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The First India Art Summit 2008 and its success story

From:     Robert
Category: Art
Date:     03 September 2008
Time:     10:43 PM


Grand Success of India's First International Art Fair
-	The Global Art Market all set for India Art Summit 2009 
The recent Art Summit was the Indian art scene’s attempt to climb a new rung in its international
aspirations, says NISHA SUSAN

An astounding 10,000 art enthusiasts walked in to witness India's First International Art Fair,
India Art Summit(TM) 2008, firmly establishing it as a one stop destination for art in India. With
an overwhelming mix of art collectors, artists, critics, curators, students and art enthusiasts from
across India and overseas, the Summit achieved exactly what it set out to - making art, and the
knowledge of art, accessible to a widespread audience. Commercially speaking, the fair clocked in a
record sale of approximately 50%, with the 34 participating galleries selling over 280 artworks
worth Rs.10 crores approximately. Given that the total value of the 550 artworks on display was
approximately Rs. 20 crores, India Art Summit has emerged as one of the most successful first
editions of any art fair across the world. 
With all eyes now on India, event producers Hanmer MS&L, have announced plans to schedule India Art
Summit 2009 between 19th - 22nd August' 2009 in New Delhi. Next year, the fair is proposed to be
over three times bigger and applications are already pouring in from across India and world. While
in the first year, the focus was largely on Indian art and Indian galleries, the second year will
see participation from galleries across the world showcasing a sizeable array of artworks from
different parts of the world. 

Ashok Art Gallery is a five-yearold Delhi gallery that largely functions online. A mom-and-pop
operation with a handful of unknown artists, AAG has never had any exposure in the media. Their only
previous art fair experience was with the Mumbai art expo earlier this year. As one among 35
galleries that participated in the recent India Art Summit (between August 22 and 25), AAG did not
expect to become frontpage news. But their 27-year-old Oriya artist Kanta Kishore’s marble
sculptures of rolled-up newspapers were sold within hours of the fair’s opening. Gallerists Ashok
Nayak and Kavita Vig, Kavita’s husband Bharat and septuagenarian mother-in-law watched astonished as
the art young Indian superstar Subodh Gupta and politician Maneka Gandhi came to their stall. And in
their wake, thousands of visitors and the press.
Sculptures and installations sold almost as well as paintings, signalling a new trend. The panel of
speakers and choice of topics at the Art Forum also drew many accolades and was deemed as amongst
one of the best such initiatives of its kind, internationally. 

Mr. Sunil Gautam, Managing Director, Hanmer MS&L commenting on the fair said, "It is great to see
that India Art Summit has emerged as the most inclusive collaborative art platform in India in it's
very first year. We believe that this initiative is a step in the right direction to put India on
the global art fair circuit." 
Commenting on the success of the fair, Mr. Philip Hoffman, Chief Executive, The Fine Art Fund said
"The Indian market is very important in the global art scene and this fair is a major step. I can
imagine this to be major fair in Asia competing alongside London, Miami and Basel in the next 5-10
years. The sales results of the fair seemed very impressive by comparison to other fairs in their
first year." 
Applications for participation in India Art Summit 2009 can be submitted at 
India Art Summit - Backgrounder 

The art fraternity in India has for long felt a gap and the need for a collaborative industry
platform in the country owing to the phenomenal growth and global interest in Indian art. While the
art fraternity the world over gets numerous opportunities to interact and collaborate through
various art fairs, biennales & expos, there was no such platform in India. Therefore the time was
right for India to offer a suitable platform for art. The initiative has received invaluable
recognition and endorsement from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Sotheby's. 

The Summit hopes to achieve the dual purpose of, on one hand, serving as a window for International
collectors to get a single access point to Indian art and, on the other, exposing the Indian
collectors to a range of global Art that will be showcased at the fair in the coming years. More
than just a place for buying and selling art, this initiative will enable diverse stakeholders from
India and around the world to come together and discuss the creative and commercial aspects of
Indian art. 
Today, Indian art is greatly appreciated both internationally and within the country, annually
growing at 30-35%, the Indian art market is currently worth Rs 1500 crores. The Indian art market
has gone up by 485 percent in the last decade making it the fourth most buoyant art market in the
world. The total auction market size of Indian art has changed from US $5 million in 2003 - just
five years back - to nearly US $150 million this year. 

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