"Present Future" at NGMA, Mumbai

Young contemporary Indian artists are in focus at the NGMA show, 'Present Future'. It's an exhibition that features works by artists based in the city of Mumbai who are 40 years or younger. The works on view offer an eclectic collection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and video art.

The exhibition offers a perspective of trends in contemporary art and brings to fore, young and the talented artists. In fact, since its inception, NGMA has strove to present the best of the contemporary Indian art. Sir Cowasji Jehangir Public Hall, as it was popularly known, has become transformed into the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai.

The artist community, led by the eminent sculptor, Piloo Pochkhanawala and the doyen of art, Kekoo Gandhy took initiative in the decision to convert the hall into a museum for contemporary art. The NGMA, Mumbai is an organization under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Culture, Goverment of India. The Honorary Director, Dr.Saryu V.Doshi and a team of professionals manage the gallery.

The institution represents a stride into contemporary times with glimpses into the best of Indian Art today. The NGMA annual magazine show, titled 'Ideas and images', is now a major event on the Indian art calendar. Every year, the show attracts curious art lovers in large numbers. Curator of the show, Dr. Doshi, puts together this massive showcase of the works of famous Indian artists, photographers and art students.

The current show, similar to the 'Ideas and Images' show, aims at highlighting Mumbai's art heritage and growing community of artists and art lovers, cataloging the past and anticipating future trends. Collectively, the exhibit is a showcase of Mumbai's unique artistic traditions. The exhibition is called 'Present. Future', that features about a hundred of Mumbai's young artists.

Some of the artists participating include Kahini Arte-Merchant, Sunil Padwal, Chetan Upadhyay, Ajay De, and Krishnamachari Bose to name a few. Their works include some exceptional pieces that reflect the ever-changing art scene in Mumbai. Aside from a range of works by modern painters and other artists, photography as the medium of expression has also been explored in the annual show.

The exhibition is called 'Present. Future' and as the title suggests, focuses on different facets of art scene in Mumbai ' a significant center of artistic activity for well over 150 years. It presents the city's most promising, the young and the talented artists.

As an accompanying note states: 'In view of the rising interest in contemporary Indian art in India as well as overseas, NGMA is convinced that it should take a step forward in promoting the young artists by featuring their works by organizing an exhibition that will exclusively showcase their talent. Echoing similar sentiments, Dr. Saryu Doshi explained on the eve of the show that the NGMA wanted to organize an exhibition devoted exclusively to young talent.

According to her, there's a wide spectrum to choose from - paintings, video art, installation, graphic displays ' in the show, and the participating artists form a promising lot, who are serious towards the medium. Through the endeavor, NGMA aims to serve as a platform for projecting individual creativity as well as the dynamic collective energy of the future generation. Several knowledgeable and experienced people have contributed towards shaping the framework of the exhibition and finalizing the list of participants. On the basis of a broad consensus it was decided that the exhibition will feature work of artists who are in their forties.

The works on view, as stated above, offer a mix of interesting work including paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and video art. Some noteworthy works on view are Krishnamchari Bose's 'Ghost Objects of Attention', Kahini Arte Merchant's 'Transience ' II, Anju Dodiya's 'Dry Run', Riyas Komu's 'The Last Version of Flowering History', Ashutosh Apte's 'Parameter d'Art', Suryakant Lokhande's 'Salt and Paper', Nikhil Chaganlal's 'Afternoon in Alibaug', Yaswhwant Deshmukh's 'Memories of My Childhood' and Nivedtia Deshpande's 'Shape of Things to Come'.

The exhibition titled 'Present Future' continues at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai till June 24, 2005.

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