- Speakers' Profiles

India Art Fair's acclaimed Speakers’ Forum brings together artists, curators, patrons, and professionals engaged within the visual arts, to explore themes of access, integration and cultural discourse across South Asia.

Conversations will examine diverse topics such as: New Directions, which will assess current gallery models in an era of change; Vernacular In Flux, which will examine the pressure felt by vernacular artists to manifest 'tradition' and to engage with the 'Indian Contemporary' in the global art world; The Future of Museums in a Globalised World will discuss the changing role of museums as institutions of cultural representation; Emerging Networks in South Asian Art will examine art histories of the sub-continent being written, circulated, and negotiated internationally and within the region. Other panels include Global Contemporaries, which will highlight some of the diverse artistic practices being explored by South Asian artists; and finally, a series of Collector Conversations will facilitate intimate conversations with collectors throughout the globe while providing a glimpse into their private collections.

Bringing some of today's most influential figures into dialogue, this edition will include speakers: Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi, HE Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation, Simon Rein, Programme Manager, Google Arts and Culture; Pooja Sood, Director of Khoj International Artists Association, Alessio Antonelli, Director of Gasworks, Boon-Hui Tan, Director, Asia Society Museum, Lekha Poddar, Founder of Devi Art Foundation and private collectors Carl Christian Aegidius, Jean-Conrad and Isabelle Lemaitre, Komal Shah, Frederic de Goldschmidt, Anurag Khanna, Krupa Amin, Michal Borowik, Ashiesh Shah and Vir Kotak amongst others.

Friday 3 February

12 - 1:30pm

Global Contemporaries

This panel aims to highlight some of the diverse practices being explored by South Asian artists, while simultaneously investigating how they construct an identity for themselves. While their art practice today may be global and networked, they are also rooted in South Asian consciousness. The conversation aims to facilitate a rich and textured reading of the contemporary views of these artists.

Speakers: Bani Abidi, Artist; Asim Waqif, Artist; Pors & Rao, Artists

Moderator: Abhay Sardesai, Editor, ART India

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Collectors in Conversation

Two generations of video art collectors with a relationship of dialogue forged over years of collecting continue their conversation at India Art Fair. Internationally-renowned French collectors, Isabelle and Jean-Conrad Lemaître, and award-winning Gujrat-based collector, Anurag Khanna are both focused on the acquisition of video and new media. These dynamic collectors will discuss their interest in video as a contemporary medium, and the challenges and rewards of its acquisition.

Speakers: Isabelle and Jean-Conrad Lemaître, Private Collectors; Anurag Khanna, Private Collector

Moderator: Prateek Raja, Director, Experimenter

4 - 5:30 pm

The Future of Museums in a Globalised World

As museums adopt increasingly global outlooks for their programming in the twenty-first century, this panel brings together international and Indian museum professionals and philanthropists to give their perspectives on the place of South Asian art in the evolution of their institution’s identity.

Speakers: Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation;Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi; Sangita Jindal, Chairperson, JSW Foundation

Moderator: Gayatri Sinha, Art Critic, Curator and Director, Critical Collective

Saturday 4 February

11:30 - 12:30pm

Art in Architecture Supported by FCDI

With the growing role of museums, galleries and art in the public space this panel will explore the evolution of the relationship between contemporary art and architecture. The conversation will examine how architects are designing new interpretations of art and curation and how contemporary art is inspiring and informing their practice.

Speakers: Roger Diener, Principal Architect, Diener and Diener, Basel, Switzerland; Alexander Schwarz, Partner, David Chipperfield Architect, Berlin; Manuel Mateus, Principal Architect, Aires Mateus e Associados

Moderator: Martand Khosla, Partner, Romi Khosla Design Studio among others

1 - 2pm

When Technology Meets Art

Considering the evolution of the art world and the developing role played by digital technology, the panel will look particularly at the influence of social media platforms on global 21st century cultural dialogue and how the art world has adapted and evolved in an innovative, creative digital era.

Speakers: JiaJia Fei, Director of Digital, Jewish Museum; Moenen Erbuer,Head of Design & User Experience, MCH Group; Jesse Ringham, Director of Digital, SUTTON; Simon Rein, Programme Manager, Google Arts and Culture

Moderator: Mark Rappolt, Editor in Chief, Art Review

2:30 - 4pm

Collectors in Conversation: The Art of Collecting

In this year’s BMW Art Talk, a varied group of prominent collectors and philanthropists present their collections and discuss the individual practices and creative impulse behind them. The session offers a platform for discourse on the individuality of their acquisitional styles and examines the art of collecting.

Speakers: Carl Christian Aegidius, Private Collector; H.E. Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director, Sharjah Art Foundation; Frédéric de Goldschmidt, Private Collector; Komal Shah, Philanthropist and Private Collector

Moderator: Mallika Advani, Independent Art Consultant and Auctioneer

4:15 - 5:45pm

Collectors in Conversation: The New Generation

Influential young collectors will explore what motivates their involvement with contemporary art, the importance of their role as the new collecting generation and their commitment to their region.

Speakers: Vir Kotak, Joint Managing Director, J.M. Baxi Group and Private Collector; Krupa Amin, Founder, Space Studios and Private Collector; Ashiesh Shah , Architect and Private Collector; Michal Borowik, Private Collector

Moderator: Roshini Vadehra, Director of Vadehra Art Gallery

Sunday 5 February

12 - 1:30pm

New Directions: The Gallery Model in an Era of Change

Bringing together some of the country’s most prominent gallerists to examine the position of the art gallery in 21st century India. The session offers an unprecedented platform for a wide-ranging conversation about the perception and reality of the "gallery" in South Asia and asks: what role does a gallery and a gallerist play during this period of dynamic cultural change? Moreover, as it considers the gallery as part of the public space of both Indian and international artistic culture, the panel will consider issues of engagement between galleries and their public by addressing questions to you, the audience.

Speakers: Sunitha Kumar Emmart, Founder, GallerySKE; Shireen Gandhy, Director, Chemould Prescott Road; Priyanka Raja, Director, Experimenter; Renu Modi, Founder, Gallery Espace, Hena Kapadia; Founder and Director, TARQ Gallery

3:00 - 4pm

Perspective from Networks of South Asian Art

This panel will look at recent projects by organizations committed to developing a sustainable ecosystem for the arts in South Asia, while examining how art histories of the sub-continent are being written, circulated, and negotiated internationally and within the region, in order to develop critical dialogue on South Asian art, along with a greater understanding of the region and exchange.

Speakers: Boon Hui Tan,, Director, Asia Society Museum; Alessio Antoniolli, Director, Gasworks; Pooja Sood, Director, KHOJ International Artists’ Association

Moderator: Yamini Mehta, International Head of South Asian Art, Sotheby’s

4:15 - 5:15pm

Vernacular In  Flux

The pressure to manifest 'tradition' and provide a new facet of the 'Indian contemporary' in global art worlds is high on practicing vernacular artists. In response, artists collaborate, resist and or simply remain inert. This panel invites speakers - artists, collectors, curators and pedagogues - to discuss this from their perspective. The panel's speakers discuss how they identify innovation, skill, depth and enchantment in their engagement with vernacular art forms.

Speakers: Lekha Poddar, Co-founder Devi Art Foundation; Anubhav Nath, Director, Ojas Art, Bhajju Shyam, Artist; Santosh Kumar Das, Ex-Faculty, Mithila Art Institute and Artist

Moderator: Dr. Annapurna Garimella, Founder and Head, Jackfruit Research & Design