One of the country's biggest gatherings of modern and contemporary South Asian art, the India Art Fair, will return in 2022 with a new director.
Jaya Asokan, formerly the deputy fair director and director of exhibitor relations, has been appointed as the new fair director, taking over from Jagdip Jagpal who steered three previous editions of the fair until 2020.
“My time at the India Art Fair has been nothing short of remarkable. We successfully repositioned and delivered the 2018, 2019 and 2020 editions by putting art, artists and audiences at the centre of our programme, while strengthening the fair’s links with the wider South Asian and international art scene...I feel the time is right for me to pursue my personal goals and ambitions within the arts,” said Jagpal in a press statement which was released on March 26.
The last edition of the fair, held in February 2020, had more than 75 exhibitors drawn from 20 cities around the world. When Jagpal was at the helm, the fair witnessed over 70 per cent representation from Indian galleries to boost the primary art market here.
“I am excited about taking on the role at this time," said Asokan who has over 20 years of experience in various creative industries including art, culture, design, fashion and luxury, having worked at Saffronart, India’s leading online art and antiquities auction house.
"Coming out of a pandemic year, my plan is to work closely with our artists, galleries and partners to drive business and define the purpose of the future editions of India Art Fair. This will shine through our newest initiatives, including a brand new website, uniquely distinct partnerships, projects and a year-round programme," said Asokan.
Asokan has had an important role in repositioning the fair whilst spearheading international gallery and institutional participation.
The 13th India Art Fair will take place at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds in New Delhi on February 3-6 in 2022.
As the pandemic propelled more younger patrons to invest in art, online buying behaviour was and is being shaken up by cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Digital collectibles are seemingly threatening the position of traditional artworks as we know it. How will India's premier Art Fair factor in these market shifts and respond to it in their upcoming editions?
“We don’t see this trend as a threat. If anything, the conversation around NFTs has helped bring greater attention to digital art and artists, the market for which is growing. India Art Fair is an engine for local art activity and we will continue to showcase a broad range and quality of work, to attract a cross-section of audiences and new collectors,” Asokan told THE WEEK.