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Art Dubai highlights South Asia galleries

Dubai, March 21, 2009

Four of Art Dubai's 68 exhibiting galleries come from South Asia, having been selected from a pool of over 300 applicants from 50 countries, according to organisers of the art exhibition.

The third edition of Art Dubai, a subsidiary of the Dubai International Financial Centre, opened on March 18 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. It will close today (March 21).

The hallmarks of this year's fair in part consist of impressive contributions of South Asian galleries and the strong representation of artists deriving from South Asia and the sub-continent by international galleries.

International and emerging galleries from Europe, South and North America, the Middle East and the Far East are also on show at Art Dubai 2009.

Galleries are subject to a rigorous selection process in which a selection committee comprising of leading international gallerists considers the merits of each application.

Returning contender Sun Gallery and Gallery Sun Contemporary, a mother-daughter team and co-owners of each other’s galleries, hail from Seoul, South Korea.

Art Dubai's installation programme displays pieces representing a selection of unique and cutting-edge Korean artists. Their work involves an array of media including painting, sculpture, photography, installation and video art.

Among the spotlights this year are Bahk Seon Ghi’s 275 cm  chandelier installation made entirely out of charcoal, suspended high above the entrance of Art Dubai, an acrylic-and-oil-on-canvas painting by Jeong Ji-Hyun titled “Bloom Smearing” and an Indian ink-on-Korean-paper piece soldered and coated by up and coming artist Gilwoo Lee.

Dubai-based Elementa Gallery and Mumbai-based Project 88 co-exhibit a range of carefully curated pieces by a group of established and emerging Indian and Pakistani artists.

Elementa director Mehnaz Tan and Jeet Banerjee, owner of India's Galerie 88 and one of the partners of Elementa, have chosen to display two mechanical dancing taxidermy monkeys that greet visitors with a salaam, making it one of the notable attractions of the fair.

This is in addition to the works by Huma Mulji and Arn Bhalla’s works that portrays the Yamuna River. The stand also houses three inspired canvases by the maverick MF Husain.

New Delhi-based Anant Art Gallery occupies a small but visually charged space at Art Dubai 2009, representing six unique artists that address diverse subjects such as political and social concerns, water, Indian miniature painting and the changing face of the urban skyline among others.

Notable display pieces are brought by artist Atul Bhallan, an artist-activist whose work attempts to understand water, its function, materiality and its value - both as sustenance and in culture as a historical imaginary in his photograph “Re-Marking the River”.

Apart from specific South and Central Asian exhibitions, individual art pieces and installations from the region and the Far East have registered their emphatic presence following their appearance in a range of international galleries, further emphasizing the inspiration they infuse in curators and gallery owners from around the art world.

Such random works include the five golden bulls by artist Valay Shinde, which takes up most of the space of the Mumbai-based Sakshi Art Gallery, as well as a painting by artist Prajakta Palav that shows the Hindu deity Ganesh in a local train brought by the London-based Grosvenor Vadhera Gallery.

A sculpture of India’s Father of the Nation Mahatama Gandhi with an i-pPod by artist Debanjan Roy comprises part of a series called ‘India Shining’, and can be seen at Aicon gallery.

In addition, Art Dubai 2009 features works by Indian artists Jitish Kallat and Indian-born British superstar artist Anish Kapoor.

Anish Kapoor’s two untitled works are with the Lisson Gallery from London and Jitish’s ‘I


Tags: Dubai | Europe | Korea | Dubai Art 2009 | Contemporary Art | South Asia |

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