The founding of a new network of art organisations across the North of England and South Asia was announced today, launching a three-year programme of cultural exchange to promote South Asian contemporary art internationally.
Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Indian and Pakistani independence and partition this year, the New North and South (NNS) network will bring together 11 partners across the North of England and South Asia. With the aid of funding from the Arts Council England, NNS will develop a three-year programme of co-commissions and exhibitions, while promoting intellectual discussion and artistic development.
Alongside the British Council, the UK partners are The Whitworth, Manchester, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, Liverpool Biennial and The Tetley, Leeds. The South Asian contingent are Colombo Art Biennale, Sri Lanka, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh, Karachi Biennale, Pakistan, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India and Lahore Biennale, Pakistan.
NNS launched on 4 March with a retrospective of Indian photographer Sooni Taraporevala, featuring 40 years of images of Mumbai/Bombay, at The Whitworth. The 2017 programme is largely UK based with planned events including residencies for performance artists at The Tetley in Leeds, an exhibition by Indian artist Reena Kallat at Manchester Museum and a show of Raqib Shaw at The Whitworth, then travelling to the Dhaka Art Summit in February 2018. In the autumn, The Whitworth will also host a show of four pioneering Pakistani and Indian modernists, Sadanand Bakre, Avinash Chandra, Anwar Jalal Shemza and F.N.Souza. Manchester Art Gallery rolls out a series of exhibitions by Pakistani artists Mehreen Murtaza, Waqas Khan, Risham Syed and Tentative Collective, Indian artist Neha Choksi and UK artist Hetain Patel.
“Essentially, it’s about mainstreaming South Asian art. So that it becomes part of what we as museums do” said Nick Merriman, Director of The Manchester Museum and lead spokesman for NNS, in an interview with Bazaar Art.
“We wanted to show how exciting the South Asian art scene is. It’s a combination of the dynamism of the emerging biennale scene, with Lahore, Karachi, Colombo Dhaka and Kochi, and the work of some really interesting commercial galleries and not for profit spaces” said Merriman, “We thought we had an opportunity to help on an international level, bring some of these artists to the attention of a UK audience.”
A full article will appear in the Spring 2017 edition of Harper’s Bazaar Art, out in March. For more information see Newnorthandsouth.org