A significant group exhibition exploring South Asian pop art is one of the highlights of Sharjah Art Foundation’s autumn programme.
From September 2 until December 11, Pop South Asia will bring together more than 100 works by artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the South Asian diaspora. The works encompass paintings, prints, videos and installations from the mid-20th century to today.
The exhibition will explore multiple themes, from religious and folk practices to cinema and digital media. It aims to expand the conventional understanding of pop art beyond the Western perspective and explores the nuances of the popular movement in South Asia.
Pop South Asia is curated by Iftikhar Dadi, an artist and professor at Cornell University, New York, and Robina Karode, director and chief curator at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi.
It will mark its premiere at the foundation before travelling the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, which helped to organise it.
Watch and Chill 2.0: Streaming Senses
Another feature of the foundation’s autumn season is Watch and Chill 2.0: Streaming Senses.
The subscription-based streaming platform is organised by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea in partnership with the Sharjah Foundation and ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design.
Streaming Senses includes 22 artworks from these three institutions. The works respond to the relationship between technology and human perception, venturing beyond the screen to evoke various forms of synaesthesia. Six of the exhibited artworks were selected by the Sharjah foundation.
The presentation speaks to what “sensing” might mean in the digital era through four sub-themes: Optical Tactility, Calibrated Projection, Trance, Cross, Move and Bits of the Spirit. The works began streaming on the Watch and Chill website on June 10, with Korean, English and Arabic subtitles. New work will be released each week until the project wraps on December 31.
The platform is also augmented with in-person programmes running in each participating institution. The foundation’s on-site presentation will run from September 2 to December 11. It will feature screenings of video works from the foundation’s collection.
This exhibition is curated by Jihoi Lee, curator of architecture, installation and sculpture at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Hoor Al Qasimi, director of the Sharjah Foundation; and James Taylor-Foster, curator of contemporary architecture and design at ArkDes.
Several annual initiatives by the foundation are also planned for the autumn season.
These include the 10th iteration of Vantage Point Sharjah.
The annual photography open call invites all forms and approaches — from photojournalism to intimate photo essays, film to digital and experimental photography. This year, the initiative calls for works celebrating photography’s ability to perceive social realities through different perspectives. Application details are available on the foundation’s website.
The Foundation also collaborates with several notable institutions on international exhibitions, many of which build on past initiatives and shows.
The Foundation works with the Serpentine Gallery in London for a solo exhibition by leading Sudanese artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq. The show expands on the artist’s first major retrospective exhibition organized by Sharjah Art Foundation in 2016.
The exhibition will feature new paintings created in Ishag’s Khartoum studio, alongside works from the 1960s. Along with large-scale works on canvas and paper, the show includes Ishag’s images on various surfaces such as calabash, screens and leather drums.
The exhibition Last Seen presents the premiere of a significant two-channel film commission entitled Sweet and Sour. The large-scale photographs of Syrian-Armenian artist Sarkissian are developed using a large format camera — a lifelong practice first set in his father’s photo studio in Damascus.
Acting simultaneously as an archaeologist and storyteller, Sarkissian’s works in photography, sound, film and installation conjure landscapes that uncover hidden histories often concealed from official records.