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WELCOME Rashmi Dhanwani Host, 2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India Inakshi Sobti CEO, Asia Society India Centre Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe Vice President, Global Artistic Programs Director, Asia Society Museum The Honorable Kevin Rudd AC President and CEO, Asia Society President, Asia Society Policy Institute

AWARD PRESENTATIONS Sangita Jindal Co-Chair, 2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India introduces Asia Arts Future Award Sohrab Hura Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation Asia Arts Future Award Hamra Abbas Asia Arts Future Award Pheroza Godrej Co-Chair, 2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India introduces Asia Arts Vanguard Award Rekha Rodwittiya Artist, introduces Jyoti Bhatt Jyoti Bhatt Kiran Nadar Museum of Art Asia Arts Vanguard Award Radhika Chopra Co-Chair, 2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India makes the vote of thanks


HONOREE SOHRAB HURA SOHRAB HURA (b. 1981) is a photographer and filmmaker. His work lies at the intersection of film, photography, sound, and text. By constantly experimenting with form and using a journal-like approach, many of his works attempt to question a constantly shifting world and his place within it. His work has been exhibited at the Liverpool Biennial (2021); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2021, 2019); Experimenter Gallery, Kolkata (2020); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2020); Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2019); and Cincinnati Art Museum (2019). His films have been widely shown in international film festivals. The Coast (2020) premiered at Berlinale 2021 while Bittersweet (2019) was awarded the Principal Prize of the International Jury at the 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2020. The Lost Head & The Bird (2017) had previously won the NRW Award at the 64th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2018. Hura has self-published five books under the imprint UGLY DOG. His book The Coast (2019) won the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook of the Year Award in 2019. The exhibition Growing Like A Tree (2021) opened in January 2021 at Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai, marking his inaugural curatorial project. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Ishara Art Foundation; Cincinnati Art Museum; and other private and public collections. Hura lives and works in New Delhi, India.

HONOREE HAMRA ABBAS HAMRA ABBAS (b. 1976) is an interdisciplinary artist known for her diverse practice that ranges from marble-inlay sculptures and miniature silk paintings to color and light installations. Abbas has used Mughal architecture, religious and vernacular iconography, and portraiture to address notions of cultural memory, sexuality, and faith. Her recent works largely focus on the image of a garden and aesthetics of devotion to question the ideals of truth and perfection. After living for many years in Berlin and Boston, her recent move back to Lahore has greatly influenced her work. She has participated in the inaugural Asia Society Triennial, New York (2020) and Lahore Biennale, Pakistan (2018); 2nd Karachi Biennale, Pakistan (2019); 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India (2014); Changwon Sculpture Biennale, South Korea (2014); deCordova Biennial, US (2013); Asian Art Biennial, Taiwan (2011); 9th Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2009); 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, China (2008); 10th International Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2007); and 15th Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2006). Abbas has taken part in group shows at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2017); Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein (2014); Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, Kansas (2013); Singapore Art Museum (2012); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2009); MAXXI, Rome (2016); ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe (2016); Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou (2011); Asia Society Museum, New York (2009); Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2009); and Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2009).

HONOREE JYOTI BHATT JYOTI BHATT (b. 1934) in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India, was influenced by his father’s Gandhian philosophy while growing up. He came to Baroda and studied painting from 1950 to 1959 at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University Baroda under N. S. Bendre, K. G. Subramanyan, and Sankho Chaudhuri. He joined his alma mater to teach painting from 1959 to 1992. He received scholarships between 1959 and 1966 to travel to Europe and the United States. In 1962 he became a founding member of Group 1890. He has extensively engaged with printmaking and digital media and is an internationally acclaimed photographer, whose archival material of the living traditions of tribal and rural visual arts is historically significant. Since 1959, Jyoti Bhatt has been a commentator on cultural practices through his essays and articles published in vernacular and English periodicals. His art has been exhibited internationally, is in public and private collections, and is the subject of six monographs, among other important publications. He is a recipient of national and international awards, including the Padma Shri, the Kalidas Samman, an Honorary Doctorate, and multiple lifetime achievement awards. Jyoti Bhatt attributes his sustained engagement as an artist to the guidance of his teachers, the support of his friends, the curiosity of students, the journey of parenting, and the love and friendship of his partner ceramist, the late Jyotsna Bhatt. He lives and works in Baroda, and despite fragile health and failing eyesight continuous to work every day in his studio.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE SONAM KALRA is an internationally acclaimed multiple award winning singer and composer, her music emerges from a place of truth. Inherent in her beautiful, powerful voice and complex compositions is an integrity that reflects her philosophy. One of equality, inclusion and tolerance. Her Sufi Gospel Project and Partition: Stories of Separation have received rave reviews across the world and she has performed at prestigious stages, festivals and venues across 30 countries including The Sydney Opera House, MTV’s Coke Studio, Muzaffar Ali’s Jahan e Khusrau and at the Workd Sufi festival at the Pyramids in Egypt. Sonam has also shared the stage with legendary musicians like Sir Bob Geldof and Sufi Legend Abida Parveen.

