New North and South program builds artistic bridge between UK and South Asia
A new network of eleven Northern English and South Asian arts institutions have announced the launch of the three-year long program “New North and South,” which aims to showcase the work of major artists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UK.
The network — consisting of the Manchester Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Manchester Museum, the Liverpool Biennial, The Tetley centre for contemporary art (Leeds), the Colombo Biennale (Sri Lanka), the Dhaka Art Summit (Bangladesh), the Karachi and Lahore Biennales (Pakistan), the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India) and the British Council — is supported by Arts Council England’s “Ambition for Excellence” program, and will commission new work as well as organize exhibitions across Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Colombo, Dhaka, Lahore, Karachi and Kochi.
The first 12 months of programming will debut in Manchester on March 4, with the opening of a retrospective dedicated to the work of Indian photographer Sooni Taraporevala at the Whitworth Gallery. Other exhibitions at the Whitworth include a group show featuring artists Raisa Kabir, Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Risham Syed and Indian collective CONA (opening May 18) and a solo exhibition by contemporary artist Raqib Shaw (opening June 15), which will then travel to Dhaka for the Dhaka Art Summit 2018.
A major focus of the partnership will to explore the history of the British Empire and the industrial revolution and its effects on the South Asian countries featured in the program. Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, for example, will host a performance by artist Nikhil Chopra from September 29 through October 1, based around a steam locomotive held in the museum’s collection, which was built in Merseyside but served in India and Pakistan in the first half of the twentieth century.
Following events will include the week-long ‘Bodyworshop’ hosted at The Tetley, which will feature artists Nikhil Chopra, Madhavi Gore and Jana Prepeluh; the first major UK exhibition by Raqs Media Collective; and a major intervention and exhibition by Reena Saini Kallat at the Manchester Museum.
The international visual arts program will be complemented by performances, film screenings and music events across the participating cities. The Liverpool Biennial will also host a series of residencies for mid-career south Asian artists, culminating in a series of co-commissions at the Lahore and Karachi Biennales in 2017.
More information on the “New North and South” program will be released later this year.