In the 80’s, there was a spurt of Festival of India in various foreign countries. Sweden was one of those countries. Many things have changed since then in India and elsewhere. This cultural exchange programme with Sweden is taking place in a new global order. Economically, India has progressed a lot and there are foreign investors who are interested to come and do business here. About 6 months before, Mr. Oscar Ashcan, Director of Oagallery, visited the Aakriti Art Gallery at Kolkata during the Gennext Show and proposed this exchange programme to Mr. Vikram Bachhawat. Later, the Mayor of Gothenburg visited Kolkata and finalized the cultural exchange programme. This programme is supported by Emami Chisel Art, Aakriti Art Gallery-Kolkata, Vasa Konsthal and Gallery Scandinavia in Gothenburg along with Aschan& Co. The Emami Group, The city of Gothenburg and the Culture Ministry of Sweden are the chief patrons of this project in close collaboration with the Swedish Embassy in India.
The exchange programme began with the Indian Fashion held at the Elite Park Hotel, Gothenburg on the 8th of May, 2010. Some of the Indian fashion designers who participated in the show were, Wendell Rodricks, Prasad Bidapa, Rahul Mishra and Neelanjana Ghose. This was supported by Emami Chisel Art & Aakriti Art Gallery. Head sponsors of the fashion show were, the City of Gothenburg, Västra Götalands Regionen, Aschan & Co. and Volvo buses.
An exhibition of contemporary Indian art will be held at Gothenburg from 10th August, 2010. The show will be jointly curated by Amit Mukhopadhyay and Oscar Aschan. About twenty artists from all over India will be participating in this show. The works will range from paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations to videos etc. Some of the participating artists will be Baiju Parthan, Gigi Scaria, Pushpamala N., Mithu Sen, Chhatrapati Dutta, B. M, Kamath, G.R. Iranna, Sunil De, Tushar Joag, Akhil Chandra Das, Pratibha Sing, Surekha, Nabina Gupta, Prabir Gupta, Nantu Behari Das, Tapas Biswas, Kaushik Mukhopadhyay among others. Mithu Sen will present an interesting sound installation along with drawings, Gigi, Tushar, Sumedh rajendran, Nabina will contribute in the form of digital prints. Kaushik will be installing a kinetic sculpture outside the Gothenburg Opera House. Mansoor ali, Ketan Amin and Nantu Behari das will contribute sculptures done in fibre glass, stainless steel and wood. Akhil Chandra Das will give one of his sculptures made in bronze and wood. Mansoor and ketan’s sculptures will be installed outside the Museum of art space. Apart from the two art galleries-Vasa Konsthla and gallery Scandinavia-the famous Valand Art School will be part of the exhibition. Four gallery spaces within the school have been allocated for display of artworks. Videos of Baiju Parthan, Surekha, Pushpamala and Kamath will be installed at the Valand Art School. Sunil De, Iranna will give their paintings. The exhibition has been designed keeping in mind the audience in Gothenburg where both traditional as well as experimental works are regularly shown in the art schools and galleries. An illustrated catalogue will be brought out on the occasion.
The contemporary Swedish art exhibition will take place in Kolkata in December, 2010 at Emami Chisel art and Aakriti Art Gallery. Both the curators are working to identify the important contemporary Swedish artists whose work will be exhibited here in Kolkata. Kolkata will also get to see some major Swedish artist’s work. A Golf-tournament will also be held during that time and Swedish delegates will interact with the Chamber of Commerce, Kolkata. A special issue of ARTETC magazine on contemporary Swedish art will also be brought out. The issue will focus on several Swedish artists-both young and old-who are doing cutting-edge works. The issue will bring into light the influence of the famous film-maker Ingmar Bergman over the Swedish art practices. It will also highlight the climatic conditions which affect artist’s moods and thinking.
Vikram Bachhawat, Director, Emami Chisel Arts says “ Indian Contemporary art has been displayed in U.K, U.S.A, Germany, France and other countries, but our venture is to take Indian Art to the places where it had not been showcased frequently. This is our endeavour in this respect.”