Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art
22 November 2008 – 15 March 2009
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
The exhibition will go on tour: 2 Sept - 8 Nov 2009 at the ESSL MUSEUM, Austria
The new "Indian-ness"
The latest movements in Indian art are represented in the exhibition “Chalo! India: A New
Era of Indian Art” by over 100 works (paintings, sculptures, photography, installations) from
27 artists and artist groups like Shilpa Gupta, Thukral & Tagra, Atul Dodiya ... from
Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Vadodara.
“Chalo!” means “Let's go!” in Hindi and implies movement, fluidity, formlessness, and transcendence of borders. The title was chosen because after the country gained independence in 1947, today's Indian society is in the midst of a great transition.
India's art is influenced
predominantly by Western Modernism and a homegrown form of expression linked with the process
of building a national identity. Over the last 60 years, the nation's art has gradually come to
tackle potentially controversial topics – such as sexuality – and also to incorporate political and critical
ideas. “Chalo! India” examines the way that Indian artists use their keen insights and increasingly free
spirits to question the reality and age in which they live, taking their themes from familiar objects
and ideas in daily life and society – often as though to transform them into a theater of life.
In the past, discourse
on India has tended to center around its history dating back to time immemorial, its Gods and devotion, its musical Bollywood movies, and
its newly-discovered economic promise. These ideas are no longer sufficient to fully explain the complex and dynamic present-day India.
You can experience
in this exhibition many different facets making up contemporary Indian society, including its urbanization and new lifestyles, its
dreams, its disparities and its contradictions.
Mori Art Museum offers an accompanying public program. In the English/Japanese spoken lecture series “Discover India” you can learn about “Lifestyle and Society in Contemporary India: Observations of the Urban Landscape”, beginning with the opening of India's economy to the global market in 1991, or in the second lecture “Dhoom! India: Thinking about the cool youth of today” you will get an introduction about India's youth which has developed a significant 'Indian-ness' inspired by the new aspects like information technology, the stock market, low-cost cars, biotechnology ... along with religion, philosophy and traditional forms of lifestyle.
Check out details about the public program, the catalog “Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art” (Japanese/English) ... on www.mori.art.museum.
fig.: Thukral&Tagra "Phantom IX-B", 2007
Oil and acrylic on canvas. 182 x 367cm. Courtesy: Nature Morte, New Delhi