Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art

Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art, bringing together 27 artists / artist groups from cities throughout India.
22 November (Sat), 2008 – 15 March (sun), 2009 MORI ART MUSEUM

Pushpamala N. The Native Types - Lakshmi


The Mori Art Museum is pleased to present it’s 5th anniversary exhibition,“Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art,” bringing together 27 artists / artist groups from cities throughout India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Vadodara. Contemporary art in India has been the focus of much international attention recently, and this exhibition examines its latest movements, including those in painting, sculpture, photography, and installation.

“Chalo!” means “Let’s go!” in Hindi. The exhibition invites viewers to journey through the latest trends in India’s art, constituting an unprecedented opportunity to gauge Indian society as it is today and the future. It is a metaphorical expression for Indian society in the midst of a great transition, for a world shifting its focus to India, and for the dynamism of contemporary Indian art as it emerges onto the international stage. “Chalo” also implies movement, fluidity, formlessness, and transcendence of borders.

After the country gained independence in 1947, India’s art exhibited an aesthetic influenced predominantly by Western Modernism and a homegrown form of expression linked with the process of building a national identity. However, over the last 60 years, the nation’s art has gradually come to tackle potentially controversial topics – such as sexuality – and also to incorporate political and critical ideas. Since the 1990s, developments such as globalization, the expansion of the art market, and the emergence of a younger generation of artists have lead to the creation of a diverse and dynamic art scene, the likes of which have never been seen in the country.

“Chalo! India” examines the way that Indian artists use their keen insights and increasingly free spirits to question the reality and age in which they live, taking their themes from familiar objects and ideas in daily life and society – often as though to transform them into a theater of life. The exhibition introduces over 100 works, predominantly new or recent, and features pop and colorful paintings brimming with an urban awareness. There are also interactive works of media art, drawing on state-of-the-art technology that befits an IT giant. The exhibition also includes sociological research projects that utilize data and information about contemporary India, which can be described as a “thinking architecture.” Divided into five sections – “Prologue: Journeys,” “Creation and Destruction: Urban Landscape,” “Reflections: Between Two Extremes,” “Fertile Chaos,” “Epilogue: Individuality and Collectivity / Memory and Future,” viewers experience extensive diversity in the works, and are drawn into a consideration of the many different facets making up contemporary Indian society, including its urbanization and new lifestyles, its dreams, its disparities and its contradictions, all of which are highlighted as the backdrops of these art works.

“Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art,” is one of the largest exhibitions of Indian contemporary art ever held in Japan. It provides an opportunity to experience avant-garde artistic expressions that are not yet commonly known outside of the country. In the past, discourse on India has tended to center around its history dating back to time immemorial, its Gods and devotion, its musical Bollywood movies, and its newly-discovered economic promise. These ideas are no longer sufficient to fully explain the complex and dynamic present-day India.

Come face-to-face with the real and new energy of India — Chalo! India.
(*This exhibition will tour to ESSL MUSEUM in Austria.)

22 November (Sat), 2008 – 15 March (sun), 2009 MORI ART MUSEUM

Organizers: Mori Art Museum, The Yomiuri Shimbun
Institutional Support by: Indian Embassy, The Japan-India Association
Corporate Sponsors: KAJIMA CORPORATION, Sony Corporation, TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD., TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION, SHINSEI BANK, LIMITED, MITSUI & CO., LTD., Nucleus Software Exports Ltd, DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, ltd., HCL Japan Limited, MindTree Limited., Oracle Financial Services Software Limited,
UTI Mutual Fund, Wipro Limited
Support by: Japan Airlines, Nicolas Feuillatte, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, India Center Foundation
Exhibition Curator: Miki Akiko (Guest Curator, Mori Art Museum)

Mori Art Museum