Indian artists to exhibit at Singapore's Asian show

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Singapore, May 8: As a testament to growing interest in Indian art in Southeast Asia, three Indian artists are participating in a group exhibition beginning here May 10 where they will recall political narratives from partition (1947), the 2002 Gujarat riots and the Kashmir issue through various art and media forms.

Through sculpture, video and photographs, Indian artists, along with their counterparts from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Pakistan are showcasing their works at the exhibition titled "No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia" that will run at Singapore's Centre for Contemporary Art till July 20.

The exhibition is a part of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative that is meant to foster cross-cultural interaction between artists, curators and audiences using educational programmes, online activities and collection building.

Gujarat-based artist Amar Kanwar's offering is a trilogy that explores religious, social and national politics that contributed to the post-colonial separation of India and Pakistan, a division that continues to have repercussions.

"Kanwar recalls Mahatma Gandhi's assassination at Birla House in Delhi in 1948 and the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002, relating both events to the violence that still haunts the nation," a statement said.

His work "A Season Outside" documents the daily ritualised displays of uniformed bravado between the two countries at the Wagah border in Punjab.

Another work, "Night of Prophecy," is a chorus of poems, chants, and songs recorded in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Kashmir and highlight issues of caste and poverty.

Mumbai-based Shilpa Gupta is showcasing a sculpture comprising polyester thread, wood, glass and brass that represents imaginative numerical data on the fenced border between India and Pakistan.

Giving a poetic interpretation to this information in a hand-woven ball of thread, Gupta's word reflects the tenuous nature of national boundaries, which demand constant restatement and surveillance.

Sheela Gowda's "Loss" is set in Kashmir and comprises six photographs by Kashmiri resident Abdul Gani Lone who conscientiously recorded the burials of every youth in his village who perished as a result of militancy in the state.

The photographs document the path taken by the bodies to their graves and have poignant glimpses of the local landscape.

Bangalore-based Gowda has used water colours to subtly highlight the subject's plight and express the tragic irony of the deadly geopolitical struggle in which thousands of people have lost their lives.

IANS

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