Show offers unique look at Indian art

Monday, September 22, 2014
It's not often one gets to see contemporary art from India in Hong Kong. However, an unique exhibition Kala Sutra is on view at the Visual Arts Centre in Hong Kong Park.

Closing at 8pm today, the exhibition features 45 works by nine of India's most celebrated masters across generations: Jogen Chowdhury, K Laxma Goud, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Manoj Dutta, (late) MF Husain, Neeraj Goswami, Ram Kumar, Satish Gujral and Thota Vaikuntam.

The show explores "the existence of a link, however feeble, between the art of the past with that executed down the line, of any nation is therefore proof enough of its heritage, that is still alive and kicking."

Indeed, India's cultural heritage is rich, strong and deeply ingrained into the cultural subconscious of those practicing art today. One of the two major challenges for contemporary Indian artists is to assert their own presence on a par with, or even surpassing, that of their ancestors, while paying tribute and respect to them.

The second challenge is for these artists to prove that beyond India's borders, how strong they are through originality and creativity an individualistic, unique artistic vocabulary that stems from the Indian context, but with relevance to the global discourse, according to curator Arun Ghose.
This subtle dialogue, be it between the past and present or East and West, is summed up aptly through the two terms "convergence" and "confluence," as detailed in the subheading to the exhibition. And the artistic styles on display are certainly diverse. From rural simplicity to urban sophistication, from a Cubism-esque abstraction to figurative portraiture, Kala Sutra is testament to the timeless continuity of Indian art.

The exhibition, presented by Sanchit Art of New Delhi and Red Peppers Entertainment, opened on Friday and is on at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, 7A Kennedy Road. Admission is free. Architectural critic Nicholas Ho and art historian Stephanie Poon don't always see eye to eye.

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