China is embracing India, at least in art. A major contemporary Indian art exhibition this summer in Shanghai promises a cultural bridge between the two giants of Asia.
The India Xianzai exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai reflects the growing cosmopolitan nature of the two countries, as well as their shared cultural sensitivities. It also marks the increasing importance of Indian contemporary art in Asia and worldwide.
Organizers say the goal is to present “the best of Indian contemporary art” in the first major museum show of its kind in China. Twenty-one Indian artists will be featured, including Subodh Gupta, Atul Dodiya, Jitish Kallat, Jagannath Panda, Mithu Sen and other internationally acclaimed figures.
According to curators, India Xianzai will examine the “processes, narrative structures and aesthetic strategies that focus on the question of culture as an agency in artistic expression.” A common thread of active political and social engagement runs throughout, as well as exploration of “Indian-ness” in various national, hemispheric and global contexts. The exhibition also addresses cultural assimilation, a concern not just for India, but for every country in our increasingly smaller and flatter world.
India Xianzai features nearly 60 works including paintings, photography, video and installations. Much of the work on display comes from private collections. Several artists like including Riyas Komu, Suhasini Kejriwal and Schandra Singh created new works especially for the exhibition.
The common thread of active political and social engagement with one’s country and how each reacts to the Indian-ness outside the country can be seen running throughout the exhibition.
Other artists represtented include Anju Dodiya, Chitra Ganesh, Fariba Alam, Hema Upadhya, Justin Ponmany, Probir Gupta, Reena Kallat, Suryakant Lokhande, Susanta Mandal, Thukral and Tagra, TV Santosh, Vivek Vilasini and Vibha Galhotra.
India Xianzai runs from July 16, 2009 - August 31, 2009 at MoCA Shanghai, Gate 7, People’s Park, 231 Nanjing West Road, Shanghai, China. Various special lectures and screenings will be held throughout the run. A panel discussion featuring artists, Jitish Kallat, Mithu Sen and co-curators Alexander Keefe and Diana Freundl will be held July 16th.
For a taste of India Xianzai and the latest in Indian contemporary art, enjoy the gallery below! All images courtesy of MoCA Shanghai.