India and ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) are observing 25 years of their Dialogue Partnership, 15 years of Summit Level interaction and 5 years of Strategic Partnership in 2017 by undertaking a wide range of activities, both in India and through our Missions in ASEAN Member States, including a Commemorative Summit on the theme "Shared Values, Common Destiny.”
As a reflection of the interest of ASEAN and India to intensify their engagement and to promote people to people interaction, Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with SEHER curated and organized an ASEAN-India Artists' Camp on the theme, "Oceans of Opportunities", to celebrate this commemorative year of ASEAN India Relations.
The ASEAN India Artists’ camp set off on the 20th of September with a ‘Launch’ which was organised at the Vivanta by Taj, Ambassador in New Delhi. The evening was graced by Ms. Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) as Chief Guest, introducing the participating Indian and ASEAN artists to media and all eminent guests present at the event. Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Deputy Chiefs of ASEAN Missions based in New Delhi were present as representatives to support these artists from their respective countries along with journalists and some prominent names from the art world.
The Artists’ Camp comprised of ten artists from the ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) and ten artists from India. Young as well as established artists from the Indian and ASEAN art scene were selected to participate in this prestigious project. Along with the Artists, some of India’s finest art historians, experts, critics along with some artists from other art forms such as musicians, dancers and photographers were also present at the artists’ camp to interact with the visiting artists and initiate dialogue and foster inter- cultural exchange.
These 20 creative painters stayed at the beautiful and peaceful location at Udaipur, Rajasthan to draw inspiration from each other’s creativity and schools of thought along with the location itself. While days were spent working and drawing inspiration from sights and sounds of the venue, evenings were dedicated to discussions, talks and creative interaction with other forms of creativity and amongst the artists, making it truly an interdisciplinary and unforgettable experience for the visiting artists. Well known print media and TV channels as well as reporters and freelance writers were invited to interact with these creative minds and to document the interactive workshop and journey of these artists at work while they prepared their photographs and paintings.
One of the eminent and senior participating artist- Sidharth also conducted a workshop with the students of Maharaja Mewar Public School on techniques and processes of creating organic colors and art materials utilising naturally available material. Sidharth who is a pioneer in reviving the age old tradition of handmade colors imparted this to the school children who later visited and met artists from all the countries at their workspace.
As a part of the Artists' Camp, public art work was also done at the main bus stop at Udaipur where the Aravani Project from India colored the bus stop in ASEAN India colors taking inspiration from weaving and textile patterns from all the ten ASEAN Member States and India leaving a mark of the Artists' Camp on the city of Udaipur.
It was one of the first ever cultural initiatives between ASEAN and India involving visual artists and a matter of great pride and prestige for the country.