Wednesday September 19, 2018

Virtual medium: A boon for many beginners in the field of arts

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By Bhavana Akella

New Delhi: “Years ago, I would often paint portraits of children at the railway station,” Gujarat-based artist Rakesh Patel said, mulling over the past and how it led to his success in the field of contemporary art.

www.saffronart.com
www.saffronart.com

“If it was not for the online medium, I could never imagine a day when my art would be sold in London,” said the artist, who is well known for his portraits and for effectively capturing human emotions.

Selling his art online for over 10 years now, Patel said that despite being virtual, the medium has been a boon for many beginners in the art field. “Beginners find it very difficult to exhibit their works at a gallery – not many manage to gather the required resources . But the online galleries are such a huge platform that even accomplished artists prefer to sell their works through them,” Patel told IANS.

Saffron art is one such major player.

“Saffronart, a big player in the Indian online art market, has been in the field for over 15 years,” its co-founder, Dinesh Vazirani, told IANS, adding: “People are now very comfortable buying online. That has helped us sell over 20,000 artworks to over 8,000 customers since our inception.”

The company’s artworks range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $2.5 million dollars.

“The global online art market is worth over $2.4 billion (more than Rs.15,000 crore). Indian art needs much more representation on this vast digital platform – which is only picking up gradually,” said Kiran Wood, who with her husband Tim Wood left London for Delhi to start fullpictureart.com which sells contemporary Indian art ranging from $150-$10,000 for buyers all over the world.

The Indian art world has woken up to the online market, Wood opined, adding: “Online presence of art can only complement what is being sold at the galleries and can never completely replace it.”

Wood said the current trend of selling art online would have not been possible 10 years ago, when consumers were not confident enough to buy anything through a virtual medium.

For Riyas Komu, a sculptor and painter from Kerala known for his politically-driven work, selling art online is a “part of the phenomenon to sell anything and everything online.” He said, “Through awareness, people have evolved to recognize art through any medium.”

www.anniepaul.in
www.anniepaul.in

Komu, who has sold his art globally through online auctions, said, “The online platforms help in growing a larger audience. They democratize the model of art sales by helping it open up to everyone.”

The online medium has always had its share of skeptics and Bose Krishnamachari, an internationally acclaimed painter and curator and a founder member of the Kochi Biennale, counts himself among them.

“As a collector I would never buy art without researching on it and seeing it. I believe most of the times, it is only the mediocre art which is sold online,” Krishnamachari told IANS.

“The online medium can be used to spread the word about art but I don’t think the digital space can ever match up to the exhibition space,” Krishnamachari added.

“Despite the risks and downsides of the medium, it is helping more people engage into art,” explained Wood, who expected the trend to be taken further by technology in the future.

(IANS)

 

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10 Indian Author’s Books Selected for JCB Prize for Literature

Of the 10 novels, the jury will shortlist five, which will be announced on October 3. The five shortlisted writers receive Rs 1 lakh each.

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10 novels of 'enormous diversity' vying for India's richest book prize.

Ten outstanding Indian novels in English along with translations from Indian languages by veterans as well as debut authors were longlisted on Wednesday for the Rs 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature, with its literary director highlighting “enormous diversity” in the submissions.

The longlist features two novels in translation: “Poonachi or The Story of a Black Goat”, originally written in Tamil by Perumal Murugan and Malayalam novel “Jasmine Days” by Benny Daniel; two novels by debut women writers: “Latitudes of Longing” by Shubhangi Swarup and “Empire” by Devi Yesodharan; and two novels by authors previously nominated for the Man Booker Prize: “All The Lives We Never Lived” by Anuradha Roy and “The Book of Chocolate Saints” by Jeet Thayil.

They are joined by veteran writers Nayantara Sahgal and Kiran Nagarkar, whose “When The Moon Shines by Day” and “Jasoda” released to prominence and reflected the burden of society in 2017.

While the entry of Amitabha Bagchi’s “Half the Night is Gone” that explores the inner and outer lives of the men in two families, was almost expected, Chandrahas Choudhury’s “Clouds” was the surprise novel in the longlist.

Literature
Excerpt from Amitabha Bagchi’s “Above Average”

Entries for the inaugural edition of the prize, an initiative of the earthmoving and construction equipment company JCB India Ltd, came from writers in 19 states and 22 per cent of them were translations.

