India has always been a nation of mystery and fascination to many Taiwanese. Recently, with extensive media coverage of the “Big Four” or “BRIC Countries,” people are beginning to have a further understanding for this nation and how it’s assertively trying to step up onto the international stage. Furthermore, our knowledge of India also comes from a diverse range of sources, such as the city of Mumbai, one of the five most expensive real estate markets in the world; India's overall global economic competitiveness; Bollywood’s entertainment productivity; and extending even to the recent trend in Taiwan of practicing yoga or taking spiritual classes. The 2007, the global financial crisis had a strong impact on contemporary art developments in Europe, the USA, and Asia, but India’s contemporary art scene has worked against the calamity and performed exceptionally. Contemporary Indian artists are becoming more recognized around the globe, and their unique artworks have also been presented and raised much attention in a few recent exhibitions in Taiwan.
India is one of the four ancient human civilizations, and is known for its long history and affluent cultural heritage. Indian art is very rich in tradition, and what is unusual is that innovative contemporary artists are also able to absorb essences of traditional arts and culture. They use these elements to create their own distinct marks internationally through original contemporary Indian art. This approach seems to resonate with many contemporary Taiwanese artists’ dedication to fusing tradition with contemporary concepts. This correlation makes for even more noteworthy reference and interaction value between the two art worlds. In addition to incorporating tradition with new creativities, contemporary Indian art also demonstrates an alternative direction in raising criticism of one’s own country’s social reality and controversial issues including class system, the wealth gap and political agendas. Through art, perceptions and ideas are able to be expressed with the objective of encouraging viewers to think and respond. These works are also anticipated to inspire in-depth analysis by the Taiwanese audience, which has grown accustomed to reading critical works in recent years.
From the sociological perspective, art has always more or less reflected the special patterns and fundamental structures in an existing society. This exhibition has selected 63 artworks by 29 artists, and intends to present through the facets of art and aestheticism the general outline of contemporary Indian culture and social life. Furthermore, it is hoped that viewers experience the differences and similarities contained in the inner spirits and apparent facades of these artworks. At the same time, the exhibition also hopes through careful planning to allow these artworks from afar to conduct an intimate dialogue with the unique architectural space of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, and for the Taiwanese audience to have the opportunity to really feel the diversity and special charisma within contemporary India art. Finally, through the exhibition, we hope to inspire more interactions in the future.
Source and photo courtesy of MOCA Taipei (台北當代藝術館)