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.