“The most striking thing about the entries we received is their enormous diversity. We had entries from 17 states and eight languages. The oldest author was nearly seven decades older than the youngest. There were books about ancient Indian history and mythology, books about ecological disasters, books about religious strife and the situation of women. All in all, it was a very exciting set of books, which represents the full set of possibilities of the novel,” Rana Dasgupta, Literary Director of the prize told IANS.

The British Indian novelist and essayist further noted that many of the translations were from Malayalam and Kannada. He said that it is no longer possible to “generalise” as novels in Indian languages are “as cosmopolitan as any other”.

“Writers in these languages set their novels in locations all across the world, and they have a great contemporaneity of form, character and language. In future years, translated fiction will make up a much greater share of entries to the Prize,” Dasgupta maintained.

Scholar Rohan Murthy, writers Priyamvada Natarajan and Vivek Shanbhag, and author-translator Arshia Sattar comprise the jury with film director Deepa Mehta chairing the panel.

Literature
Rana Dasgupta, is himself a celebrated author. Flickr

Of the 10 novels, the jury will shortlist five, which will be announced on October 3. The five shortlisted writers receive Rs 1 lakh each.

The final award will be presented to the writer of the winning novel on October 27. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will be awarded an additional Rs 5 lakh.

The winning novelist will be awarded Rs 25 lakh, the highest for a prize of its kind in India.

Ten outstanding Indian novels in English along with translations from Indian languages by veterans as well as debut authors were longlisted on Wednesday for the Rs 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature, with its literary director highlighting “enormous diversity” in the submissions.

The longlist features two novels in translation: “Poonachi or The Story of a Black Goat”, originally written in Tamil by Perumal Murugan and Malayalam novel “Jasmine Days” by Benny Daniel; two novels by debut women writers: “Latitudes of Longing” by Shubhangi Swarup and “Empire” by Devi Yesodharan; and two novels by authors previously nominated for the Man Booker Prize: “All The Lives We Never Lived” by Anuradha Roy and “The Book of Chocolate Saints” by Jeet Thayil.

They are joined by veteran writers Nayantara Sahgal and Kiran Nagarkar, whose “When The Moon Shines by Day” and “Jasoda” released to prominence and reflected the burden of society in 2017.

Literature
Anuradha Roys’s ‘All The Lives We Never Lived’. Goodreads

While the entry of Amitabha Bagchi’s “Half the Night is Gone” that explores the inner and outer lives of the men in two families, was almost expected, Chandrahas Choudhury’s “Clouds” was the surprise novel in the longlist.

Entries for the inaugural edition of the prize, an initiative of the earthmoving and construction equipment company JCB India Ltd, came from writers in 19 states and 22 per cent of them were translations.

“The most striking thing about the entries we received is their enormous diversity. We had entries from 17 states and eight languages. The oldest author was nearly seven decades older than the youngest. There were books about ancient Indian history and mythology, books about ecological disasters, books about religious strife and the situation of women. All in all, it was a very exciting set of books, which represents the full set of possibilities of the novel,” Rana Dasgupta, Literary Director of the prize told IANS.

The British Indian novelist and essayist further noted that many of the translations were from Malayalam and Kannada. He said that it is no longer possible to “generalise” as novels in Indian languages are “as cosmopolitan as any other”.

“Writers in these languages set their novels in locations all across the world, and they have a great contemporaneity of form, character and language. In future years, translated fiction will make up a much greater share of entries to the Prize,” Dasgupta maintained.

literature
The final award will be presented to the writer of the winning novel on October 27. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will be awarded an additional Rs 5 lakh. Pixabay

Scholar Rohan Murthy, writers Priyamvada Natarajan and Vivek Shanbhag, and author-translator Arshia Sattar comprise the jury with film director Deepa Mehta chairing the panel.

Also Read: India Provides Good Future for Books Than Other Parts of The World

Of the 10 novels, the jury will shortlist five, which will be announced on October 3. The five shortlisted writers receive Rs 1 lakh each.

The final award will be presented to the writer of the winning novel on October 27. If the winning work is a translation, the translator will be awarded an additional Rs 5 lakh.

The winning novelist will be awarded Rs 25 lakh, the highest for a prize of its kind in India. (IANS)