A creative mind can never be bound by geographical limitations or constraints of any kind. Here are five artists who have treaded unique creative paths, tweaked the rules of their respective fields and made a global impact.
Jitish Kallat (Artist)
Amid the artistic achievements of late icons like M.F. Husain, S.H Raza, F.N Souza, Tyeb Mehta and Akbar Padamsee, it is hard for any contemporary artist to carve a niche. Especially when giants like Atul Dodiya, Bharti Kher and Ravinder Reddy have already imprinted global art markets with their genius. Yet, Jitish Kallat has seen a meteoric rise as an artist of international stature by selling his paintings, collages, sculptures and multimedia works for jaw-dropping amounts. His artistic sensibility draws from his immediate environs but has a universal appeal. He has exhibited his large-scale site-specific LED installations at the Art Institute of Chicago and his work has travelled from India to museums and institutions across the world including Tate Modern (London), Martin-Gropius-Bau (Berlin), Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane), Serpentine Galleries (London), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo) and counting.
Ashley Lobo (Choreographer)
Over the last 35-years, Indian-Australian choreographer Ashley Lobo has not only systematised & streamlined dance education in India, but he has also impacted the global dance scene as a choreographer. He trained in Australia at the Bodenweiser Dance Centre, Sydney and came back to India to establish The Danceworx Performing Arts Academy (TDX), one of India’s leading institutes with a huge student database spanning New Delhi, NCR & Mumbai. With the onset of the pandemic and online classes, dance enthusiasts & talent from all over the country, from even the smallest cities now have the opportunity to train at Ashley's institute. Ashley is also the founder and artistic director of Navdhara India Dance Theatre which was set up in 2015 with a mission to communicate and build bridges within India and the International community through real human connection, by reaching out to audiences all over the world while still springing out of a base that is Intrinsically Indian. Since its inception over a short span of six years the Company has done more than 15 international tours with over 120 performances across the world in countries like China, Turkey, Israel, Canada, Poland, USA, Mexico and South Africa to name a few. Ashley is renowned globally for his Prana Paint™ technique, that interconnects movement, yoga, breath, and touch in one energising experience. Prana Paint™ has brought him many international teaching and choreography opportunities. In 2017, he was invited to create a full-length contemporary dance production, ‘Das Dschungelbuch,’ for The Ballet Chemnitz in Germany. In 2018, he worked with Zawirowania Dance Theatre on a contemporary dance collaboration titled ‘The Crossing.’ In 2019, he created a full-length contemporary dance production ‘Yama’ for a ballet company in Austria. He has been invited back to premiere a new work based on Buddha in 2021 and has many international tours in the offing.
Bibhu Mohapatra (Designer)
Bibhu grew up in Rourkela, Odisha and in 1999 enrolled at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2008, he established his brand, ‘Purple Label’ and since then has gone on to showcase his diverse collections all across the world. His brand is sold by premier boutiques like Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, SAKS, Nordstrom, Lane Crawford and many more. Having famously dressed the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama, Demi Lovato and Frieda Pinto, Bibhu has not forgotten his roots and through his couture, has promoted the handwoven silk from his home state to help traditional weavers. Through his organisation, The India Society, he also helps and guides students of fashion and fine art.
Prateek Kuhad (Singer)
it will not be far-fetched to say that Prateek is the indie star of the future. Described as one of India’s most significant singer-songwriters, his work has reached a global audience in recent times with songs like ‘cold/mess.’ His unique talent not only made him one of Spotify India's most-streamed artists but also established his presence in the music scene of North America. He got a rousing welcome at the SXSW Music Festival and also headlined three sold-out shows in NYC. His song ‘cold/mess’ was included in former US President Barack Obama's “favourite music of 2019” list and he has won an MTV Europe music award, an ‘Indie Album of the Year’ honour from iTunes and performed in Australia, Singapore, Canada, and France. He has sold more than 40,000 + tickets internationally.
Ritesh Batra (Filmmaker)
In 2013, a little known film from India, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won Rail d’Or (Grand Golden Rail). It also won the Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best First Feature Film in 2014 and has been called the highest-grossing foreign film in North America, Europe and Australia for the year of 2014, grossing over 25 Million USD/180 Crore INR. The film was director Ritesh Batra’s debut feature, ‘The Lunchbox.’ The Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Nimrat Kaur starrer was also nominated for a BAFTA Award in 2015. Since then Ritesh has made international productions like 'The Sense of an Ending,’ starring Jim Broadbent and ‘Our Souls at Night ‘ which featured Hollywood legends Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. Ritesh who grew up in a middle-class family in Mumbai, made inroads into international cinema when his Arab language short ‘Café Regular, Cairo,’ was screened at over 40 international film festivals and won over 12 awards. With ‘The Lunchbox’, he truly arrived. The film was nominated for 33 Awards and won 25. In 2014, Batra founded his own production company PoeticLicense Motion Pictures and is currently developing new projects.