The India Art Fair, now in its seventh edition, is held in New Delhi every year and has the distinction of being the leading platform for modern and contemporary art in South Asia for from myriad nooks and crannies of the world. India Art Fair 2016 is being held from 28th – 30th January, (with a VIP preview on the 28th) at NSIC Exhibition Ground, Okhla Industrial Area. Founded in 2008, the fair has rigorously aimed at facilitating dialogue and art trade in the region as it is a platform for interaction between artists, collectors, buyers, enthusiasts, gallery owners, curators, academics and museum directors. The fair will feature galleries exhibiting artists in painting, sculpture, new media, installation and performance art, India Art Fair provides a conducive environment for the promotion of Art among a range of stakeholders. It also plays host to art book stores, restaurant spaces, curated walks and performance art. As Neha Kirpal, Founder Director, India Art Fair states, “India Art Fair is the 5th most attended fair in world. 100,000 people attend over four days. It is part of civic society, not just a matter of indulgence. It presents and reflects the criticality of art for younger generations. With several new initiatives emerging in the region we can all make a compelling case for the rest of south asia and bring that out at a global level.”
India Art Fair is building on these foundations through a number of new initiatives and developments including the addition of BMW as Presenting Partner, as well as the appointment of Zain Masud as International Director. In his words, “One of the most significant issues to the state of contemporary art in 2016 is the ongoing shift in interest and power from the West to the East. Since the 1990s, Asian contemporary art has grown exponentially due to regional biennials and triennials, the building of new contemporary art museums, the international recognition and success of Asian artists, and of course global political and economic shifts.”
The fair will present new international participants along with some of the best programmes from the Indian subcontinent, emphasising diversity and quality across chronologies and media. Acknowledging the fair’s strategic importance in the development of the South Asian arts, this year will witness a significant presence from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, notably through a new programme called Platform, which will represent young emerging artists, key artspaces and collectives who might never otherwise find their place at an art fair and among its audiences.
With a shared purpose to promote cultural discourse in South Asia, and provide a platform for such discussion, Godrej India Culture Lab, Asia Art Archive and Art India are collaborating with the fair as academic partners of the acclaimed Speakers’ Forum, supported by Forum Partner The Goethe Institute. This broad and exciting programme of lectures and conversations will engage the entire range of stakeholders in the visual arts – artists,
curators, critics, administrators, academics, gallerists and collectors in addition to a wide spectrum of artistic practices. Highlights of this year’s panels will include Stuart Comer (Chief Curator of the Department of Media and Performance Art at MoMA, New York), Thomas Girst ( Head of Cultural Engagement, BMW Group), Sangita Jindal (Chairperson, JSW Foundation) Osman Waheed ( Founder and Chair, Lahore Biennale Foundation), Dina
Bangdel (Nepal Arts Council) and Sunitha Kumar Emmart (Founder, GALLERYSKE).
As part of India Art Fair’s expanded programming this year, a number of leading international and Indian museums and foundations will also participate directly in the fair in a new programme entitled Institutional. Presenting elements of their programmes or collaborations specially commissioned for the fair, participating institutions include the Delfina Foundation, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Jindal Art Center and the Korean Cultural Centre India. Further initiatives at India Art Fair 2016 include a designated space called IAF Atrium for the Spotlight Series for hosting performances, book launches and talks. This new space will also showcase an inaugural Film Programme
focussing on film as art curated by Shai Heredia ( filmmaker and Director of Experimenta, India’s international festival for moving image art) . This practice draws attention to the materiality and experiential qualities of the moving image, turning form into the content of the work. For the first time India Art Fair will screen cutting edge film and video art from
Asia and elsewhere.
Artsome is indeed very proud to be associated with the India Art Fair and we have been appointed to conduct the Curated Walks Program, which is an extension of the role that IAF plays in creating a space for dialogue and discussion. Artsome will also be publishing the Daily Highlights newsletter for all four days of the India Art Fair. Artsome is a first of its kind endeavour to attempt to fill the lack of education and exposure to art in the Indian Subcontinent. It is a one-stop resource for information on Modern and Contemporary Art in the region. Based on the ideals of being democratic and inclusive, Artsome is dedicated to taking art beyond a niche audience. The aim of creating a space for dialogue between artists, art collectors, buyers and enthusiasts ties up with Artsome’s goal of inclusive dissemination of knowledge and information about Art and promoting Arts amongst an intersection of audience. Artsome has taken several initiatives towards this end since its inception. The curated walks conducted by Artsome for India Art Fair 2016 is a step towards taking art to the public as part of its Educate Artsome initiative. Walks curated by Artsome will help facilitate interaction and dialogue about the arts and will be a unique platform for us to interact with art enthusiasts and artists alike. The prime purpose of these curated walks will be to further knowledge and generate interest in the Arts along with providing a comprehensive guide to the fair.