The drifting canvas is in motion in India. Aakshat Sinha, who is the curator of the Indian section “Desi Canvas”, is not leaving any stone unturned to make sure that art reaches out to everyone. “The Drifting Canvas” is not a new idea in art circles but “Desi Canvas” is or so to say the combination of both is a new concept. When I spoke with Aakshat about it, he talked in detail about the ideation, the process and the purpose of putting all of it together. In his words, “Desi Canvas” attempts to capture the essence of the Indian contemporary art scene, slicing through the diverse nature of the Indian art forms and styles. The versatility of the Indian artist is impossible to be captured despite the effort to curate 8 back to back shows (each a week long). The event ‘The Drifting Canvas’ that is showcasing a multimedia display of the art works by select 11 Modernists opened on 27th April at the Select City Walk Mall in Saket, New Delhi. ‘desi canvas’ is an integral extension of this show to bring closer the art works of the Indian contemporary artists as well to the general public. The first week (till 4th May) displays the prints (etchings) by Anupam Sud in a show titled ‘maya, myth, reality’ along with a show ‘impressions/expressions’ of art works by Paramjeet Singh, Krishan Ahuja, Biman B Das, Umesh Varma, Jagadish Day, and Ram V Sutar. This will be followed by ‘Juxtaposed’ – a show of works by Kalicharan Gupta, Kanchan Chander, S K Sahni, and Prasanta Kalita. Subsequent shows will include works by various artists like Arpana Caur, Ananda Moy Banerjee, Kavita Nayar, Ravindra Verma and others. In fact, the public gets an opportunity to engage with the works of 41 Indian artists through the entire 8 shows. The works on display combine the different art forms like painting (oils, acrylics, and mixed media), print making (etching, intaglio, etc.), sculptures (fiber glass, bronze, POP, etc.), photographs, and installations. From figurative and realistic to abstracts, all styles find representation. Each show has been meticulously conceived and designed to capture the essence of the connecting theme. The theme threading distinctly diverse works of art using metaphors and concepts.
(Aakshat Sinha has previously curated the solo shows of Dr. Sukant Khurana and Umesh Varma in 2016, both of whom find presence in ‘desi canvas’. Sukant’s works focus on destructive creation and creative destruction. His works in ‘desi canvas’ shall focus on ‘identity’. Umesh Varma is a senior artist and his artistic language combines chakras, science, and art. The works are his own interpretations and based on his own research on the subjects. His art experience in Japan in his early years of artistic endeavor have also left an indelible mark on his oeuvre.
The multimedia display of the European artists is mesmerizing and is enthralling all the visitors. ‘desi canvas’ is generating a lot of buzz too with the visitors visibly expressing their surprise at how good they feel the works of the Indian artists are. The opportunity to acquire the art works of the Indian artists is also an incentive for the visitors. It is heartening to see members of all age groups enjoying the artistic experience that is unfolding for them at the specially created fully air-conditioned pavilion at the mall. The mall visitors have the opportunity to broaden their understanding of art while having fun too.
Aakshat Sinha is the curator for ‘desi canvas’. He holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Moscow, Russia. After a decade of corporate experience in Russia and India he decided to find himself and discovered his passion for creativity. He has since then acquired a Diploma in Fine Arts, exhibited his own paintings and installations extensively since 2009. His solo show ‘Those Golden Years’ was showcased at AIFACS art gallery (2013) and at the Russian Center of Science and Culture, New Delhi. His installations were displayed at the House of Artists in Moscow for the Silk Rad Cultural Forum exhibition in 2015. He has curated a number of art shows in the last 3 years, exhibiting at places like AIFACS art gallery and Lalit Kala Akademi. His show ‘Pratimimb-reflections’ at Lalit Kala Akademi in 2016 included artists from USA, UK, Australia, Russia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. His recent show ‘Textured conscience’ held at AIFACS in December 2016, traveled to Hotel Grand Maple, Jaipur in January 2017 and included works by artists from Russia, USA, UK, Nepal, and India. He has been involved with street art, 3D chalk painting, and has been writing poems and short stories. He has also published graphic novels and is part of the collaboration ‘Ulta Soch’ that has released multilingual illustrated books.)
(This post is an attempt by the author and the curator to ensure that art reaches out to people, and in any way is not a commercial/promotional post. The purpose of telling the stories behind is to make readers understand the journeys art and artists take)