Lalit Kala Akademi takes annual art showcase to northeast


New Delhi : The Lalit Kala Akademi (LKA) – the apex body of art under the culture ministryministry – has turned its spotlight on the northeastern region with a mega pan-Indian showcase of contemporary art to integrate audiences in the eight states with the rest of the country.

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The akademi will mount its 54th National Exhibition of art at Tripura capital Dec 17-Jan 6. The exhibition, beiong held for the first time in one of the northeastern states, will host 124 art works, including the ones by the 10 national award winning artists this year.

The young artists chosen for the award will each get a purse of Rs 100,000.

Announcing the national exhibition, a prestigious annual event of the LKA, acting chairman K.R. Subanna said the “current initiatve in Agartala is bound to generate heightened focus on a better understanding of national art aesthetics among the art fraternity”.

“Lalit Kala is committed to promote, spread and develop Indian fine art culture. The current show in Agartala has already started generating unprecedented support from the art community,” Subanna said.

Subanna said “infrastucture on the ground was a problem in Agartala and the artw works had to be carried overland through Bangladesh and Bhutan”.

The government has sanctioned Rs.32 crore for the exhibition.

The exhibition will be inaugurated by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar at the Nazrul Kalakshetra Galleries.

Subanna said one of the reasons behind choosing a northeastern state, despite the logistical and infrastructural constraints was the need to democratise the exhibition space to reach out to the relatvely those states of the country, which were far from the metropolitan centres.

“But the logistics of mounting the exhibition should be centralised,” LKA secretary Sudhakar Sharma said.

Four artists from Tripura will provide the local flavour at the exhibition.

“At one point we had mounted an exhibition in Guwahati with 85 pan-Indian works of art,” Subanna said about the region’s lack of exposure to contemporary art from the rest of the country.

The National Exhibition of Art has been held annually since 1955. “It is a major public face of the national aacdemy of art. In keeping with its national character, the venue has been shifted from New Delhi to the regional centres of LKA in the the tier two cities,” Sudharkar Sharma said.

Subanna said the institution was spreading its footprint around the world with the first India pavilion at the Venice Biennale last year.

“This year, it took part at the festival of India in Berlin in Germany, at the biennale in Beijing and at the Asian Art Biennale in Dhaka,” he said.

The akademi has codefied, authenticated and lodged its permanent collection under specially-created conditions.