Future Award

DBF Asia Art

DBF Asia Art Future Award 2021
On June 17, 2021 Asia society India Centre and Asia Society Museum presented the Fifth annual Asia Arts Game Changer Awards. This year’s edition panned out as a virtual gala, which however, remained as resplendent as before with a congregation of luminaries from the art firmament. Co-Chaired by Pheroza Godrej, Sangita Jindal and Radhika Chopra, theevening was enlivened with special performances by award-winning singer and composer Sonam Kalra, creator of the Sufi Gospel Project. Karla‘s musical compositions fused different genres and instruments in a unique cross-pollination offering an apt introduction to the events to follow, hosted by Rashmi Dhanwani, Founder of The Art-X Company.

Through these awards Asia Society pay their homage to visionaries from across the fields of arts who have made significant contribution by infusing fresh creative energy into the production of art, propelling modern and contemporary art in Asia to higher planes and levels of visibility. This year the honorees were: Jyoti Bhatt, Hamra Abbas and Sohrab Hura. Jyoti Bhatt, born in 1934, at Bhavnagar in Gujarat, completed his studies in painting and printmaking at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda. He began his artistic career as a painter and printmaker in the 1950s, known especially for his modernist works. He has extensively engaged with printmaking and digital media and is an internationally acclaimed photographer, whose archival material of the living traditions of tribal and rural visual arts is historically significant. Hamra Abbas is an interdisciplinary artist known for her diverse practice that ranges from marble-inlay sculptures and miniature silk paintings to color and light installations. Abbas has used Mughal architecture, religious and vernacular iconography, and portraiture to address notions of cultural memory, sexuality, and faith. Her recent works largely focus on the image of a garden and aesthetics of devotion to question the ideals of truth and perfection Sohrab Hura is a photographer and filmmaker. His work lies at the intersection of film, photography, sound, and text. By constantly experimenting with form and using a journal-like approach, many of his works attempt to question a constantly shifting world and his place within it.
It is interesting to notice how the honorees represent generational perspectives to bear on the evolvement of art in the subcontinent spanning across decades. From Jyoti to Sohrab, both celebrated photographers, in their works we find remarkable evidence of a desire to uplift the legacy of passion, dedication, commitment and experimentation in engaging art in the service of the society and the time they live in. We see hyper-reality layered with a unique scheme of metaphor, fabulation, wit and humour to dig beneath the surface reality to situate and reinforce our awareness of space and time that holds humanity together.

True to its mission as a multidisciplinary institution, the Asia Society India Centre explores, explicates, and nurtures complex relationships between the rich past and the dynamic future of Asian arts, by examining the nexus of ancient traditions and current practices, which was essentially explicated in the selection of honorees.

Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF) is a platform for cross-cultural dialogues, with an acute sensitivity to diversity and contra-distinctions that mark the nuanced socio-cultural and territorial fabric of South Asia. DBF finds itself aligned in its mission with that of the Asia Society, to identify and foster promising talents from across the creative fields in relation to bridging South Asian arts with other regions of the world. DBF looks to create opportunities for osmotic exchanges between artists and art professionals hailing from divergent histories, artistic practices and idioms as a means to generate new creative pathways and tools to address a fast changing world and harness its resources to better serve communities of all persuasions. DBF joined forces with the honourable patrons and trustees of Asia Society Arts Game Changer platform to extend its support to Sohrab Hura, with an endowment of Asia Society Arts Future Award, inspired by the Hope that initiatives like this might lead to opening up new discourses to stimulate a deeper understanding of our shared Future and render it more equitable and sustainable.

As we adapt to the digital format to showcase art and host events, we constantly discover its hidden possibilities that are more favourable to our project of promoting art as an integral component of life. The gala on June 17 was able to engage a larger regional and international audience with the event, although we eagerly await, once again, to prevail upon the visceral experience of contemplating art in person.
DBF Asia Art Future Award 2022
Photo Courtesy - Anna Nielson
On April 12, 2022, as benefactor of the DBF Asia Art Future Award (International), DBF celebrates this year’s Awardee Jasmine Nilani Joseph, at the virtual sixth edition of the Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India, organised by Asia Society India Centre. The Award recognises ground-breaking contemporary visual artists or collectives that have, through their innovative work, gone beyond conventions of media and discipline to build an exceptional body of work in recent years, enabling a deeper understanding of their region and cultural landscape to South Asian audiences and beyond. This year, the spotlight falls on Sri Lankan artist Jasmine Nilani Joseph, who DBF is proud to honor.