It can be viewed online at

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