I Art is a support forum for artists, conceputalised by two Delhi-based emerging contemporary artists, Sangeeta Kumar Murthy and Suchismita Sahoo, who are not only engaged in creating paintings and art installations, but are also trying to support artists who want a chance to showcase their talent and skills. In this, they find personal motivation, as well as are able to contibute socially. Their long-held ideas of creating a new platform for emerging artists, from India and abroad, resulted in the recent I Art exhibition, which opened recently in Gurgaon.

Such an event has been organised for the first time in India. Various artists from six countries and seven artists from different corners of India are participating in this event. The concept focuses on bringing international artists to India, and to provide to Indian artists an international forum for showcasing their works.

An international art symposium is also being organised parallel to this exhibition, which will host discussions, workshops, presentations on some of the burning issues in the world of contemporary art.  

In a conversation with Guardian 20, Suchismita Sahoo, one of the organisers of the event, spoke about the current exhibition and various artists coming from across the world.

Sahoo, who is an artist and photographer, says, “I have been travelling to different countries for the past two years to represent India as an artist and photographer by attending art residency programmes and art symposiums. I have also participated in art exhibitions on  invitations from the Penza Art gallery in Russia, Sweden Art Residency, Residency by Mark Rothko Museum at Latvia, International art Symposium at Munich, Germany, Symposium at Slovakia, Indo-Korea Inter-exchange Cultural Program at South Korea, Residency at Austria and revived Junior research fellowship award by Lalit Kala Academy.”

She further adds, “This concept of art symposium where we can bring artists on a single platform occurred to me when I was in Vienna. I shared this thought with Sangeeta Kumar Murthy who herself  is an artist and former art curator. She has exhibited her works in several countries. Her works have been auctioned and she also has received many awards. She represented India in SAARC and  Saudi  Arabia, Florence Biennale, South Korea and Rome. We wanted to do several art events for artists, photographers, installation and fashion designers. It’s a small effort to create something different in Indian art. It’s not just an effort of two women but also one can see it as a women empowerment issue.

She goes on to say, “I Art aims to help young artists to build their careers in art, to become a recognised and well-known international artist.

“I Art aims to approach young art talent from different parts of the world  and provide them with an oppurtunity to live and work for a few days in India. Artists are also offered a variety of accommodation and equipment options. For every form of art, we have separate workshops arranged. It is intended that during their stay, the artist can show his/her capabilities and skills by making his own art. His presentations and work are discussed and a file of his work is laid out. This election will be made by an international jury of renowned art experts and will be based on the interviews, congestion and artifacts made. I Art gives the opportunity to artists to embark on a fine international career.”

She also talked about the artists who have come from countires like Italy, Russia, Sudan, New York, Cairo to participate in this event in recent days. Some of the participants are upcoming artists from within India, coming  from places as varied as Bangalore, Bihar, Rajasthan, New Delhi and Bhopal.

Sahoo said that she draws inspiration from various art forms. “Art and to be with art inspires us.  Our aim is to give a platform to young artists to build their career in art, to become a recognised and well-known international artist. This is for those who are out of the limelight, although they are very good at creating art,” she says.

She concludes that she has been overwhelmed with the response to I Art. “It’s excellent. We got a few more projects to do with different organisations. In our next project we are going to experiment not only with painters but with sculptors and designers too.”

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