Art aficionados, notwithstanding, for most of us the first name to pop up at the mention of Contemporary Indian Art is that of the M. F. Husain—his artworks, (and his muses) have long been a household name. While he surely redefined Indian art, the nation’s contemporary landscape is lit with several such well-known masters. KALASUTRA—which refers to how a contemporary artist, without losing individual identity, keeps on holding cultural ideas and achievements of past—pays homage to the works of nine contemporary Indian artists, showcasing the country’s foremost and varied art of today. Kalasutra in Hong Kong is presented by Sanchit Art (New Delhi) and Red Peppers Entertainment, the group exhibition featuring 45 works by leading masters, will be held at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre from 20 – 22 September 2014.
Besides satiating your palate for Indian masterpieces, the exhibition will also give you an opportunity to meet four of these celebrated artists—Jogen Chowdhury, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Thota Vaikuntham and Neeraj Goswami, at the preview on 19th September (Friday), along with renowned curator Arun Ghose. The preview will be hosted by the Consul General of India to Hong Kong and Macau.
The large-scale display highlights the distinctly unique practices by artists from across the regions in India. Whilst the formal and aesthetic qualities of the paintings may appear diverse, all the artists are deeply rooted within their country’s history and traditions. Their creative spirit draws inspiration from India’s colonial past to the sprawling nature, from contemporary politics to religious beliefs. Each adapting a technique and vocabulary that brings to the Hong Kong audience a new perspective on contemporary Indian art.
Maqbool Fida Husain
Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2011) is one of the most celebrated Indian artists in the international arena of the 20th century, who continues to be relevant in the contemporary scene. Husain’s ability to create pictorial metaphor at will, coupled with his mesmerising talent to draw and paint in any medium, has always placed his name in the forefront of Indian contemporary art. His works are part of important private and institutional collections. An avid film-maker Husain has directed several films that have received critical acclaim in various platforms of world cinema.
Ram Kumar (b.1924) is one of India’s leading abstract painters. His canvases are like long poems, easy to read but not easy enough to decipher the coded messages with casual viewing. Within the confines of this conditioned world, he freely uses sub-conscious images, and fond memories of the past etched deep into the pysche. Seashells and marine remnants, water lilies in bloom and the rounded spread of its delicate leaves, and such other relics that smells of environmental tranquility appears in his canvases with unpredictable regularity.
A true contemporary Renaissance man, Satish Gujral is a painter, sculptor, muralist, architect & writer. Gujral has been a dominating force in the Indian art scene since the post independent era. He was born in 1925 and, during 1944-47, encountered the Progressive Artists Group in Bombay, which included S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, P.N. Mago, Jehangir Sabavala, M.F.Husain and others. However, Gujral could not accept the PAG’s total adaptation of techniques and vocabulary of European Expressionism and Cubism, and searched for the language of Modernism rooted in Indian traditions.
Born in 1939 in Bangladesh, Chowdhury’s art is informed by his experiences as a refugee during the difficult and troubled days of the Partition of Bengal, and has risen since to the top echelon of art in India today. The artist’s inimitable style portraying human figures convey commentary on immorality, political anarchy and the perceived pervasive dishonesty in public life.
Thota Vaikuntam (b.1942) hails from Andhra Pradesh, in South India. His works interrogate gender roles and are inspired by the male artists who impersonate female characters in rural travelling theatre groups. Vaikuntam draws from the depictions of sensuality and vibrancy from performing folk art traditions. Vaikuntam’s art beholds a power that emanates from the paint or charcoal that he applies to the surface, from his controlled lines, and from the fine strokes he executes. He has elevated art of his generation to newer heights.
K. Laxma Goud
Born in 1940 in Nizampur, Andhra Pradesh, K. Laxma Goud is undoubtedly one of the most versatile and competent painters of his generation. His portraits of men and women represent the dynamic Indian ethos rather than particular individual identities. Goud’s art is centered on the rural and erotic, recreating landscapes and scenes that are etched deeply in the collective sub-conscious and psyche.
Lalu Prasad Shaw
Equally at ease with hard-edge abstraction and period-style figuration, Lalu Prasad Shaw (b.1937) is known in the Indian art scene for his calibrated eloquence and narratives. Faithful to the traditions of Indian art and drawing from the nation’s colonial past, his painted characters are deeply rooted in history – indicating an era where Indian art was commandeered by colonial ideologies and principles.
Neeraj Goswami’s (b.1964) painterly journey starts deep inside his mind, during his daily meditation, in which images emerge in his purified soul. His palette, and simplified renderings of meditative humans, together portray a unique tradition in Indian art in which spirituality predominates. Tradition and modernity of painterly style co-exists in his art that carefully conceals his complex method of applying paint and drawing lines, leaving only a surface of infinite bliss.
Manoj Dutta (b.1956) did not recieve formal training as an artist, and his art, as a result, reflects an unadulterated connection with nature and related natural elements, an expression that is rare amongst his contemporaries. Exhibited widely in India and abroad, his art forms an important part of the contemporary canon in the long passage of art in India.
Date: 20 – 22 September 2014
Venue: Hong Kong Visual Arts Gallery, 7A Kennedy Road, Mid-levels, Hong Kong
Inauguration and Private Preview
Date: 19 September 2014
About Sanchit Art (New Delhi)
Sanchit Art represents the best of contemporary Indian art, showcasing emerging to established artists from the region. The platform aims to bridge the gap between artists working in India and abroad by establishing a programme to exhibit contemporary European art in India while reciprocating the same with curated shows of contemporary Indian art around the globe.
Sanchit Art has two galleries in Delhi and Agra. It has also partnered with InvesArt Gallery of Spain to show Picasso and Braque, among others, at the India Art Fair. One of the Gallery’s major shows in Singapore in April 2013, curated by Arun Ghose featuring works of nine masters was critically and commercially a success, receiving significant media attention from the South East Asia landscape. Sanchit Art will be expanding its curatorial programme of exhibitions around the Asia-Pacific region, with major art initiatives slated in Hong Kong and Singapore in the last quarter of 2014.
Artists represented by Sanchit Art include: Ganesh Pyne, Jayasri Burman, Jogen Chowdhury, K. Laxma Goud, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Neeraj Goswami, Paresh Maity, Ram Kumar, Sakti Burman, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Satish Gujral and Thota Vaikuntam.
About Red Pepper’s Entertainment
Red Pepper’s Entertainment is a young and dynamic event management company based in Hong Kong and can be credited for bringing the biggest Indian Art Show to our gorgeous city. The two partners: Devina Bannerji and Sindhu Kapoor bring a wide variety of skills and talents to the art of event management. Red Pepper’s specializes in India-themed concerts, celebrity performances, culture, theatre , corporate events and exhibitions.
Over the past five years, the forte of Red Pepper’s Entertainment has been a seamless coordination and execution of every event that they undertake. It is their endeavour to ensure that creativity and organization come together flawlessly. They burst onto the event management scene with the legendary ‘Pankaj Udhaas Live’ and have since then successfully conceptualized and managed events of Bollywood celebrity artists such as: Shreya Ghoshal , KK , Shankar Mahadevan and Mohit Chauhan. All of their events have been widely appreciated for their extremely high level of acoustics, sound quality and appeal. Adding to their diverse event management portfolio have been: A movie premiere; The launch party of a restaurant; An exhibition by an exclusive Delhi based Designer. Red Pepper’s Entertainment will be working closely with the Indian Consulate for the upcoming ‘KALASUTRA’.