How art and technology redefine the self and transcend boundaries: the Building Bridges exhibition
Thirteen artists from seven countries explore how digital media bring new interpretations to the world around us. The exhibition at Gallery Sumukha shows the potential for cooperation rather than conflict in a globalised world.
PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 180 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Gallery Sumukha (see our founder interview with Premilla Baid) features an innovative global collaboration this month, titled ‘Building Bridges.’ Curated by Shantiniketan-based artist Ushmita Sahu and funded by San Francisco-based Emergent Art Space, it presents digital works by 13 artists from around the world.
The exhibition is being held in Bengaluru, Kolkata and New Delhi. The international participants are from Mexico, South Africa, Ireland, Macedonia, US, and Belgium, and include Alejandro Jertuche, Dengke Chen, Tatjana Huong Henderieckx, Jasmina Runevska, Kate Mcelroy, and Nathi Khumalo. The artists from India are Ashok Vish, Bhargava Barla, Pranay Dutta, Sarasija Subramnian, Sonam Chaturvedi, Souvik Majumdar, and Vishal Kumaraswamy.
The exhibits cover AR, video projections, digitised drawings, sound installations, and digital prints, as showcased in this photo essay. Displayed QR codes also allow viewers to link directly to select interactive exhibits, so that the exhibition carries on online after they leave the physical space of the gallery.
“Our world is becoming increasingly connected, but that does not mean understanding is increasing," said Ushmita, in a chat with YourStory. There is growing intolerance and conflict, which can also get amplified by social media and lead to unintentional or unanticipated consequences.
At the same time, there is a new generation of youth who have grown up with digital media, and can perceive and change our world in different ways. The initiative ‘Building Bridges’ began with an open call last year for new media projects. An online blog promoted dialogue between the selected 13 artists (from a pool of 200 applicants), on topics ranging from identity politics to global warming.
The exhibition promotes the appreciation of knowledge, respect and understanding across countries. Cultural immersion helps discovery of new value systems and perspectives. “Art helps you explore deep within yourself, with new media, and across cultural boundaries,” says Ushmita. Technology and art together push the boundaries of what is possible.
The exhibition raises some interesting questions for viewers. Will the air get so polluted one day that masks will have to be worn by all of us – including animals? How has identity been interpreted across classics and mythology? What new frontiers does digital open up for art, beyond visual effects and global collaboration? What kinds of opportunities and careers are there for new media artists?
“You can devote your life to art as a career – it is a long struggle, but it is your passion, vision and skill that will help you succeed,” Ushmita signs off.
Now what have you done today to explore and bridge the boundaries that you face?
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