Exhibition “Omnilogue : Journey to the West”

Banner of Exhibition: Omnilogue - Journey to the West

The Japan Foundation proudly presentsOmnilogue, a series of three co-curated exhibitions of contemporary Japanese art that will take place in Perth, New Delhi and Singapore (under discussion) in 2011-2012. Each exhibition has a different curatorial theme and title, specific to its local, cultural contexts. The Omnilogue series, which aims to open up new possibilities of multi-directional discussions on cultural exchanges through contemporary art, will culminate in a publication featuring material on all the exhibitions.

The year 2012 also marks the 60th Anniversary of Japan-India Diplomatic relations. Following the historic signing of the Japan-India Peace Treaty in 1952, the two countries, celebrate 60 years of ever-strengthening bilateral relations with a view towards revitalising this friendship. In keeping with this spirit of nurturing empathetic cross-national ties, the Omnilogue exhibition, in New Delhi, titled, Journey to the West, explores the politics of culture, nationalism, friendship, otherness and the Asian imagination within the narratives of travel and dialogue occurring across different periods and locations.

Exhibition Outline

Venue Lalit Kala Akademi (Basement Gallery 1, 2), New Delhi, India
Opening: Saturday, 21 January. 18:00-
Exhibition: Sunday, 22 January - Sunday, 19 February, 2012

Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, 110001
Tel: 011-2300-9200

Organiser The Japan Foundation
In cooperation with Canon India Pvt. Ltd.
Casio India Co., Pvt. Ltd.
Under the auspices of Embassy of Japan in India
Curators Kyongfa CHE, Shihoko IIDA, Nivedita MAGAR,Chattiya Kate NITPOLPRASERT
Artists Satoshi HASHIMOTO, Meiro KOIZUMI, Hiroharu MORI, Aki SASAMOTO, Yuken TERUYA, Aki YAHATA

Curatorial Concept of Journey to the West

As a curatorial exegesis, the show employs two historic trajectories to initiate a discursive practice surrounding contemporary Japanese art; one is an examination of the intellectual exchange that transpired between the Japanese curator, Tenshin Okakura, and the Bengali poet and thinker, Rabindranath Tagore, as a cultural-historical lens to examine the complexities of nationalism across Asia in the early twentieth century. On the second trajectory, the show revisits a well-known, sixteenth century Chinese classic, Journey to the West, which is based on a real account of a Buddhist monk Xuanzang's pilgrimage to "Tenjiku" (literally meaning "the center of heaven") in India, in search for enlightenment.

These two streams instigate the following topics of inquiry that define the project:

  • how does an encounter with the unfamiliar disrupt or reinforce one's sense of self?
  • how does the politics of culture influence the way in which differences are reproduced as a seemingly static "otherness"?
  • what is the value of uncertainty as a state of mind in inter-subjective form of engagement and negotiation?
  • how can we embrace these unsettled states within us and channelise our productive energy to open up a new Omnilogue?

Opening events

On 21 January 2012
18:00- Opening,
followed by performance by Aki Sasamoto in the Gallery

On 22 February
Artists’ Floor Talk in the Gallery
Curatorial Round Table, followed by performance by Aki Sasamoto in the Gallery

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