Artspeaks India is a multidimensional art and cultural initiative which actively promotes the visual arts from South Asia. Founded and conceptualized by Ashwini Pai Bahadur in 2009 as an arts and culture initiative which sought to facilitate, highlight, and sensitize individuals and communities, to the myriad ways in which the arts might speak: to us, to each other and most significantly, for themselves.
At the core of Artspeaks India’s philosophy is a desire to liberate a vocabulary intrinsic to the arts, to provide a scaffolding for form and matter to enunciate their aesthetic and interpretive frames.
Artspeaks India has organized, promoted and supported a wide range of creative projects: thirty-five curated shows, six community-outreach programs, two public art projects, and four publications.
One of Artspeaks India’s initial shows titled Art for Art’s Sake explored the possibility of unburdening art from preconceived lenses of perception. For Ashwini, this occasioned an opportunity to ask pertinent questions regarding the role of the viewer, and the need to seriously consider the implicit and fresh art-critical resources a viewer might bring to art appreciation.
Moving beyond canonical definitions of art, Artspeaks India has over the years included in its repertoire the promotion of heritage, indigenous art forms, multimedia initiatives encompassing cinema, performing arts, pedagogical ventures like workshops, talks and collaborations, public art initiatives and exhibitions showcasing modern and contemporary Indian art.
In the last decade, Artspeaks India has established itself as a strong supporter of emerging and established artists, promoting and showcasing more than 300 contemporary artists from 10 countries, and more than 50 Indian folk and tribal artists.