If it is still raining this weekend, go online for an art break. The Art Platform India (TAP India) is showcasing Uma Shankar Pathak’s new painting series, Crossing Over , and Diya Mathur’s Mughal miniatures-inspired digital artworks.
“In this series, Uma Shankar has worked on the theme of migration and transition, using images of the zebra and birds in flight to convey the idea of crossing over to another plane,” says Sharan Apparao, curator-gallerist of Apparao Galleries and founder of TAP India. What impresses her about Pathak’s work is that he is consistent about the idea of aspiration. Meanwhile, “Diya is a tech-savvy young artist, and open to new ideas. I like her sensibility and aesthetics, especially how she handles the subject — placing Mughal miniatures within her landscape”.
A year of learnings
Apparao launched TAP India last year with 15 galleries across the country, as a platform to showcase and bring visibility to modern and contemporary art during the pandemic. While the past year has been one of new learnings — working with tech and using social media efficiently — it has also been about making art accessible.
It’s encouraging to note that, with online access, the demographic of the collector is getting younger, she says. And with more younger artists getting into the space, art is becoming affordable, feeding the loop of bringing in more collectors. Mathur’s art is priced at ₹20,000, for instance. “The younger lot are picking up art. They like a work they see online, they pick up the phone and ask for it. The system is transparent; the prices are listed, as are the contact details of partner galleries, making the art accessible,” says Apparao, whose advice to new collectors is to buy art for the “sheer pleasure” of it and not to “look at it as investment”.
TAP India has also been growing their offerings. “We have added more galleries, and events such as Art Matters and Art Week,” she says. They’ve been organising online talks by veterans in the field on topics ranging from art practice to curation. Boon Hui Tan, director Asia Society (New York), spoke about ‘Asia in relation to the rest of the world: identifying and defining shifts in the global art ecosystem’, while collector Leena Poddar, and artists Renuka Reddy and Mayank Mansingh Kaul spoke on ‘Indian textiles in the contemporary: practice and patronage’, among many others. “We are creating an archive of the events now. The talks are very valuable pieces of education, which can be accessed on our YouTube channel.”
What’s next on the agenda? “We will make it more interesting, and widen visibility with a focus on social media and marketing,” she concludes.