Mithu Sen|Cannibal Lullaby

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart invites you to visit “Cannibal Lullaby” @ Galerie Nathalie Obadia before it is too late!

London: Cannibal Lullaby at Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Brussels is soon coming to an end. The exhibition, part of Europalia.India, is Mithu Sen‘s first solo exhibition in Belgium.

Amulets and objects of superstition inhabit Sen’s works linked together by hordes of haemoglobin intertwined with leaves. Death and sensuality are two of the leading themes in the artist’s work. In the artist’s world skulls kiss and skeletons unites through a joyous macabre dance!

However, despite some recurring dark themes, Sen’s work conveys a joyful atmosphere, like a burlesque carnival,  where even skeletons are able to love.

Below you can enjoy few images from the show which is closing on Friday.

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For more information click here.

Krishnamachari’s Curatorial Callings

Aaina Bhargava of Saffronart on artist – curator Bose Krishnamachari’s selection as the curator for the Indian Pavilion at Art Stage Singapore 2014, and it’s new feature Platform

London: Singapore’s annual art fair – Art Stage Singapore – is introducing a new feature to its latest edition in 2014, regional platforms for seven participating Asian nations/regions including southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Australia, and India.  Each platform essentially functions as an exhibition showcasing works by artists from each particular region.  Curators have also been regionally selected to create these platforms, with India’s, being curated by the Kochi-Muziris Biennial cofounder and co-curator Bose Krishnamachari.   In a brief, recent, interview he explains his initial approach to the project:

“I will be looking at the works of Indian artists and have to pick six to eight of them through their galleries.”

While his previous large-scale exhibition curatorial project was the Kochi Muziris Biennial, a much more academic and locally contextualized endeavor, the Indian Platform for Art Stage is a “curated sales exhibition,” that aims to exhibit works in a contemporary Asian framework.  This provides an intriguing contrast in terms of audiences who he will be curating for and artists that he will select to represent the Indian contemporary art scene and will contribute to defining the contemporary Asian art scene, the premise upon which Art Stage Singapore seeks to operate. Heralding the motto, “We are Asia,” this event brings together 131 galleries, 75% of which are from Asia Pacific.  Through juxtaposing works by known and emerging artists from various different Asian regions, Platform commits to Art Stage’s attempts to make Singapore a solid and driving force in the Asian art market.  Expanding on the importance of representing a diverse Asia, Lorenzo Rudolf (Founder and fair director) states,

“When we speak about Asia, we cannot speak about an undifferentiated, single Asian contemporary art scene as the region is highly segmented. From a western perspective, there is sometimes limited understanding of the market differentiations within Asia and little depth of knowledge about the individual art markets…This new addition [Platform] will give visitors not only a holistic overview of artistic developments, but also a deeper understanding of contemporary art from Asia Pacific.”

To allow viewers the opportunity to witness this comparative juxtaposition of artworks from different regions, Platform will be exhibited in a non-segregated, museum like format over approximately 20% (or 1800 sq. meters) of the fair exhibition space. The Southeast Asia Platform is to be the largest of the Platforms. These works are to include “site-specific works, interactive installations and innovative conceptually driven works, meant to discuss important topics that address the contemporary society.”  This description holds similar to that of works made for or presented at biennials, particularly site specific works and cutting edge, innovative conceptual works.  Presenting these types of works at an art fair and having this particular exhibition curated by renowned curators such as Krishnamachari who are known for their work at biennials and other non commercial exhibitions, reflects a desire to bring a critical credibility to the fair as well an educational component.

The paradigms that both art fairs and biennials (and other art events) follow seem to be coming closer and closer together, although both institutions have fundamentally different goals.  They are increasingly starting to include educational collateral programs that exist not only to stimulate discourse and raise awareness about contemporary art but also to create a more informed market.  Krishnamachari’s role (and that of other curators for different platforms) will become instrumental in determining which Indian artists are representative of an evolving contemporary Indian art scene, and negotiating that with those who are able or who have the potential to succeed commercially.  Whether this negotiation can be successfully achieved in actuality remains to be seen till the opening of Art Stage Singapore on January 15th 2014, we are certainly looking forward to seeing the final exhibition of Platform and how it contributes to the fair.

Mithu Sen at Art Stage Singapore

Mithu Sen at Art Stage Singapore. Image Credit:

For more information visit: Art Stage Singapore.


