India Art Fair 2016 to spotlight on south Asian narratives

New Delhi/Kolkata:  The upcoming edition of the India Art Fair 2016 will open at the NSIC Grounds, Okhla, in New Delhi.from the 28 ­ 31 January with a VIP preview 28 January for the media and the invitees. Since the launch of the fair in 2008, the India Art Fair has established itself as South Asia’s leading platform for modern and contemporary arts. Spurring a new wave of engagement with Indian art at every level, the fair has become the bedrock of a now booming cultural community. Building on these foundations, the fair has revised its mission and refined its programming to reflect the best of South Asia’s diversity in the visual arts, shifting the larger spotlight from the global contemporary arts to a regional specific panorama..
The fair’s 2016 edition will open a new chapter in its evolution as a showcase catering to the needs of a growing young audience for contemporary arts in Asia – and the new segments of practitioners whose styles are international, but their expositions grounded in the bigger South Asia narratives of indigent cultural movements and aesthetic traditions. In the last 20 years, the arts movements in south Asia have become more defined, acquiring a specific identity of their own that relate to people, political typecasts, conflucts and social issues that confront the region.

Business in contemporary arts has boomed in south Asia in concert with the northward movement in China and Japan, which have formidable positioning in the global art market as high-turnover nations with a vibrant display milieu pushed by a emerging private museum movement and enhanced investment in acquisitions with the growth in the tribe of private collectors .In step with India’s increasing cultural influence and a market estomated at nearly Rs 2,000 crore, the India Art Fair is making a number of enhancements to its organisation which includes significant changes to its partnerships, internal team and gallery programming, the organisers of the fair said.
The India Art Fair is collaborating with auto-giant BMW as the Presenting Partner of the 2016 edition​. For over 40 years, the BMW Group has made a significant contribution to culture, initiating over 100 cultural collaborations worldwide, from commissioned works by Gerhard Richter for the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters, to projects with artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson and Jeff Koons. In 2013, the BMW Guggenheim Lab ­ a global initiative of the BMW Group, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Guggenheim Museum, premiered in India at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai. The fair is has appointed Zain Masud as its International Director​. Masud will brings her experience within the art scenes of the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, China and Africa, alongside her extensive networks within the Western art world, the director of the India Art Fair said. Prior to this appointment, Zain served as an assistant fair director to Art Dubai for five years.
This year, the fair will be structured into five main sections: “Galleries”​, the main section, will feature leading Indian and international art houses while “Focus”, will concentrate on solo presentations curated by participating galleries or institutions; “Institutional”, will give space to leading international and Indian museums and art foundations presenting elements of their programmes or collaborations commissioned specially for the fair; “Platform”, will represent young emerging artists or collectives from throughout South Asia, open to galleries and foundations within the region; and “Projects​”, will display artworks including large-scale sculptures or site specific installations at the fair.The founding director of the India Art Fair Neha Kirpal said the new sections represented the “emerging trends driving contemporary arts” in South Asia and around the world.

Madhusree Chatterjee
The Statesman, Kolkata

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