India Rising; Bisi Silva on Her Research Visit to India Last Year, Which Took in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore

Article excerpt

It was no surprise that India featured noticeably in the Artes Mundi 3 Prize nominations. In 2006 Subodh Gupta, one of India's most prominent contemporary artists, was one of the eight finalists. So it was with excitement that I headed to India, to review the nominations there and get a feel for the country and its artists.

With little or no government support or funding, the visual arts in India has had to find its own survival and growth strategies. The commercial galleries are doing an admirable job and in Mumbai I visited Sakshi Gallery, which works across generations of artists, from the early modern art pioneers to the young cuttingedge conceptual artists. The art scene in Bangalore is in its embryonic stage and Ske gallery provides one of the few private spaces for up-and-coming artists to present their work.

I visited three very interesting arts organisations too. Mohile Parikh Center for Visual Arts in Mumbai is a private initiative started in 1990 with a focus on developing discourse in the fields of art and architecture through cross-cultural exchanges.

Khoj is a Delhi-based artist-run space with an ambitious programme of residencies and workshops that accommodates local, regional and international artists.

Also in Delhi is the cerebral Sarai Collective, publisher of the influential annual Sarai Reader. Sarai's interests include media research and theory, the urban experience in South Asia, digital culture, the history and politics of technology, and web-based practises to name a few. …