Numair Abbasi, a mixed media artist from Pakistan, recently joined the Mittal Institute in the latest group of Visiting Artist Fellows. Numair’s practice draws on popular culture, anecdotes, and colloquialisms to stage personal and social narratives in attempts to challenge the politics behind how gender is socially constructed and performed.
Category : Arts at SAI
Through the Mittal Institute’s South Asia and the Arts Travel Fund, I traveled to Vadodara, Gujarat and Mumbai, Maharashtra in India to conduct research for my qualifying paper, a requirement in the History of Art and Architecture Department at Harvard University. My qualifying paper explores the conception of the mother-child motif in ancient India within Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, and expands on the function and role of these goddesses and the similarities and differences in their worship.
The digital version of the Mittal Institute’s 2016–2020 Arts Program Report has just been released! The report highlights the Mittal Institute’s Visiting Artist Fellows from 2016–2020, as well as the new developments in the Program on Conservation of Culture. Check out the digital version here to learn more. Below, read Professor Jinah Kim’s introduction to the report and the Arts Program at the Mittal Institute.
Sakshi Gupta is an accomplished sculptor and mixed media artist from India and one of the Mittal Institute’s Fall 2019 Visiting Artist Fellows. Her practice frames human conditions of understanding, progressing, suffering, and halting due to a lack or gain of knowledge, will, or energy. Her work grapples with the need to achieve a balance between life’s inherent polarities, exhibiting this by utilizing materials often considered waste or ordinary. She’s dedicated her life to an immersive journey through form and material, toward the non-material and experiential.
The Mittal Institute is pleased to announce its newest donor, Kushagra Nayan Bajaj, an Indian businessman who is the Chairman of the Bajaj Group, the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Hindusthan Limited, and Chairman of Bajaj Corp Limited. His support will create a new, upcoming visiting research fellowship at the Mittal Institute to deepen the teaching and research on significant cultural issues related to South Asia. We spoke with him to learn more about his background and his interest in the Mittal Institute.
Co-curated by Dr. Jinah Kim, Professor of History of Art & Architecture at Harvard University, and Dr. Todd Lewis, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at College of the Holy Cross, the Dharma and Punya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal exhibit at the College of the Holy Cross’s Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery highlights Nepal’s artistic heritage as a rich and enduring continuation of Indic Buddhist traditions. From December 5–7, 2019, the Nepal Mandala Symposium will bring together scholars of religion, anthropology, and art history whose work examines critically various aspects of Nepal’s culture and history, culminating in a visit to the exhibition. We sat down with Dr. Jinah Kim to learn more about Nepal’s artistic heritage, the role of ritual in Buddhism, and what to expect from the upcoming Symposium and exhibition.
This week, the Visiting Artist Fellows’ Fall 2019 exhibit, Exploring Identity Through a Contemporary South Asian Lens, opened at the Mittal Institute. Available for viewing through November 26, photographer Sagar Chhetri and sculptor Sakshi Gupta unveiled their artistic interpretations of life, time, and the human condition to a rapt audience. The 8-week Visiting Artist research program provides a vital platform for an exchange of perspectives and knowledge, linking Cambridge and South Asia through shared stories and new understandings and providing artists from South Asia the opportunity to use Harvard’s resources to perform research that will inform their art practice.
This September, the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University partnered with the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya Museum in Mumbai to hold a workshop exploring how museums could potentially create an expanded culture of civic life that represents and nurtures the diverse and plural sensibilities of those with whom they share space.
We recently sat down with Sakshi Gupta, an accomplished sculptor and mixed media artist from India and one of the Mittal Institute’s new Visiting Artist Fellows for Fall 2019. Her series, At the Still Point of the Turning World, explores the human condition, transformation, and the momentariness of life, time, and eternity by turning found objects into something new.
We recently sat down with Sagar Chhetri, an accomplished photographer from Nepal and one of the Mittal Institute’s new Visiting Artist Fellows for Fall 2019. His photography series, Eclipse, delves into the identity conflict experienced by the Madhesi community of Nepal and his Madhesi peers through profound imagery of their day-to-day lives.
Working with the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Harvard doctoral student Sonali Dhingra has brought to life a collection of South Asian paintings and sculptures from across the Indian subcontinent, provided by private collectors Carol (alumna of Wellesley College, ’79) and John Rutherford. This fall, the Rutherford Collection will be on display at the Davis Museum from September 12 to December 15, 2019.
Our latest group of Visiting Artist Fellows for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters has been chosen! Selected from a vast group of applicants, our new artists come from India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and their work represents a multitude of artistic mediums. From the exploration of the human condition to a focus on racial and social identity, our Visiting Artist Fellows plan to spend their time at Harvard researching their interest areas and connecting with faculty, students, and the community to expand on their individual art practices.