Monthly Archives: November 2013

Flexhibition concept of RIA mystifies Guwahati

Forum of e-Creative practitioners seeks new global cultural connections in NE



The 3rd flexhibition of the 2013 series which is hung at The Research & Innovation Ashram (The RIA), in Rukmini Nagar, Guwahati, displays a composited single visual artwork by young Diya Sarker, a multimedia artist based in Mumbai, where she lives with her two cats. Her flexhibition began on October 23 last and will continue for two weeks.

Flexhibition is a totally new and unique concept that was started in the RIA from this year. Flexhibition typically displays a single artist’s work as a single large flex-print facing a public road for about two weeks at a time.

Diya Sarker herself hails from an army family that has seen her live in different parts of India, and travel extensively around the country, through her childhood and adolescence. Her work spans illustration, design, photography, and video, usually using her cats, friends, and localities as subjects. She last presented her independent art work at The 8th annual Carnival of e-Creativity (2013), in Uttarakhand, and, otherwise consults as an Art Director at a major advertising agency in Mumbai.

The unique concept for bringing arts into direct contact with the general public has been variously received by the people of Guwahati thus far, with many people in the immediate neighbourhood of The RIA still completely mystified by it all, says RIA Managing Trustee Shankar Barua. He adds, “Though people are mostly surprised, At the same time, there have been positive responses from many citizens, including some sections of the local visual arts community, which means, one may therefore hope to soon see the works of local artists appearing as future flexhibitions. Traditional visual media will also soon make an appearance, with a flexhibition of charcoal-drawings by a Delhi artist expected to go up soon.”

The RIA is a part of the Academy of Electronic Arts (AeA) of which Barua is the Managing Trustee. The Academy of Electronic Arts is a learning, sharing, mentoring, networking, benchmarking and empowering institution that evolves continuously to inclusively address *all* e-Creative Practices & Practitioners, whether already existing or as yet inconceivable, whether professional or not, and whether formally recognized as Art forms and Artists or not so, on a public-benefit basis into the future.

Barua says, “Our various works coalesce and deploy years of independent cutting-edge practice, networking and development of a variety of e-Creative practices, e-Creative entities, and also allied fields of human endeavour globally, in the bodies of our Advisory Council, our Board of Trustees, our pirmary associates, and also the innumerable other e-Creative Practitioners and associated individuals and organizations whom we continually engage with on individual projects, and also on ongoing relationship bases, all over the world.”

Earlier in the year, the AeA had sought to open up a parallel track of cultural diplomacy between North East India and South Korea, by programming a small but very significant delegation from that country through an exploratory 10-day working-visit to Guwahati (capital of Assam), and Shillong (capital of Meghalaya). The event was programmed through the RIA.

The delegation was led by Ms. Nathalie Boseul Shin, who is counted amongst the top arts & culture curators of her country today. Mr. Hojun Song, whose latest well-known ‘artwork’ eventually added up to his recently becoming the first person to send a Personal Satellite into orbit, represented the contemporary cutting-edge of South Korean media arts. Mr. Boseong Lee, assistant-curator with Total Museum of Contemporary Arts, Seoul, contributed additional inputs and also rounded off the delegation as rapporteur.

The AeA itself was represented by Shankar Barua (Managing Trustee), and Shazeb Shaikh (Executive Trustee).
Working to a tight schedule, the delegation spent time meeting individuals, institutions, and government, in both Guwahati and Shillong, looking to discover, and to hopefully also open up, new avenues for a deeper cultural engagement between South Korea and North East India, into the future.

Barua says, “The visit will hopefully be just the first of many international cultural connections that the The AeA ill bring to the NE, into the future, from the wonderful global network we have built up over the years, out of our bases in Delhi and Uttarakhand. And, as such, it will hopefully also mark just the beginning of our now being based in the NE too, with our new Research & Innovation Ashram in Guwahati.”