TCNJ celebrates contemporary Indian culture with a symposium, exhibition, and music performances

TCNJ celebrates contemporary Indian culture with a symposium, exhibition, and music performances

This fall, TCNJ celebrates Indian culture with an art exhibition, tabla performances, and a daylong symposium that will explore the country’s contemporary art, music, dance, and film.

On Friday, October 19, from 10:30 A.M. to 7 P.M., TCNJ will present The Arts in Contemporary India, a multidisciplinary program that is free and open to the public. The program will include lectures by three South Asian experts who will examine Indian art from varying cultural, social, and educational perspectives.

Rebecca Brown, a leading scholar of colonial and post-1947 South Asian visual culture and politics at Johns Hopkins University, will present Goddess and Peasant: Embracing the Figure in Modernist Indian Art. Tejaswini Ganti, associate professor of anthropology from New York University, will discuss her research on Indian cinema, visual anthropology, and how the Hindi film industry became “Bollywood”—a globally recognized and circulating brand of filmmaking. Kathryn Myers, professor of painting at the University of Connecticut and two-time Fulbright Fellowship recipient, will present a series of her recent video interviews with contemporary Indian artists.

Additional symposium events will include a performance by TCNJ’s Indian Dance Ensemble, the keynote lecture by tabla master Abhijit Banerjee, and a tabla master class presented by Banerjee and TCNJ percussion students. The full schedule of events can be viewed by clicking here.

At the close of the symposium, TCNJ will welcome visitors to the opening of the exhibition Goddess, Lion, Peasant, Priest: Modern and Contemporary Indian Art from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection, which will be on view in TCNJ Art Gallery from October 19 through December 16. Shelley and Donald Rubin are co-founders and chairs of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, which features a comprehensive collection of sculpture, paintings, and textiles from the Himalayas and surrounding regions. TCNJ will present a selection of art from the Rubins’ private collection, including 19 contemporary Indian artists whose paintings epitomize the creative vitality of art rooted in rich traditions. Artists in the exhibition include Chandrima Bhattacharyya, Sakti Burman, Arpana Caur, Shanti Dave, M.F. Husain, Krishen Khanna, Seema Kohli, K.S. Kulkarni, Bari Kumar, Nalini Malani, Mahjabin Majumdar, Kamal Mitra, Gogi Saroj Pal, Shyamal Dutta Ray, Sadequain, G.R.Santosh, Arpita Singh, F.N. Souza, and K.G. Subramanyan. For more exhibition information, including Art Gallery hours and directions, please visit or call 609.771.2633.

Abhijit Banerjee

Arriving from Calcutta, world famous classical tabla maestro Abhijit Banerjee will provide the keynote address at the symposium, followed by a master class on Friday, October 19 and a full performance on Saturday, October 20 at 8 P.M. Banerjee is founder of the Dhwani Academy of Percussion Music in Calcutta, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating new generations of percussionists. He also tours extensively and teaches courses and seminars worldwide surrounding the art of tabla performance. Banerjee brings with him the TARANG Ensemble, a group of five world-class percussionists, who perform complex rhythms through an entire spectrum of sound. To purchase tickets for the Saturday night performance by Abhijit Banerjee and the TARANG ensemble, please visit or call TCNJ’s Box Office at 609-771-2775.

The Arts in Contemporary India and the related programming are being presented by The College of New Jersey in association with The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society, a multi-institutional program organized the Rutgers Institute for Women and Art. For more information on this project visit Exhibitions at TCNJ are funded in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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