The National Gallery of Modern Art’s (NGMA) collaborative Karnataka exhibition with Chitrakala Parishath and the Department of Archeology, Museums and Heritage for the Global Investors Meet goes neglected as no delegate shows up.
No foreign delegate or investor at the Global Investors Meet (GIM) showed up to the Invest Karnataka Team collaborative exhibition with the NGMA on Karnataka’s art and culture. The exhibition is curated and set up in the NGMA. It also observed no increase in footfall during the GIM event, despite the collaboration.
“The perspective was that the delegates will come, see and get a feel of Indian art. I don’t think it worked out for them. It was tailor-made for the delegates (investors) to be introduced to Karnataka, but I did not notice any delegates coming in,” said Darshan Kumar, Deputy Curator of the NGMA. He said that the exhibition was not relevant from the NGMA perspective as it is a gallery that deals in pan-India modern art. “We usually look for contemporary art.”
An official of the Invest Karnataka team who worked with NGMA for the exhibition said, “We couldn’t bring anyone, they had to go on their own. It was announced and there was a free bus service too.” She said that because of the seminars, the delegates could not find time to visit.
Kumar said that he was unaware of the bus service provided from the GIM venue, the Bangalore Palace, to the gallery. “I’m not aware of any transportation from there to NGMA. I think there has been some communication problem because people here were not aware of it,” he said. He also said he was not informed of any delegates who might be visiting. “They did not tell us who are coming or what exactly it is,” added Kumar. Moreover, Kumar said that the footfalls during the meet did not increase. “But now that it’s over, some people are coming. Some department people also came,” he added. “The foreign delegates were supposed to come here but I do not think they managed to bring them,” said Kumar.
Lack of advertising regarding the gallery is probably the reason for the poor performance of the exhibition, he said. “There has been no effort to bring all the delegates here, for a specific gallery walk or touring. When the NGMA has compromised in showcasing tradition in a modern art gallery space, then the effort of inclusiveness has to be there. I think that effort has not been done properly.” He added that the Invest Karnataka perspective on the exhibition was a vague thought which was not managed or executed well. He believed it had been improvised. “The art has been compromised, which is not right . Certain things have to be given an emphasis so that people can pursue it, how far they were able to give that emphasis I do not know,” he concluded.
Moreover, many of the paintings, which were given by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath and Department of Archeology, Museums, and Heritage, lacked information panels. The exhibition itself had no indicators of it being the GIM exhibition.
Kumar stated that the collection for the exhibition was lent by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath and many items did not have information for panels. “We have curated the art, and they had committed to provide us with all the texts; which they did not fulfil,” he said.
The Invest Karnataka Team official stated that the sculptures with missing panels were sent back, while the paintings could be balanced by the catalogues they printed which contained the complete information.
The official insisted that the exhibition was advertised. “We had made an announcement on Day One. There were also posters of it at the venue, while the Plenary Hall (main hall) display showed the exhibition details in between sessions.”
However, multiple visitors to the GIM stated that they found no such posters, nor was there any information displayed on the Plenary Hall screen between sessions. “They did announce it once on the first day, they mentioned the free bus services too but no other information about from where or the time of the bus departure,” said Rahul, a delegate in the meet.
Chirag Shah, marketing expert, said that the government knows that investors are usually not interested in art and culture for a business gathering, so they probably did not take any proper initiative for marketing. He added, “Marketing requires crores of rupees, and it is not easy.” However, Shah mentioned that there are several cost-effective ways for marketing which the government could have implemented. “They could have added the event in the agendas for each day or distributed pamphlets for the gallery as cost of large-scale printing production is less.” He also mentioned that they could have announced it between sessions because that would have been free of cost.
Jitendra, a visitor to the gallery said he chanced upon the exhibition and he did not know about it. “There is no title to inform us. I was trying to figure out if it was specifically about Karnataka because of the sandalwood sculptures, but they don’t mention it anywhere.” He also mentioned that he couldn’t find any catalogue so the missing panels on some paintings confused him. “The exhibition is well structured and curated, I wish I could have taken pictures to show my friends and share it more, but central government does not allow photography. Very glad to have found it here,” he concluded.
The exhibition of Visual Art Forms in Karnataka was inaugurated on 01 Nov. and will continue till 10 Nov. It displays the culture of Karnataka through its unique art and craft.