Thursday, November 13, 2014

ABHISARAN: A Convergence of 5 Countries, 10 Artists, a World Heritage Site and a New Age Township

Art has the ability to bind cultures, change perception, unite the old and the new and create legends. This November, ten talented artists from across the Indian subcontinent will converge at Vijayanagar Karnataka for ‘Abhisaran’, a 3-week long residency programme hosted by the JSW Foundation to create art that recognises the reality of today and the beauty of a time gone by. Their muse, a beautifully created strategic co-existence of a well-planned Industrial Township and an inspiring historical cultural world heritage site.

Abhisaran is literally translated as ‘convergence’ and thus implies that the residency programme is a junction where artists, from similar political and cultural history of the Indian sub-continent, interact and create art works inspired by the historicity of Hampi and Vijayanagar. Artists would be using site-specific material like metal scrap, local pottery, local crafts and material to create works with a variety of mediums that include sculptural installations, dance, video and sound. The Heritage Site of Hampi, the industrial town of Vijayanagar and the arts, crafts and performance practices of Hampi will serve as an inspiration ground for these artists.

 “The JSW Foundation works relentlessly towards the socio economic growth of the community at large. One of the focus areas of the foundation is to protect the timeless legacy of our country. ‘Abhisaran’ is an effort to bring forth the vision of artists from across the Indian subcontinent to draw inspiration from two visionary architectural wonders standing tall together contrasting and complimenting each other,” said Sangita Jindal, Chairperson, JSW Foundation while sharing her thoughts about Abhisaran.
Drawing from Richard Sennett’s idea of a ‘craftsman’ being a skilled labour who engages with the questions of ‘how’ (Animal Laborans) and ‘why’ (Homo Faber) in the making of a craft (or art), this workshop hopes to empower the artists with raw material that is age old yet functional questioning both the purpose of their production and its effect on various communities. It provides an opportunity where artists can use their imagination and experience to create art works with medium of their choosing.

The artists who are taking part in Abhisaran are Baptist Coelho (India), Chinthaka Thenuwara (Sri Lanka), Mahbubur Rahman (Bangladesh), Mrugen Rathod (India), Muzummil Ruheel (Pakistan), Pala Pothupitiya (Sri Lanka), Preksha Tater (India), Seema Nusrat (Pakistan), Sanjeev Mahajan (Nepal) and Sheelasha Rajbhandhari (Nepal).

Amit Jain, Curator, Abhisaran added: “Art knows no boundaries. In order to achieve our objective of sustainability and community development for the JSW Foundation, we zeroed in on the idea of converging 10 artists from 5 countries to present their interpretations of the historical ruins of Hampi and a new age township. Abhisaran is a dialogue in contemporary and performing arts across borders for a new age India.”
The residency that commenced on November 10, 2014 will end by November 30, 2014. An important element of the program is the addition of an education specialist, Ms. Grace Murray who will be guiding and empowering artists in developing outreach programs that involve the CSR projects of the JSW Foundation, thus, taking the available art practices to various communities in and around Vijayanagar.

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