TAF Award Winners

The Arts Family proudly introduces the winners of the TAF Emerging Artist Award-South Asia from its first three editions. Discover some of the most talented and innovative contemporary South Asian artists, learn about their artistic journeys so far, and explore what the future holds for them.

Third Edition Winners (2024)

Noor Ali Chhagani

Pakistan

Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, Noor Ali Chagani, a Lahore-based artist, creates works comprised of hand-made miniature terracotta bricks to demonstrate his unique take as a sculptor on the tradition of miniature painting. His work revolves around the concept of the absence of home; his quest for a personal space that he can call his own. On a very personal level, Chagani feels that bricks are a symbolic way for him to connect to the rest of the world. His brick works also demonstrate a fascination with the symbolic power of colossal walls, which connote silence and strength. In contrast, Chagani also works with the idea of self-comparison with walls, as obstructive, stagnant objects.

Chagani received his BS Degree in Computer Science in Karachi and then later BFA in Miniature Painting from National College of Arts, Lahore and has since exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Pakistan, India, UAE, UK, Netherlands, Bahrain and United States. His first exhibition in the US was ETHEREAL, at Leila Heller Gallery, New York curated by Dr. Amin Jaffer. Chagani was nominated for the Victoria and Albert Museums prestigious Jameel Art Prize 2011. He was awarded with guest residency in Rijks Academy, Netherlands in 2012 and Riwaq Art Space residency in Bahrain 2013. Chagani’s artwork has been featured in numerous publications such as Los Angeles Times, Asia Pacific Arts, L’Opitimum n°23, Global Citizen 13 magazine, Nafas Art Magazine and several daily local newspapers.

Represented by http://www.leilahellergallery.com/artists/noor-ali-chagani

                           https://www.latitude28.com/artist/noor-ali-chagani-biography/

Rank

1

Arpita Akhanda

India

Arpita Akhanda (b.1992) is a multi-disciplinary artist with a Master’s in Painting from Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan (India) completed in 2017. Akhanda works across a range of mediums such as paper weaving, performance art, photography, installation, drawing, and video where she explores the relationship between memories, migration, body, trauma and materials. Her practice emerges from the idea of looking at the body as a memory collector.  She has been the recipient of various awards such as the Prince Claus Seed Award (2022); Inlaks Fine Art Award (2022) and the Emerging Artist Award (2020-2021) from FICA. She is presently a participant in the Jan Van Eyck Residency, Maastricht, Netherlands (2022- 23). Akhanda has been a part of other residencies such as the India Art Fair, New Delhi (2022); Gästeatelier Krone in association with KHOJ at Aarau, Switzerland (2021) and the Piramal Art Residency, Mumbai (2020). Akhanda’s works have been exhibited as a part of these residences and been showcased in several other exhibitions such as “Rivers and Road: meandering stories of India” at the AAIE Centre for Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy (2022); “Of Liminal Beings and other spaces” at Emami Art Gallery, Kolkata, India (2021) and “The Trifecta of Movement” at Exhibit 320, New Delhi (2021) to name a few.

Represented by https://www.emamiart.com/

Rank

2

Farah Mulla

India

Farah Mulla (b.1988) is a multimedia artist based in Goa/Mumbai, India. Her background in science overlaps with her art practice to explore the perception of sound and its effects on human neurology and subjectivity. Her current research experiments with sensory overlaps and materiality through different texts, sounds, and circuits.

Mulla completed her MFA from the Cambridge School of Arts, U.K. Her works have been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Mumbai at Jehangir Art Gallery and Zenzi. Her participation in group shows include Sakshi Gallery, Ruskin Gallery, Changing Spaces (Ark). Mulla was a part of the Dharti Arts Residency and has presented her work at the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa.

Curious about sensation and perception processes, Farah Mulla’s research and art practice explores the space in between sensory thresholds, where harmony might not be present in the environment but fabricated by our cognition. Approaching the listening experience and the invisible agency of sound via multiple modes of enquiry. These interfaces become a site which attribute the work its interactive affordance and form. She uses sensorial interfaces in an attempt to deploy a language that gives form to intangible and varied materials.

Rank

2

Soma Surovi Jannat

Bangladesh

I am Soma Surovi Jannat (b. 1990), an artist from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

My work is about how we can cultivate our senses through the relationship with nature. In my work, I try to create a multi-dimensional space with drawings/ herbs/ organic materials, where viewers have the opportunity to enhance their visual perception and senses through interaction with the artwork. My body of work includes Drawing, Installation, Collaboration, Eco-art, and Paintings.

Dhaka is the most crowded city in the world and we don’t have enough space to live, so I abandon the idea of monotonous studio space in 2016 when I completed my MFA degree and started to work in open spaces. I traveled to different villages in Bangladesh and India like - tribal village (Santhal) in Santiniketan, my hometown Lalmonirhat, etc. Talking to locals from different communities than mine and spending time with them enables me to understand how they live and relate to nature. My experience and understanding regarding nature, the way of living of different communities, their thoughts; all act as inspiration, resource, and medium of my works.

