Art is a lifeblood of society, and its place at the Mittal Institute is stewarded through an Arts Program that offers such programming as the annual Visiting Artist Fellowship (VAF). This eight-week research fellowship at Harvard connects artists from South Asia with Harvard’s intellectual resources. The Fellowship provides a platform for four mid-career artists to conduct independent research that explores critical issues in South Asia through the lens of art and design. Interested applicants can now apply to join the Spring 2022 cohort – applications are due on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.
Category : Arts at SAI
The Mittal Institute recently concluded the 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellowship, which annually brings four mid-career visual artists to Cambridge to engage with Harvard faculty and students, participate in art exhibitions, and perform research using Harvard’s intellectual resources to further their art practice. Due to COVID-related programming changes this year, the fellowship was reimagined, bringing 13 of the top applicants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal to the virtual world for a series of four online seminars curated to support the artists’ long-term practice. In these courses, the artists participated in thought-provoking discussions centering on art history, creative writing, urban design, and more, with both their peers and the expert facilitating the class. For the final installment of the VAF Lecture Series, the Mittal Institute welcomed Asim Waqif, a Delhi-based artist whose international work revolves around architecture, ecology and design.
In a conversation with the Mittal Institute this week, Naiza Khan, a visual artist who splits her time between London and Karachi, explored the impact of the pandemic on her creative processes and methods of making art. This past year, COVID-19 drastically changed the landscape of possibilities for modes of working and presented new opportunities to engage in making work alongside other artists.
A brief history of the South Asian Poets of New England (SAPNE) and an interview with one of its core committee members
Harvard Professor Jinah Kim’s research, which was the topic of the Mittal Institute’s latest VAF Lecture Series, examines the role of women in South Asian art from a historical perspective, and attempts to understand how this depiction impacts the politics of gender and social status of women in the modern era.
This past Fall, the Mittal Institute began a program, Conservation of Culture, designed to support scholarship in art and conservation management, partnering with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) Museum in Mumbai, the Harvard Art Museums’ Straus Conservation Center, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
The profound and inspirational work of our artists has not stopped despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In this magazine, we spoke with each of our fellows to discuss the inspiration behind their career as an artist, what they hope to learn during their time as a Visiting Artist Fellow, and their thoughts on the artwork they have each presented in this magazine. In the magazine’s pages, you will read the artists’ thoughts on these subjects in their own words, and we hope that it will inspire you to enter their world and see their work through their eyes.
View a virtual gallery of the artwork from our 13 2020-2021 Visiting Artist Fellows from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal.
Recently, our 13 current Visiting Artist Fellows from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal gathered in the virtual world for the next edition in a series of four online seminars curated to support their long-term art practice. Dr. Siddharth Shah, Director of Civic Engagement and Curator of South Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, taught the second virtual seminar for the Mittal Institute’s Visiting Artist Fellows on “Curating a South Asian Art Gallery.” He brought the artists together to explore the South Asian art gallery at the Peabody Essex Museum and discuss the thought and research that goes into curating a gallery, down to the keywords and labels that are used to describe and define art.
The Mittal Institute’s Program for Conservation of Culture (PCC) promotes a climate for cultural conservation in South Asia. It aims to bring the global values of conservation practices in conversation with local needs and the existing know-how of materials, resources, climate, legal parameters, and history to build a stronger foundation for present and future safekeeping and conservation of South Asia’s heritage. As a part of the PCC, the Mittal Institute hosted two recent panel discussions on recent developments in science and the impact of these developments on the field of art conservation globally and in South Asia
Due to COVID-related programming changes this year, our 2020–2021 Visiting Artist Fellowship was reimagined, bringing 13 of the top applicants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal to the virtual world for a series of four online virtual seminars curated to support the artists’ long-term practice. In these courses, the artists participate in thought-provoking discussions with their peers and the faculty member facilitating the class. Centering on art history, creative writing, urban design, and more, the artists will learn using Harvard’s intellectual and creative resources.
Until recently, expertise from outside of South Asia has been crucial to informing practices around cultural conservation, but efforts need to be made to understand and adapt to the regional context and nuances. The current state of research and practice of conservation in India is in a nascent stage and is faced by the overwhelming task of the safekeeping and conservation of India’s vast material and intangible cultural heritage. We spoke with Anupam Sah, the Head of Conservation at the CSMVS Museum, to learn more about the status of art and heritage conservation in India. Anupam Sah will be moderating an upcoming two-part seminar series on December 10, “Art and Science of Heritage Conservation: Finding the Right Balance.”