Arpita Akhanda© KCC

From Immersive Art Performances To Demystification of NFTs, Here Are A Few Things To Look Forward To At The India Art Fair This Year

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

The 13th edition of the India Art Fair, helmed by first-time director Jaya Asokan, is returning to a physical format this year. The fair will present 77 exhibitors across 17 cities, including an unprecedented 14 non-profit foundations and institutions. This time along, the fair seeks to spotlight the next generation of artists alongside modern masters through initiatives including talks, immersive artist performances, film screenings, outdoor art projects, artist-led workshops, and an online symposium in the run-up to the fair.

Running from 28 April till 1 May 2022, the fair is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, both beginners and veterans, as it will present a glimpse of what the future of the art scene in the country looks like. We’ve shortlisted some of the exhibits that we’re most looking forward to visiting at the India Art Fair this year, take a look…

Jangarh Singh Shyam’s Gond masterpieces

Jangarh Singh Shyam©Jim Parson

The Platform section of the India Art Fair, curated by Amit Kumar Jain, will focus on highlighting traditional Indian art forms. One of the major highlights of this section is the showcase of acclaimed artist Jangarh Singh Shyam’s Gond paintings. In case you didn’t know, the Gonds are one of the largest and oldest tribes of India. They are well known for their vibrant artworks, through which they narrate intriguing stories. Shyam is celebrated as the first Adivasi artist to gain widespread acclaim for propelling Gond art into international recognition and is credited with creating a new school of Indian contemporary art called the ‘Jangarh Kalam.’ He was also one of the first Gond artists to use acrylic on paper and canvas.

The Future is Femme: Aravani Art Project

The Aravani Project at India Art Fair 2022©India Art Fair

The Aravani Art Project, a trans-women and cis-women-led art collective, is collaborating with the Saffronart Foundation to present a 50-feet long mural along the walkway into the fair that imagines what it looks like to live and love freely, celebrating oneself and nurturing a community that thrives on openness and care.

A Kochi Biennale Retrospective

Kochi Muziris Biennale 2019©Kerala Tourism

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale which has become a landmark platform for art in the region and internationally. A special exhibit at the Art Fair this year will recall the iconic artworks including photographs and excerpts of video installations from the past four editions of the Biennale.

NFTs and Digital Art

NFTs©India Art Fair

The whole world and their aunts are talking about NFTs, so it would be remiss of the India Art Fair to not delve into it. This year, digital art and NFT works will be a big part of the schedule with digital works by artists such as Amrit Pal Singh and younger talents like Laya Mathikshara (a teenager from Chennai) and Khyati Trehan. There are also dedicated auditorium talks to demystify non-fungible tokens hosted by techart platform BeFantastic, which will have experts such as Om Malviya of Tezos India, Aparajita Jain of Terrain.art, and artist Raghava KK, who sold work at a record price at Sotheby’s auction in 2021.

360 Minutes of Requiem: Arpita Akhanda

Artist Arpita Akhanda is known to explore memory and histories of colonialism in her work and this time she has chosen to do so with a two-day long immersive performance. Themes of nationalism, borders and partitions will be explored by the artits as she deconstructs 360 feet of barbed wire fence over a 360-minute-long immersive performance staged over two days, allowing viewers to witness the hard work and labour involved in undoing historical and psychological barriers that have divided us for centuries.

Meeting Point: Muzummil Ruheel

Muzummil Ruheel©Muzummil Ruheel

‘The Studio’ is a brand new space at the fair this year that will be dedicated to making bridges across creative fields beyond visual art including design, fashion, food, and technology. One of the exhibits we’re most looking forward to visiting is by Karachi-based artist Muzummil Ruheel, whose project aims to give audiences access to a world that cannot be seen ordinarily through augmented reality technology. The artist invites his viewers to step into an eerie landscape, where they can interact with all that silently inhabits this space, witness ghost words, and watch them inaudibly present around us.

Bushra Waqas Khan’s Miniature Dresses

Bushra Waqas Khan©Anant Art

Pakistani-artist Bushra Waqas Khan marries art with fashion in a unique way. She incorporates common local stamp paper motives on textile and constructs sophisticated and elaborate miniature apparel in Victorian silhouettes that encompass culturally and historically diverse eras.

RPSG Group and HELLO! India are delighted to announce the first-ever HELLO! India Art Awards on April 25 in New Delhi. The awards will felicitate and appreciate the works of established artists, upcoming talent, new media, individual and group exhibitions, galleries that curate and showcase excellent artwork, various mediums of expression, and every domain of artistic excellence there is in India today.

Stay tuned and keep following @hellomagindia for more behind-the-scenes action, exclusive interviews, and much more!