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.
Category : Arts at SAI
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.
The Visiting Artist Fellowship at the Mittal Institute brings four artists from South Asia to the Harvard campus in Cambridge each year, where they have the opportunity to perform research and use Harvard’s vast resources to build on their artistic vision and projects. In this video, a few of our recent Fellows talk about why they loved their time at Harvard — and why you should apply for the next round!
In our first episode of our Art in South Asia podcast series, we sat down with Sneha Shrestha, the Mittal Institute’s Arts Program Manager, to learn more about the meaning behind her Nepali-inspired work, the most exciting art piece she’s ever worked on, and the Visiting Artist Fellowship, which brings artists from South Asia to the Mittal Institute to perform research and utilize Harvard’s resources.
Each year, the Mittal Institute welcomes four Visiting Artist Fellows from South Asia to its Cambridge office for eight weeks, connecting them to Harvard University’s vast wealth of intellectual resources. With the applications now open for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 fellowships and due July 1, 2019, mid-career visual artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, or Sri Lanka have the opportunity to perform research at Harvard and interact with faculty and students, exploring critical issues in South Asia through the lens of art and design.
Professor Catherine Becker of the University of Illinois, Chicago recently visited the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard to give a talk to faculty, students, and visitors. Her discussion, entitled “Propagating The Sacred: Considering Acts of Reproduction in Buddhist Sculpture in India and Sri Lanka,” brought together strains of her earlier research on the early Buddhist art of Andhra and her more recent interests in the contemporary presentation of India’s heritage sites.
Though it might have been the jetlag, my recent field trip to the Paharpur World Heritage and archaeological site in Naogaon District in northern Bangladesh did not feel like my first visit. As a second-year graduate student in the department of History of Art and Architecture, I had written a seminar paper on the vast Buddhist monastery last fall for a class on esoteric Buddhist art and had spent days hunched over site plans, maps, and photographs of the ninth-century complex.
Each year, Asia Week New York gathers the world’s best auction houses, museums, and Asian art specialists for a weeklong event celebrating the importance of Asian art and drawing a crowd of collectors and curators from all over the globe. This year, Professor Jinah Kim — Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University — and Dr. Katherine Eremin — Patricia Cornwell Senior Conservation Scientist at the Harvard Art Museums — teamed up with Christie’s to give a talk at the event, delving into their work with the color and pigments used in Indian paintings and the science behind conservation and restoration as part of the Mittal Institute’s Arts Program.