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Indian Highway Exhibit opens at 798

Updated: 2012-12-25 15:12 By C J Henderson

Indian Highway, an exhibit of works by 30 different artist individuals and collectives opened on June 24 at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing’s 798 Art District.

It is a fascinating array of multimedia artworks including sculpture, video, performance, and painting whose focal point is the modern situation of India.

The exhibit will run until August 26 and is Indian Highway’s first stop outside of Europe. Indian Highway is a dynamic display of modern art from India – the most comprehensive display of contemporary Indian art to be displayed in China to date.

The exhibition was jointly curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Gunnar B Kvaran together with Philip Tinari from UCCA and was organized in collaboration with the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway.

Subodh Gupta, Take Off Your Shoes and Wash Your Hands. Photo by C J Henderson

The works vary greatly in size, style and medium, exploring different aspects of modern India. One sculptural piece by Subodh Gupta is comprised of stainless steel kitchen utensils mounted on a wall in an ordered, almost mechanical setup. According to the program, “His work is a commentary on the threat to traditional ways of life resulting from India’s rapid modernization and urbanization”.

Indian Highway represents an opportunity to examine and bring to light the special relationship between India and China in the art world. The issues the exhibit deals with – challenges that come along with an economic boom – are decisive dynamics in both countries.

A sculptural piece by Hema Upadhyay. Photo by C J Henderson

An amazing sculptural piece by Hema Upadhyay covered three sides and the roof of an 8 by 12 foot box with miniature buildings representing India’s towns and cities in remarkable detail. Light reflected off aluminum roofs and the brightly colored walls and tarpaulins that made up the miniature world.

The exhibit is supportedby the Indian Embassy, Beijing, UCCA and 798.

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