NEW DELHI – Participants at India’s foremost art fair entered one of the busiest days of trading on Saturday as organizers celebrated the first 10 years of what has become a major platform to showcase artworks from all over the subcontinent and South Asian while maintaining the event is likely to grow significantly in importance in the future.
In the first decade of its existence, the India Art Fair has managed to attract a wide cross-section of customers encompassing local buyers, connoisseurs from a burgeoning and increasingly wealthy middle class as well as leading Indian and international galleries, organizers said.
“India Art Fair is the leading platform to discover modern and contemporary art from South Asia and a portal to the region’s cultural landscape,” the organizers said in a statement.
On display this year were works by Malaysian artist Anne Samat, made up of plastic and utensils, and a neon sculpture by Pakistan’s Abullah M. I. Syed which explores the themes of orientalism and capitalist consumerism.
Visitors will be able to see contemporary works from 78 galleries in 18 countries, including Portugal, the United States, Spain and, of course, India.
Although more galleries are participating in this edition of the IAF as compared to the last one, in which there were 53 exhibitors, the number is still lower than that of 2013, when there were 103 galleries from 23 countries.
“Taking place annually in the capital city of New Delhi, India Art Fair reflects the fast-developing arts scene in the country, while offering curated insights into the cultural landscapes of neighboring states,” the organizers said in a statement.
Jal Hamad, the head of communications of Madrid-based gallery Sabrina Amrani explained to EFE that it had decided to participate in the fair for a third consecutive year attracted by a growing Indian market and the opportunity to present some of the South Asian artists it represents.
“The Indian market is still a little immature. Collectors often look for Indian artists and pieces but we are noticing that little-by-little they are becoming more open and seeking things beyond their borders,” he said.
For Matt Carey-Williams, of London’s Blain Southern gallery, a first-time exhibitor representing several American and British artists, the fair was a way to test a market that “seems to be in transition.”