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Kashmir and the Artist

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At the start of yet another fierce, heartless summer in Delhi, comes the enigmatically titled exhibition, Snow, on Kashmir.

Palette Art Gallery and Foundation B&G of Mumbai have brought together the works of 12 artists exploring what it means to live in the Valley today. Politically, psychologically, and even physically in terms of the climate and terrain, so different from the rest of the country. The show has been curated by the

poet and critic Ranjit Hoskote. The artists participating are Arunkumar HG, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Farhad Hussain, Gargi Raina, George Martin, Gigi Scaria, Madhvi Parekh, Manu Parekh, Mithu Sen, KP Reji, Subhash Awachat, and Veer Munshi.

“Over the last few years, we’ve been thinking of the situation in Kashmir and wondering whether there is a cultural way of addressing the issue. The idea was to re-situate Kashmir in a manner which is not reducible to just politics,” says Hoskote, who himself has roots in Kashmir. In fact, two of the artists participating in the show, Veer Munshi and Gargi Raina, are also of Kashmiri origin.

The works featured straddle the traditional and contemporary forms with paintings, mixed-media creations and videos. All twelve artists travelled to Kashmir and spent about ten days there. A sort of cultural tour, if you will. “Some of the artists responded to the physical beauty and there are others who have come up with political works. And I don’t see the ones celebrating Kashmir’s beauty as a less valid artistic response,” says Hoskote. The exhibition is the first chapter of a larger project on Kashmir by Foundation B&G, the arts initiative of publishing house Popular Prakashan. “We want to initiate dialogues between cultural producers in Kashmir and their contemporaries in South Asia,” says Hoskote.

Snow will run at Palette Art Gallery in New Delhi from 3-24 April.