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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

How viewers can seek guidance at the India Art Fair

The IAF has several curated walks on varied themes. We attended one walk and here is our experience.

Written by Soror Shaiza | New Delhi |
Updated: May 3, 2022 9:20:59 am
india art fair 2022Alkazi Theatre Archives feature photographic archives of iconic plays such as Girish Karnad's 'Tughlaq' and Dharamvir Bharati's 'Andha Yug' and so.(Photo: Soror Shaiza)

Looking at thousands of works of art in a day can be intimidating, so for those attending the India Art Fair (IAF) there is a little help available at hand. Multiple art walks are conducted to acquaint the attendees with the exhibiting artists and their work. They start different times of the day, with each walk lasting between 30-40 minutes.

A first-timer at the fair, I attended one dedicated to photography, called ‘Click Click, Click’. Led by Joyona and Urja, it had the duo show me and six other photography enthusiasts important exhibits that best reflected the subject, over a total duration of 20 minutes. Between the exhibits, they shared the history of photography and unconventional analogue processes of infusing photography and art by use of offset printings, cyanotypes and other techniques.

india art fair art walk Multiple art walks are conducted to acquaint the attendees with the exhibiting artists and their work. (Photo: Soror Shaiza)

Our first stop was at a section curated by the Alkazi Theatre Archives, which features photographic archives of iconic plays such as Girish Karnad’s ‘Tughlaq’ and Dharamvir Bharati’s ‘Andha Yug’ and so. The second exhibition was of Chan Hyo Bae, a South Korean photographer who painted portraits of noble women from the Elizabeth era and Regency period, in his series called ‘Existing in Costumes’ which, as we learnt later, was an expression of his feeling of cultural disengagement and isolation he felt when he first moved to England. Just adjacent toChan Hyo Bae’s portraits was Cop Shiva’s work titled ‘I love MGR’ (as in MG Ramachandran), an icon from South Indian cinema. The two were presented by the Chennai Photo Biennale.

Then we headed to the crowd-attracting Museo Camera Museum booth, which is arguably Southeast Asia’s largest crowd funded museum, dedicated to preserving antique cameras and archiving important photographs of historical significance. Next was an exhibit of a Bangalore based artist and photographer Indu Antony, who uses a type of analogue printing with cyanotypes and gold viales in her artwork titled “I Grew Her Up As Gold”. Next to it were three wooden frames with writings inside — made from the artist’s hair — titled ‘The Names They Called’, which depict the eve teasing that she experienced. In another exhibit, Calcutta-based photographer and artist Sangita Maity has used transferrable photographic prints to metal sheets. (meaning?) Gold leaf was also used to the highlighted elements which she adds in the already existing picture.

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india art fair art walk India Art Fair 2022. (Photo: Soror Shaiza)

Towards the end, we headed towards an exhibition of the Hasselblad Award-winning photographer Dayanita Singh, whose exhibition featured a series of photographs with a painting-like aesthetic. We were told that she achieved this by using inkjet prints with enamel paints mounted on aluminum.

At the end, we were introduced to the works of Naeem Mohaiemen with photographs from his celebrated film Tripoli Canceled. With that, we ended our tour — feeling more informed about the medium and those practising it.

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