Dhaka Art Summit 2014

Rashi Parekh of Saffronart announces the forthcoming Dhaka Art Summit 

Dhaka Art Summit 2014

Dhaka Art Summit 2014. Image Credit:

 Mumbai: The Dhaka Art Summit organized by the Samdani Art Foundation, a non-profit art infrastructure development organization, aims to support and promote Bangladeshi contemporary art internationally.

The first edition of the Dhaka Art Summit was a ground-breaking initiative in 2012, that showcased more than 240 Bangladeshi artists.

The 2nd edition focuses on South Asian contemporary art practices. It brings together over 250 established and emerging South Asian artists. The programme includes presentations and several new commissions by artists such as Jitish Kallat, Shilpa Gupta, Rashid Rana, Shahzia Sikander, Tayeba Begum Lipi, Mithu Sen, Naeem Mohaiemen and many more.

DAS 2014 will feature a wide range of programmes including six curatorial exhibitions by international and Bangladeshi curators, 12 solo art projects by celebrated artists from across South Asia, a city wide Public Art Project, Performances, Screening of experimental films, Speaker’s Panel and the participation of Bangladeshi and South Asia focused galleries.

To learn more about DAS 2014 click here.

Mithu Sen at Mediations Biennale 2012

Sneha Sikand of Saffronart on Mithu Sen’s latest project in Poland

Mithu Sen, I chew, I bite
Installation 2011
Image credit:

Poznań: The third edition of the Mediations Biennale, titled THE UNKNOWN – NIEPOJMOWALNE is currently underway in Poznań, Poland. Starting out as an art festival in 1999, the biennale has evolved from being just an art event to a full blown organisational enterprise.

The format of the event moves away from  merely presenting the works of art. It is divided into two stages. In the preparatory stage, research is carried out on the theme chosen. In the thinking stage, the collective works of the artists, researchers, and curators along with discussions taking place during the event are compiled to formulate new ideas and perspectives corresponding with the chosen theme.

Curated by Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum, Mithu Sen translates the theme of the biennale in her work by reflecting on dental prosthesis. The act of biting, and of chattering teeth shows how our bodies react to pain, fear and horror. Just like the theme suggests, the unknown is as exciting and intense as something which we already comprehend. Sen suggests that our teeth and mouth act as agents of exploration into the unknown – “It is like a gateway to the inner self”. In a recent interview, Mithu Sen elaborates on her artistic representations of body parts to metaphorically convey basic human emotion.

Talking about the event, Tomasz Wendland, director of the 2012 Mediations Biennale says that reality today is all about closing the gaps. “It does not matter that we do not understand what we see, since it is the context that matters”. He feels that individuals are curious about that which is inaccessible and in effect ‘unknown’.

The biennale is scheduled to run till October 14, 2012.

More about the Mediations Biennale 2012

The 2012 Skoda Art Prize

Anika Havaldar of Saffronart shares a note about the 2012 Skoda Art Prize for Contemporary Indian Artists.  

Mumbai: The Skoda Art Prize offers mid-career Indian artists up to the age of 45, who have held a solo exhibition in the country over the past year, an opportunity to showcase their work in India and abroad. Created three years ago and modeled on the Turner Prize (the UK award that helped launch the careers of Damien Hirst, Richard Deacon, and Anish Kapoor amongst others), the award aims to help contemporary Indian artists gain recognition in the art world.

The Skoda Art Prize 2012 winner will be announced in February 2013 and will be awarded Rupees 1 million. Past winners include Navin Thomas and Mithu Sen. The 2012 winner will be chosen by an esteemed three-person jury, chaired by critic-historian Geeta Kapur. The other two members of this year’s jury will be artist Sheela Gowda and co-founder of the non-profit Devi Art Foundation, Anupam Poddar.

The Jury for the 2012 Skoda Art Prize: Sheela Gowda (left), Geeta Kapur (center), and Anupam Poddar (right)

Two runners-up will earn month-long residencies in Switzerland, while the top twenty artists will have their works exhibited during the Indian Art Fair in New Delhi in 2013. The organizers will also recognize a ‘Breakthrough Artist’ in a separate award, comprising a Rupees 2 lakh cash prize, presented by Art India magazine.

Learn more about the Skoda Art Prize

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