In November last year, as many as 19 painters had gathered in Jaipur — 10 from India and nine from China — for a five-day-long art residency that saw 25 different artworks created by the artists. As part of an art show titled ‘Maitri’ (Friendship), the 25 artworks of these Indian and Chinese women artists will be exhibited in the city at India House Art Gallery, 53 Sopan Baug, Balewadi. The exhibition will be on from October 31 to November 8.
Organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and India House Art Gallery, Maitri is an art venture that aims to boost ties between India and China, two of the oldest civilisations of the world, and stems from the belief in the power of art as a medium of expression that transcends all boundaries and cultural barriers.
Anuja Chakravarty, senior regional director, ICCR Pune, said the idea behind Maitri was to initiate a cultural dialogue and better understanding between the two countries. Maitri, she said, was conceived around early 2014, followed by the shortlisting of Indian and Chinese women artists. Some of the participating artists include Asma Menon, Bulbul Sharma, Chen Yanyin, Gogi Saroj Pal, Kanchan Chander, Kiran Murdia, Lu Yuwei, Madhuri Bhaduri, Meenakshi Kasliwal Bharati and Sheetal Gattani, among others. Maitri is a travelling exhibition that has been to cities like Shillong, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Chennai in the past.
Ramprasad Akkisetti, the curator at India House Art Gallery, said there was no common theme in the paintings to be showcased at Maitri.
“Each artist’s work is on a subject that appeals to her,” said Akkisetti, who is founder and Managing Director of Christopher Charles Benninger Architects (CCBA). As an independent curator, he has toured the world and lectured on art, architecture and lifestyle at several forums.
Since its inception in 1950, ICCR has been striving to foster and strengthen cultural relations between India and other countries, as well as establish and develop relations with national and international organisations in the field of art and culture.
Maitri was yet another venture with the same objectives, Chakravarty said, adding that currently, another art residency was being held in Shanghai, where 10 Indian women artists were participating.
“That too will take the shape of an art exhibition and will travel across China,” she said.