Rank

3

Second Edition Winners (2023)

Harsha Durugadda

India

Harsha Vardhan Durugadda (b. 1989) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Hyderabad, India.  Durugadda has completed his Master’s in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (2016). He has recently participated in several group exhibitions including "Contemporary Landscape" CICA Museum, South Korea (2022); "HopScotch" Gallery27, Kochi (2022); "Material Matters" APRE Art House, New Delhi (2022); "Timelapse" India Art Fair; Group exhibition at APRE Art House, New Delhi (2022) and has held his solo exhibition "Between the Lines" at Centre D'art, Auroville (2021) as part of a residency there. Durugadda’s works are included in several permanent collections such as the Bengaluru Airport (2022), and RMZ Foundation (2022) to name a few.

Represented by https://www.manuelzoiagallery.com/

Rank

1

Kallol Datta

India

Kallol Datta (b. 1982) is a clothing designer and visual artist from Kolkata with a background in Womenswear from Central Saint Martins, London (2006). Datta’s works have been a part of several exhibitions including De Poéticas a Políticas: Premio Jameel, Museo Franklin Rawson, San Juan (2022), Art Athina, Zappeion Mansion, Athens (2022), De Poéticas a Políticas: Premio Jameel, Centro Cultural La Moneda, Santiago (2022), Volume 3 Issue 2, Experimenter Gallery, Kolkata (2022), Jameel Prize: Poetry to Politics, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2021), and Distortions in Translation, Aomori Contemporary Art Center, Aomori (2021) to name a few. His writings have appeared in several publications such as Verve, Vogue and Elle among others.

Datta is interested in clothing practices from North Africa, West Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Korean peninsula. His design process involves rigorous creative research and experimental pattern-cutting. In his bold contemporary clothing, Datta mines and combines the shapes of the abaya, manteau, hanbok, hijab and caftan, with gestures of enveloping, layering and veiling.

Works available through  Experimenter

Represented by https://experimenter.in/

Rank

2

Purvai Rai

India

Purvai Rai (b. 1994) is a Delhi-based graphic and textile designer and multimedia artist. Rai completed her Bachelor’s degree from Srishti Institute for Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru (2017). Rai’s works have been exhibited widely at Delhi Contemporary Art Week, Bikaner House, New Delhi (2022), Riyas curated by Ina Puri, Inam Gallery (Bikaner House), New Delhi (2022), Woman is as woman does curated by Nancy Adajania, JNAF, Mumbai (2022), Fleeting Expressions, Gallery Espace, New Delhi (2022), Lines (by) Lines curated by Manmeet K Walia, at Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi (2022), and India Art Fair, New Delhi (2022) among others.

Rai’s delicate graphite and ink drawings on rice paper are conceived in response to social and political events, specifically those caused by religious and cultural discord. Distilled into an abstract visual language consisting of circles and elliptical patterns, Rai’s work alludes and (re-)presents the precariousness of existing on the margins. The artist also works with natural materials like jute, cotton, and yarn and is particularly interested in the tactility of these natural fabrics, and how in the recesses of its weaves reside familial and generational memory.

Works available here.

Represented by https://www.galleryespace.com/

Rank

3

First Edition Winners (2021)

Bushra Waqas Khan

Pakistan

The concept of cross-contamination has become increasingly relevant. Cross-contamination (that is, cross-pollination, exchange, or métissage) is always the result of an encounter between cultures or between cultural forms. This is a process that very much holds a central position in historical cultures. A culture is built from the proximity and exchange between two cultures that come into contact and that cross-contaminate each other: with loans, re-orientations and hybridization of identities (or parts of them). Bushra’s language perfectly explain this concept of cross-contamination. She specializes in a distinct form of art, miniature dresses and jackets, which combine  printmaking with couture quality design.
The hero in Khan’s art are motifs extracted from affidavit papers (a statement on oath duly witnessed by an Oath Commissioner or a Notary Public) in Pakistan, recurring in all the dresses while the designs, predominantly Victorian, combined with South Asian craft detailing, emerge from a confluence of cultures.

Rank

1

Madhu Das

India

We would define Madhu Das as an eclectic artist. He developed something like an “unbalancing system,” which, through the use of “natural objects”, and environments, aimed to broaden the field of human perception and to make the viewer an active participant.The artist methodically re-appropriates and reinterprets the space around him utilizing photography and video.Space has been subject to aesthetic, art-historical, philosophical, anthropological, geographical and political investigations, each with its idiosyncratic definitions. Space maintains a close relation with illusionism, narrativity, and the performative qualities of art. Space is especially interconnected with time, making it impossible to separate one from the other. In the current dynamic reality in which we live, it is hard to remain confined to just one modality of spatial thinking that will capture all of its complexity.Madhu Das work oscillates between fact and fiction, dealing with the projection of identity onto the social and natural worlds,  he conceptualizes shapes and forms and then bring them into being.

Rank

2

Shivangi Ladha

India

In principle a work of art has always been reproducible. Man-made artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain. Historically, it advanced intermittently and in leaps at long intervals, but with accelerated intensity.
The uniqueness of a work of art is inseparable from its being imbedded in the fabric of tradition and the most important thing is that mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual. Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice—politics. This is what Shivangi’s work wants to tell, In her screen-printing practice, Shivangi attempts to break out of certain conventions of screen-printing. In its totality, tension is created between the organically hand-drawn and mechanically produced states of making and experiencing the image, without losing the Aura.

Artist works available here.

Rank

3