From its very first edition in 2008, India Art Fair has only grown from strength to strength. Now in its fifth edition, there is once again a deluge of Indian and international art at NSIC grounds — the exhibition venue. With as many as 106 exhibitors from 24 countries at the fair this time, there will be a lot to absorb, so here is just an inkling of what one can watch out for.
Do not miss Biju Joze’s sculptural installation at Dubai’s 1x1 gallery booth. Titled Agni II, this is a long cylindrical form of a missile scooped out of a tightly packed body of books, exhibiting various titles selected to satirically approach the subject of war. The book visible at the forward end reads ‘Don’t Look Down’ obliquely suggesting a warning not to see the misshapen aftermath of destruction. At the same booth, a handful of Middle Eastern artists will make their debut — especially noteworthy are works by artists like Mohammed Kazem and Patricia Millns who are some of the most experimental artists of the Emirates.
At Vadehra Art gallery, conceptual artist Shilpa Gupta presents her new work Holy Waters. The work extends from her earlier projects such as Blessed-Bandwidth.net of 2003, where Gupta investigated faith and religion in the real and virtual world. Here we are presented with four almost identical images of holy waters from rivers of Ganga and Jordan, and sacred places like Amritsar and Mecca, which very simply question the separation instigated by different religions.
If you are fond of life-size installations, Siddhartha Kararwal’s solo project, presented by Latitude 28, is your best bet. Titled Albanoalba, this is an 8-feet-high rabbit made of led tubes, red bulbs and sound sensor which will be stationed at the very entry of fair grounds. The artist has chosen a reference of an Alba rabbit and by making an animal out of lights, he desires to give a new life and a name to ‘a socio-cultural being’, now that this genetically modified species does not exist in nature.
Outside the media lounge, Dilip Chobisa has installed a 7-feet-high room-like structure titled Problem of Interaction which will be adorned with printed canvases with images of landscapes, doors and windows. Inside the structure, there will be text and few images as well decorative stuff which will be etched in mirror. This interactive work will engage viewers psychologically as well optically.
For video art, check out Gautam Kansara’s intimate family videos and Priyanka Dasgupta’s video showcasing a military jacket that reference acts of deliberate violence and inexplicable aggression exercised by people upon one another at Shrine Empire booth. And if it’s traditional art that appeals to you, at Singapore’s Indigo Art, you can see over 100 drawings and sketches by Indian master artists spanning six decades of Indian art history. From bold, powerful strokes and sensuous contours to naked, linear purity, this one is a comprehensive collection. Watch this space for more on India Art Fair.