About the Exhibition
Description of Exhibition
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IAAC Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora
About the Exhibition

Theme and Focus

The exhibition, Erasing Borders: Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora explores the contributions of artists whose origins can be traced to the Indian Subcontinent. This will be IAAC's 8th annual Erasing Borders exhibition.

The first, 2004 Erasing Borders Exhibition, curated by Sundaram Tagore, focused solely on artists of the Indian diaspora. Due to its enormous success, the IAAC decided to schedule annual exhibitions of contemporary Indian art. Since then, the annual IAAC Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art has been curated by Vijay Kumar.

20 million people of Indian origin shifted countries in 20th and 21st centuries. Implicit in the term diaspora are the concepts of change and adaptation. Cultural dislocation often produces unexpected and powerful results. Subject matter is often drawn from the country of origin, while many of the aesthetic values and political concerns come from the artists' newfound situations.

Many Indian artists went abroad after India's independence from British rule. These artists grappled with dual aesthetic concerns (modernity versus tradition), and with the complex issue of identity. Diaspora artists had to create an authentic artistic language possessing Indian aesthetic components in order to be taken seriously by critics, as well as to reconcile issues associated with being minorities. Today's diaspora artists are scattered across the country and are more socio-economically and religiously diverse than their predecessors. These artists are working to make themselves heard in an art world that is at once more competitive and more receptive to non-Western art than ever before

The artists in this exhibition will meld Indian and Western colors and forms in many media, namely painting, sculpture, installation art, video art and photography. They will also grapple with diverse subject matter, including: AIDS, poverty, identity as a South Asian living in the post-9/11 world, in addition to their religious, sexual, and ethnic identities.

Mission and Audience

The Indo-American Arts Council's mission is to promote and build the awareness, creation, production, exhibition, publication, performance of Indian and cross-cultural art forms in North America. IAAC's focus is to work with artists in North America as well as to facilitate artists from India to exhibit, perform and produce their work in the United States. This exhibition will promote and exhibit the work of artists from the Indian-American community. The exhibition will tour the NYC boroughs, the greater NYC area, the Tri-State area and other parts of Eastern United States.

The demographic composition of the audience is diverse. Audience members range from gallery owners, private owners, media, youth, educators, artists, students, professionals, and general art afficianados. The audience will be South Asian and mainstream,: of various religions, sexual identities, genders, ethnicities, socio-economic, and age ranges.

Approximate Demographics to date:

Age: 16+, although we would be delighted to host younger members of the public.

Education: High School Students, Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, and Adults

Economic Background: Middle and Upper Classes. However, our aim is to attract people in every socio-economic class.

Artistic Staff

Vijay Kumar is the Curator of all annual Erasing Borders exhibitions in consultation with Amina Ahmed, Exhibitions Director and Aroon Shivdasani, Executive Director of the IAAC

Sundaram curated the first IAAC Erasing Borders Exhibition in 2004. Sundaram Tagore is a NY-based curator and gallerist. A descendant of the Nobel Prize winning poet Rabinranath Tagore, he promotes East-West dialogues through his contributions to exhibitions as well as his gallery and its multicultural and multidisciplinary events. He curated many different exhibitions including the Promise of Modernism: Art in India 1847-1947, held at Dialectica, New York. In 1999, he was nominated by Avenue magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Asian-Americans in the United States. He has published articles in numerous magazines including ARTNews, Art & Antiques, Asian Arts News, and the Times of India. His recent activities include serving as a juror for the 2002 UNESCO Design 21 competition, and curating an exhibition at the Rye Art Center entitled Off Center: A selective exhibition of the Art of Modern India in 2003. Focused on developing exhibitions of intellectual rigor, he remains devoted to the pursuit of the convergence of Western and non-Western cultures.

Vijay studied art at Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi, and at Pratt Graphics Center in NYC. He has showcased his drawings, prints and paintings in the U.S. and abroad. Vijay has worked extensively in printmaking techniques and currently teaches etching at Manhattan Graphics Center in NYC, where he was a founding member. His work is featured in many permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the New York Public Library (all in NYC), the William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs, Connecticut, the National Gallery of Art in New Delhi, and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK. In 2002, his work received the highest prize in an exhibition of prints by the Royal Society or Painters and Printmakers in London.


The Indo-American Arts Council receives annual submissions from over two hundred artists of Indian origin... The curator selects work from among the submissions that would reflect the diversity of the diasporic Indian population in terms of religion, ethnicity, and intellectual predilections. Artists benefit from being showcased to new audiences, of being able to sell their art directly to viewers, to talking about their art to varied audiences.

Curators are compensated thru in-kind donations of future invitations, honorariums, credit, and visibility.


The Indo-American Arts Council relies on corporate support, private family foundations, and individual donors. IAAC also relies on a bevy of volunteers and personal contacts to present these annual Exhibitions.

Costs for the exhibition, including transportation of the artwork, insurance, gallery rental, advertising & publicity, opening and closing receptions, press packages, preparation, hanging of artwork, brochure design, and printing will be shared by participating galleries. Gallery openings and closings are coordinated by the IAAC. We send out mailings to our entire list, upload the information on our website, and place it on facebook, twitter and YouTube to spread the word to support our artists.

Marketing and Interpretation

IAAC will utilize its growing listserv (e-technology) to update its patrons. IAAC will also send out postcards, brochures, and take advertisements in NYC-based mainstream, ethnic, and artist-related media outlets. IAAC will also coordinate with other arts organizations, artists, and partner organizations to support the Exhibition.

At the exhibition, audience members will receive a catologue with listings of the artists, artwork, and contact information for contacting the artists. There will also be postcards on a table to gather audience's contact information, and advertisements for future IAAC events.

The IAAC will utilize E-technology to disseminate information about the Exhibitions, the artists, and the artwork being displayed.

Time Frame and Venues

Finalists for the exhibition will be informed in December of that year.

The exhibition (with the artists) will tour the NYC boroughs, NY State, the Tri-State area and any other areas in the US that are eager to participate.

The tour dates planned are February thru October. The hours will be normal operating hours (11AM-5PM). Opening and Closing Receptions are scheduled for 7-9 PM in each location.

Hosting galleries will co-host with the IAAC. The hosting galleries will give their space and publicize the exhibition to their patrons and other people on their mailing lists. The IAAC will help them in this mission.

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