India Art Fair A million dollars shredded

India Art Fair: visitor
India Art Fair: visitor | Photo: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi, Sanyam Bajaj

More than 3,500 art works by 1,100 artists from 12 countries: the India Art Fair has become one of South Asia’s most important cultural events. Since 2008 the fair has been seeking to represent the broad spectrum of South Asian art and to serve as a platform to promote an international exchange between different art disciplines. Between 28 January and 31 January 2016, the India Art Fair, now in its eighth year,  displayed works from almost 80 galleries and institutions.

Visitors stroll through the large halls – three in all – and view works from international and South Asian galleries. Each with its own style. Discussions and talks in the Speaker’s Forum repeatedly add to the pleasure of viewing art. They allow people to share opinions. On art and social issues in general, and on the works on display in particular. The complex relationship between the artist and the gallery is a recurrent theme.

However, the immediate response to a work is when one is standing in front of it – the impulsive reaction to what is displayed.

Why do some visitors hear music when viewing art? Why do they photograph this painting in particular? And if they had an infinite amount of money: Which of the works on display would they buy? We captured some of the voices.

Ritika Bansal and Shalu Bhati, (students, 30 and 23 years old respectively):
“I saw a few broken porcelain cups back there. The artist had tried to repair them and had created something out of waste. I like that: transforming waste into art.”

Sonam Chandua:
“I am also an artist, a graphic artist. I like Vinita Dasgupta. She has taken canvas, rolled it up, and created pop art pictures. I would like to have her works for my gallery and would display them there.”

Maryanne Limbos, USA, 83
“I liked the work that was made on rolled-up paper and looks as though it could create waves. It gave me a feeling of peace and quiet.”

Gail Goldstein, USA, 78:
“People don’t just need money to own art but also a place for the artwork. I can’t simply hang some of the installations above my coffee table. And you also need the right lighting.”

Sumit Roy, artist:
“There is a spot with a globe on display. The artist has shredded a million dollars, put it into this ball, and called it ‘One Million Dollars’. I like the shock effect, it has something almost Dadaist about it. If I owned the globe, I would put it in my bathroom. That would be pretty cool.”

Gaurav Chanda, student:
“I like listening to music when looking at works of art. Looking at art with music changes the perspective. I always choose my music with care: it should make me feel elevated. For example, when looking at abstract things, I listen to surreal music.”

Deval Mavlankaz and SudhaVora:
“We are students of art and want to understand what goes on in the artist’s head. That’s why we photographed it. Why did he use this texture in particular?”

An interested friend of art:
“This work of art requires a special kind of space. It’s more about individuality here. If you are surrounded by the work, you are isolated from the crowd. That’s unusual, normally you are always surrounded by people when looking at a painting.”