How effective partnerships strengthen the ecosystem: business and creativity insights from India Art Fair 2020

In our fourth photo essay on this annual art fair, we showcase more outstanding artworks on display, along with director and partner insights.

How effective partnerships strengthen the ecosystem: business and creativity insights from India Art Fair 2020

Thursday February 06, 2020,

4 min Read

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 440 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.


The twelfth edition of the India Art Fair wrapped up this past weekend in New Delhi, with dazzling displays of artworks by over 80 exhibitors, including galleries and cultural institutions. See Part I and Part II of this article series for the lineup of galleries featured in PhotoSparks coverage, as well as Part III for curator interviews.

“We have been partnering with the India Art Fair for the past two editions, and the experience has always been nice and warm,” said Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation and Festival, in a chat with YourStory (see our eight-part coverage of the 2019 festival in Goa here).

At the fair, SAF showcased select artworks from its own festivals and contextualised its work with the wider region. This leads to new initiatives, ideas and voices, taking the art movement from Goa to Delhi and beyond, Smriti adds. “Having visitors to the booth tell us that they were in Goa and loved the festival is a warm feeling,” she enthuses.

“We are always on the lookout for inspiration — be it production, spatial dynamics, or print collaterals. We work with vast, historic public spaces, so it's interesting for us to think of how we can incorporate certain ideas with our specific venues,” Smriti explains. For example, SAF experimented this year with a metal container to house Farah Mulla’s interactive installation, Crosstalk.

As industry trends, Smriti sees Indian artists and arts practices from the region finding credence in newer global conversations. She calls for consistent patronage of the arts in India to make it more popular and contemporary.

“We must encourage newer generations to interact with the arts and expose them to this cultural and artistic diversity as much as possible. We all need to join hands to keep providing platforms to sustain this rich cultural heritage,” Smriti urges.

The fair reflects a continued and growing confidence in modern and contemporary art as well as in the South Asian art market, according to IAF director Jagdip Jagpal. Attendees ranged from gallerists and collectors to artists and philanthropists. In addition to performances, workshops and book signings, the second issue of the annual India Art Fair magazine was launched.

“The fair has showcased 500 artists, each addressing a range of social, political and ecological topics,” Jagdip added. “We’ve also engaged with a great range of new visitors and collectors from across the region, and internationally,” she said.

“To help build and strengthen intercultural platforms of creativity in the field of art, music, design and architecture is very important to us,” said Rudratej Singh, President and CEO, BMW Group India. As event partner for the fifth year, the company showcased the BMW Art Car by Andy Warhol.

One of the exhibitors at IAF 2020 was Gallerie Ganesha, founded in 1989 as a platform for young, upcoming and unrecognised artists. “Our journey has been exciting and very rewarding. It’s always a challenge to be able to communicate with the creator of the artworks and the appreciative buyer, but very satisfying to see both parties benefitting from the awareness we create,” says Shobha Bhatia, Director, Gallerie Ganesha.

“Our success is tied to the artists' success,” she adds, citing Paresh Maity, Neeraj Goswami, Sisir Sahana, and Jayasri Burman as some of the gallery’s outstanding artists. The artworks are priced from Rs 50,000 to Rs 50 lakh.

She also offers tips for aspiring artists. “We would recommend a sincerity of purpose and the ability to carry on with their creative pursuit, without being market driven. Whilst the market is also necessary, it cannot be the only factor in artistic endeavour,” Shobha signs off.

 Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and be sincere to your deeper creative side?


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