HOST RASHMI DHANWANI leads the Art X Company, a strategic consultancy for the cultural sector focused on strategy, audience development and sector research. She holds a Masters in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London. She has also been a recipient of the ARThink South Asia Fellowship (2011-12), a participant fellow at ‘The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute’, a scholarship grantee of the JN Tata Trust and Charles Wallace India Trust, and a 2017 Global Fellow of the International Society for PerformingArts (ISPA), New York. Rashmi also founded Arts Culture Resources India, a network and platform for cultural professionals in India and South Asia.

CO-CHAIRS Pheroza Godrej


Sangita Jindal


Radhika Chopra

PRESENTERS Abhishek Poddar

Lucy Gallun

Sabih Ahmed

Founder, Museum of Art and Photography, Bengaluru

Associate Curator, Department of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Deputy Director, Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai

Mohsin Hamid

Asmaa Al-Shabibi and William Lawrie

Sameera Raja

Founders, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai


Director and Curator, Canvas Gallery, Karachi

Devika Singh

Nathaniel Gaskell

Sharmini Pereira

Curator, International Art, Tate Modern, London

Director, MAP Academy, Bengaluru

Chief Curator, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Sri Lanka

Diva Gujral


Doctoral Student, History of Art, University College, London

Hammad Nasar Curator, Researcher and Writer

Indrapramit Roy Associate Professor, Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda

Nilima Sheikh Nupur Dalmia Director, Gallery Ark, Vadodara

Priyanka and Prateek Raja Founders, Experimenter, Kolkata

Ram Rahman Photographer, Curator and Writer

Quddus Mirza Artist, Art Critic and Educator

ABOUT US ABOUT ASIA SOCIETY Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with headquarters in New York, centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., and Zurich.

ABOUT ASIA SOCIETY MUSEUM Asia Society Museum presents a wide range of traditional, modern, and contemporary exhibitions of Asian and Asian American art, taking new approaches to familiar masterpieces and introducing under-recognized arts and artists. The Asia Society Museum Collection comprises a traditional art collection, including the initial bequests of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd, and a contemporary art collection. Through exhibitions and public programs, Asia Society provides a forum for the issues and viewpoints reflected in both traditional and contemporary Asian art and in Asia today.

ABOUT ASIA SOCIETY INDIA CENTRE Asia Society India Centre presents an array of perspectives on modern Asia, cultivating nuanced understandings of Asia-Pacific affairs through diverse programming. The India Centre enhances dialogue, encourages creative expression, and generates ideas in the areas of business and policy, and arts and culture. Inaugurated in 2006, the India Centre has hosted over 700 events, establishing itself as a leading public education platform and an important forum for the discussion of regional and global affairs.

JYOTI BHATT Self Portrait Etching 20” x 13” 1971

SOHRAB HURA The Song Of Sparrows In A Hundred Days Of Summer (Detail only) 2013- Ongoing

HAMRA ABBAS Kaaba Picture as a Misprint Installation View 2014 Courtesy Lawrie Shabibi and the artist

Bloomberg warmly congratulates this year’s honorees. We are proud to partner with Asia Society across APAC to inspire, engage and entertain audiences through arts and business programs. Bloomberg works to ensure better, longer lives for people around the world through philanthropic contributions to the arts, education, the environment, government innovation, and public health.

Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation Asia Arts Future Award - 2021 We extend our congratulations to the Asia Arts Game Changer 2021 awardees! Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation (DBF) envisions itself as a significant actor in creating a shared space where diverse and trend-setting art practices converge from different parts of the globe, in an effort to help highlight, connect and innovate.

KIRAN NADAR MUSEUM OF ART is proud to support the


We warmly congratulate the honorees for the Asia Arts Game Changers Awards India 2021

To those who made sense of the world for us. To those who did so with uncompromising empathy. To those who bared their soul so we could be better. To Hamra, Sohrab and Jyoti sir. Thank you.









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THE ABSENT YEAR Artist Portfolio To commemorate the fifth edition of the Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India, Asia Society India Centre has produced a series of limited-edition portfolios featuring signed reproductions by renowned artists Abir Karmakar, Arpita Singh, Benitha Perciyal, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Prabhakar Pachpute and Vibha Galhotra – all Asia Arts Game Changers from previous years. Conceptualised by Abhay Sardesai, Editor of ARTIndia Magazine, and designed by Reeya Mehta, Founder of The Experimental Box, the portfolio is themed around ‘The Absent Year’ and poignantly presents a marker and memory of the past year through a collection of artworks that negotiate a changing world. As a part of our commitment to support the artistic community in India during this difficult phase, proceeds from The Absent Year portfolio will support Creative Dignity – an organisation dedicated to providing relief and rehabilitation to Indian artisans in this time of COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 impact. The portfolio is produced in a limited series of 40. Each portfolio comprises 6 signed reproductions and is priced at Rs. 75,000 (inclusive of 12% GST). To make a purchase please email Ketaki Varma, Programme Manager Arts & Culture at

ARTIST PATRONS Abir Karmakar, Arpita Singh, Benitha Perciyal, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Prabhakar Pachpute, Vibha Galhotra.

CONCEPTUALIZED BY Abhay Sardesai, Editor, ARTIndia Magazine

DESIGNED BY Reeya Mehta, Founder, The Experimental Box

GULAMMOHAMMED SHEIKH Speechless City, 1975 Original Medium: Oil on canvas Collection of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

ARPITA SINGH Home, 2020 Original Medium: Watercolour on paper

VIBHA GALHOTRA In... Times, 2020 Original Medium: Performative staged photo-work

PRABHAKAR PACHPUTE A plight of hardship, 2020 Original Medium: Watercolour and pencil on paper

ABIR KARMAKAR Self-portrait (as COVID positive), 2021 Original Medium: Graphite, erasure and fixative on paper

BENITHA PERCIYAL THERE IS NO PLACE TO GO, 2021 Original Medium: Catechu on recycled paper

ABOUT CREATIVE DIGNITY Creative Dignity is a movement that has brought together over 500 diverse creative producers, small enterprises, civil society organisations, and professionals to energise the ecosystem that Indian artisans need in this time of COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 impact. Their focus is to provide Relief, and subsequently work on Rehabilitation of artisans and Rejuvenation of crafts in a bid to ensure their sustained prosperity. Millions of artisanal and creative producers were stranded with no sustenance in the lockdown’s aftermath in 2020. And now the Covid19 second wave has hit them with a devastating ferocity. Just as the artisans were beginning to limp back to some sort of livelihood normalcy, they now face the threat of health uncertainty coupled with livelihood breakdown. Because of the network set up by Creative Dignity in 2020, they are now in the midst of organizing and reaching out to the artisan communities for relief and care.


Members in the CD network


Strategic Partnerships

Rs.5 Crores

Sales through online channels


Active State Hubs


Marketing Platforms

Rs. 3.5 lakhs

Sales through Karuna (livelihood program)

For more information please visit


Artisans reached for relief


Digital Catalogues

Rs. 32 lakhs

Relief funds generated for food and medicine

Profile for AsiaSocietyIndiaCentre

2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India  

The program for the 2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India, a virtual gala celebrating contemporary Asian art.

2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India  

The program for the 2021 Asia Arts Game Changer Awards India, a virtual gala celebrating contemporary Asian art.


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