'India on Canvas' exhibition at Oman National Museum shines spotlight on India's contemporary art
'India on Canvas' presents a selection of contemporary Indian paintings from the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in New Delhi, the capital of India.
Tourists from across the world are attracted to the Indian modern art of iconic artists like Raja Ravi Varma, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, and Amrita Sher-Gil which has been displayed at a separate Indian gallery named 'India on Canvas' at Oman's National Museum. 'India on Canvas' showcases masterpieces of modern Indian painting from the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in India's national capital New Delhi.
The gallery exhibits modern art of other iconic artists apart from Varma, Bose, Roy, and Sher-Gil. These masterpieces are also featured in the exhibition. The exhibition brings together the works of renowned Indian artists who have pushed the boundaries of artistic conventions, challenged societal norms, and forged new paths of expression.
"It is a matter of pride to present the exhibition 'India on Canvas: Masterpieces of Modern Indian Painting' from the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (NGMA)," reads a few paragraphs displayed in writing in Oman National Museum. These paragraphs are written by Temsunaro Tripathi, Director of the National Gallery of Modern Art National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi Ministry of Culture Government of India. Malishka Fernades, an Indian national, currently residing in UAE, was also on a visit to the National Museum in Muscat.
She emphasized that the museum is well-detailed. "The museum here is well-detailed. It gives you the past, the history of Oman, Muscat, about their traditions. It also gives you a lot of details from various other countries...," she said. Further noting the different sections for paintings in the museum, Fernades said that the museum has a different section "India on canvas, which has a lot of paintings depicting India to the rest of the world. This is something that is surprising where you have a sense of belongingness about India in Oman when you come as a tourist."
Indian paintings strongly depict our culture and how Indian values are by the colours that are portrayed with a strong sense of red and green and vibrant culture that comes out from these paintings, she added. She further said that this is something you would not expect in Oman. "Right in the centre there is a gate that takes to India in canvas and you have a sense of belongingness that India is present everywhere," she emphasised.
Moreover, the paragraphs written in Oman National Museum read that the exhibition is a collaboration between NGMA, the National Museum of Oman, and the Embassy of India in Muscat. "The aim of this exhibition is to celebrate and showcase the creativity, ingenuity, and cultural richness of Indian visual art India boasts a long and diverse artistic tradition, and this exhibition invites the viewers to immerse themselves in the captivating world of modern Indian painting," it further said.
As the exhibition coincides with the 75th year of India's independence, the paragraphs read, "It is a privilege to present this collaborative exhibition, where Indian artists from different generations are represented from the significant collection of the NGMA. It serves as a tribute to the collective history and identity of the nation."
"I hope that this exhibition will inspire a renewed appreciation for the richness of modern Indian painting and encourage conversations, research and scholarship that contribute to the cultural dialogue between the two countries. It is an opportunity to witness the globally recognized artists from India and the beauty, depth, and diversity of Indian art and to feel the profound impact of art in our lives," the paragraph added.
On the extreme right of the entrance hall of the Oman National Museum, there is a huge gallery specifically showcasing modern Indian art and paintings of a few famous artists and painters. Written in Hindi, Arabic and English 'Canvas Par Bharat'/ 'India on Canvas' captures the attraction of tourists visiting the museum from various countries spreading India's fame across the world.
As one enters the Indian gallery in the museum, there is a large black screen on its entrance printed as 'India on Canvas' showcasing the 24 spoken Ashoka dharma chakra, which is present in the modern flag of India. At the bottom of the largely printed words, there is a picture of the Indian national emblem, which is an adaptation from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka, and signs of the G20 logo of India, 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, National Gallery of Modern Art.
Meanwhile, Adyven, a resident of Philippines, who was visiting the National Museum in Muscat, expressed his experience at the museum, stressing that "It was majestic."
"I felt the history of Oman encapsulated in a very fine fashion and it's a rich history indeed...I really think the nature and landscape of Oman is enduring for me," he added.
The National Museum of Oman collection focuses on objects created in Oman, or which carry a particular connection with the cultural heritage of Oman. The collections comprise objects of crafts industries, architectural heritage, documents, manuscripts, publications, archaeological findings, works on paper, applied arts, maritime heritage, numismatics, arms and armours, fine arts, state gifts, philately, intangible heritage, aflaj and agricultural heritage and digital media.