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Contemporary Art in Asia

First Edition
Edited by:
  • Parul Dave Mukherji - School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Naman P. Ahuja - School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Kavita Singh - School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

December 2013 | 288 pages | SAGE India

InFlux: Contemporary Art in Asia brings together essays by leading critics and curators to examine modern and contemporary art practice and its discourses in Asia. Covering diverse regions spanning China, India, Thailand, Iran, West Asia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Cambodia, the book examines their multiple modernities and the arrival of many Asia's upon the contemporary art scene.

Some centers have become celebrated in the international exhibition circuit and the art market, but there is also an Asia beyond their ambit, and the book throws light upon major and minor, established and emergent geographies of art. Asia’s own internal minorities fracture any unified sense of place, and representing this diversity has become a major challenge for today’s curator.

What is the impact on contemporary art of state power and burgeoning economies, or the persistent stereotypes of Asian craftsmanship, exoticism, and religiosity or the new ones of terrorism and tourist paradise? The book aims to challenge some of these perceptions by viewing modern and contemporary Asian art not as a given field but as a project in flux, constantly under revision via art practice and curatorial interventions.

General Introduction

Geeta Kapur
Parul Dave Mukherji
The Illusions and Antagonisms of Civilizational Exchange: Critical Reflections on Dismantling Asian Empires

Rustom Bharucha
The Elephant and The Ant: Chinese and Thai Art in the 1980s and 1990s

John Anthony Clark
Worlding Asia: A Conceptual Framework for the First Delhi Biennale

Arshiya Lokhandwala
Cartographic Necessities: Contemporary Practices and the Making of a Brave New World

Gayatri Sinha
Curating Barbarians: Descriptions of a Visual Practice

Marian Pastor Roces
Naman P Ahuja
Miniature, Monster, and Modernism : Curating Terror or Terror of Curating

Quddus Mirza
An Honest Engagement with the Pitfalls (and Perks) of the Ethnic (Rubric)

Negar Azimi
Retrieving the Far West: Toward a Curatorial Representation of the House of Islam

Ranjit Hoskote
Interrogating the Sacred: Storylines for the Self

Nancy Adajania
The Art of Kazakhstan as a Political Project

Valeria Ibraeva
Kavita Singh
Curating Across Agnostic Worlds

Geeta Kapur
The Untold (the Rise of) Schisms

Shaheen Merali
Mapping the Trajectories of Minoritarian Aesthetics and Cultural Politics

Santhosh S
Excavating the History of the Present: Caste as Pictorial Sign in the Works of Savi Sawarkar

Y S Alone
Curatorial Work as Collective Fabrication

Oscar Ho Hing Kay
Archival Malpractice and Counter Strategies

Charles Merewether


A pleasure to defines a lifetime of service and thought. It can stimulate our minds, footnotes and ambition.... beautifully designed...the images are uniformly well reproduced...provides an intriguing glimpse into three important stands in the growing discourse on contemporary art as it churns in India, challenging readers to come to terms with the concerns central to this vibrant scholarly discussion.

South Asian Studies

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Parul Dave Mukherji

Parul Dave Mukherji is Dean of School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Earlier, she taught at the Department of Art History and Aesthetics, Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda. She has lectured in India, Europe, and Japan and has been elected as the Delegate-at-Large representing India on the Executive Council of the International Association of Aesthetics. Her publications include Towards A New Art History: Studies in Indian Art (co-edited, 2003), Rethinking Modernity (co-edited, 2005), Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration and Convergence (2009). More About Author

Naman P. Ahuja

Naman P. Ahuja is an art historian and curator and is Associate Professor in the field of visual studies at J.N.U., where his research and graduate teaching focus on Indian iconography, ancient and medieval Indian sculpture, temple architecture and Sultanate period painting. Some of his publications include: Divine Presence: The Arts of India and the Himalayas (transl.into Catalan and Spanish, Five continents editions, Milan, 2003), “Changing Gods, Enduring Rituals: Observations on Early Indian Religion as seen through Terracotta Imagery c. 200 bc–ad 200” in South Asian Archaeology, Paris, 2001; The Making of the Modern Indian Artist... More About Author

Kavita Singh

Kavita Singh is Faculty at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She trained as an art historian at MS University of Baroda and at Panjab University, Chandigarh. She has had a research fellowship at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a curatorial internship at the Asia Society, New York, and has been guest curator at the San Diego Museum of Art, California. She was also Research Editor at Marg, one of the major art journals in India. She has written on Indian classical and folk painting in publications such as Marg and Orientations; her current work is on the history and politics of the museum in India.... More About Author

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ISBN: 9788132115977