Tina Ambani wears many hats. As a former Bollywood actor and philanthropist, her work has spanned various fields. But over the past decade, Ambani has carved a niche for herself in the art fraternity by founding the Harmony Art Foundation, which hosts the annual Harmony Art Show. She also plays a major role in running the Kolkilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute, along with industrialist husband Anil Ambani. “Anil has always been a source of unconditional support for all my endeavours. As for active participation, he leaves that completely to me,” she says.
This year, the Harmony Art Show is titled Fabular Bodies: New Narratives in the Art of the Miniature. It will display works by contemporary artists and explore the influence of the miniature as an art form in the 20th century. “Personally, I have always been captivated by the miniature — the exquisite detail and vivid rendering. This year, we take a step forward to celebrate the miniature as an inspiration for contemporary creative inquiry,” says Ambani.
As part of the theme, 24 artists will use drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture and computer graphics to depict Indian miniatures. “The artists we feature continue to be guided by the precision and skill required by the miniature tradition. However, they are not bound by traditional materials and themes used in miniature painting. The works at the show depict subjects ranging from identity, alienation and loss to dislocation, poverty, politics of gender, religion, and the relentless march of ‘modernisation’.”
Ask Ambani about her zealous interest in the field of art and she says, “Being a performing artist at a young age, I felt an instinctive affinity to creativity in any form. When I was struggling to make my own mark as an actor way back in the late 1970s, I began to understand the creative process. It is the journey of translating your innermost energies into something timeless that stakes its claim on the imagination of people. My passion for art and its endless possibilities began to take root instinctively, as did my empathy with young artists. This was the genesis of the Harmony Show.”