Indian Modern Art (IMA), the brainchild of artist and curator Radha Binod Sharma, marks its launch this spring with an inaugural exhibition in London, entitled, ?Bridge 2 Worlds?. The show features the work of twenty-two contemporary Indian artists, many of whom have never shown outside their own country, and reflects the main aim of IMA to promote and support promising individuals from the sub-continent, in order to help them fulfil their artistic potential in the international arena.
The artists all share an innate talent and passion, and an inherent quality in the work, which sees them combine their rich cultural heritage with a modern mindset. This seems to perfectly represent India?s current state of accelerated development; its battle to advance through its own industrial, or rather, technological, revolution, whilst holding onto long established traditions and faiths. The exhibition?s title illustrates not only the country?s endeavours to successfully bridge the two worlds of tradition and innovation, but also Sharma?s desire to bridge the gap between India and the rest of the world with regards to the exposition of talented, emerging artists.
Now based in London, Sharma had long noted what he felt was the underrepresentation of up-and-coming Indian talent in the global market and artistic community. In April 2008 he decided to do something about it and returned to India, visiting his artistic roots. What he found there was a diverse and exciting group of gifted artists and students that were struggling, for a variety of reasons, to break out and navigate the professional art world.
Over a period of nine months Sharma got to know the artists, in some cases mentoring them and helping them to complete their studies or advance their work by supplying materials or through emotional support. Learning more about each artist and the integrity of their work, the individuals? circumstances served as an inspiration to Sharma and led to the founding of Indian Modern Art and a promise to expose their talent outside of India.
Exactly a year on from Sharma?s initial journey back to India, ?Bridge 2 Worlds? is the first showing from IMA, which in 2009 will formalise its status as a foundation, intending to provide concrete support in the form of scholarships, representation; through exhibition and promotion, and, perhaps less tangible, but unquestionably as important; guidance and advice as the artists graduate onto another stage of their professional lives. In Manipuri dialect (the region of Sharma?s birth) IMA means Mother; a name that seems wholly appropriate for a foundation that was formed out of an aspiration to nurture artists at a critical stage in their careers, and to help build the confidence they will need to flourish internationally.
?Bridge 2 Worlds? contains work in a variety of forms from painting to tapestry, woodcuts and sculpture, and in whichever medium or style, its strength and quality is indicative of the new-found confidence of, not only these artists, but also of contemporary India itself.
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: ABHIJIT PAUL, AMRITAM DAS, ANIRBAN MITRA, ASHIM KARMAKAR, BANATANWI DAS MAHAPATRA, DEEPAK RAJBHAR, DILIP MITRA, DIPANNITA BISWAS, JAYESH H RATHOD, MAHJABIN I MAJUMDAR, MANOJ SINHA, MRINMOY DEBBARMA, MUKULENDU PATHAK, NARENDRA PATEL, NUTAN MAJUMDER, PINAKI BARUA, PREETI AGRAWAL, RADHA BINOD SHARMA, SABIR ALI, SANJOY PATRA, SHIV VARMA, SWAPNA BISWAS.