India Art Fair 2016 to focus on sub-continent

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) As Delhi is set to host the eighth edition of the India Art Fair this month-end, it will see new initiatives and art forms on display. Slated to begin from January 29, the capital’s most-awaited art event will focus on the sub-continent’s contemporary art forms.

Acknowledging the fair’s strategic importance in developing South Asian arts, Zain Masud, International Director, India Art Fair said that there will be a significant presence from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka this year.

“The real focus is on quality. We have invested in honing the roster of galleries we work with and collaborating more closely with them, and really taking responsibility for what the fair presents to its audiences. We are focusing very much on South Asia this year, providing a reference point for the rest of the world, in a region that is not always accessible.” said Masud, the newly-appointed International Director of the Fair.

The ‘Platform’ initiative will represent young emerging artists, key art spaces and collectives who might otherwise never find a place at an art fair.

For Neha Kirpal, founder-director of the India Art Fair, this edition is about curating the right mix that will work for India and to build sustainable relations.

“India Art Fair is the fifth most attended fair in world. With 100,000 people attending 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 make a compelling case for the rest of South Asia and bring that out at a global level,” Kirpal told IANS

In a first, genres like folk, tribal, and Pitchwai will mark their presence at the Fair.

“The worst thing an art fair can do is to copy another. When the world is travelling to India to see what is different here, we have to create a new and vibrant offering. We have gone deeper this time,” added Kirpal.

The fair will also present 70 galleries, with 18 exciting new participants exhibiting for the first time, including Grey Noise (Dubai), Hafez Gallery (Jeddah), Edel Assanti (London), Sabrina Amrani (Madrid), Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch (Rome) and Hosfelt Gallery (San Francisco) alongside returnees such as Thomas Erben Gallery (New York), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Les Moulins, Beijing, Havana), Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai), Experimenter (Kolkata), GALLERYSKE (Bangalore, New Delhi) and Gallery Espace (New Delhi).

The Fair will also have 14 select exhibits by individual artists showcasing significant new work. The artists include Ram Rahman, Joël Andrianomeariso, Krishna Reddy, Wim Delvoye, Julien Segard and Sakshi Gupta, amongst others.

A Speakers’ Forum will see broad and exciting lectures and conversations with the entire range of stakeholders in the visual arts . Some of the interesting sessions include conversation between Sunitha Kumar Emmart (Founder, GALLERYSKE) with Sudarshan Shetty (artist and curator of Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016) on the Artist and the Gallerist.

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