RIA Salon 70 Ranajit Sinha

My journey and the contemporary Indian art scene


Ranajit Sinha: There is no place like home, 2016, oil and acrylic on canvas, 122 x 305cm

Tuesday, January 17 – 2017,

Indian-born artist Ranajit Sinha lived in different places in the world and is settled in Ottawa with his family for some years now.  He revisits his country of birth regularly, most recently last summer, and he shared some of his experiences with us in this Salon. He focused on the changing state of contemporary art in India, as well as on the importance of his travels for his own art practice.

Ranajit wrote: Thirty years ago, there was no market for experimental art in India. This has changed in a fundamental way. Nowadays, art collectors such as Charles Saatchi, Francois Pinault and Christopher Davidge own Indian artwork.

The reason for the boom in art market was the economic liberalization of India at the beginning of the 1990s and an economic upsurge. Unlike China, it was primarily Indians themselves who were buying Indian art, but from outside India. Although Christie’s opened a branch in Mumbai in 1995, it is still only moderately successful since the eye of the hype-storm was actually in New York where the majority of Indian business people lived and who were, arguably, buying Indian artwork out of a mixed sense of patriotism and love of art.

In my work I focus on the individual as a concrete node, an intersection of abstract global and local forces. This interest springs from my own experience as an immigrant. Born in India and living in Canada,  I have a relationship with two geographic regions, two physical spaces that are located on the opposite sides of the globe but overlap each other in the internal space of my body and even deeper, my mind. This duality has played an important role in every aspect of my personal and artistic life.

Ranajit Sinha was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and is currently based in Ottawa.

Ranajit  received his BFA degree from Delhi College of Art, New Delhi and MFA in Print Making from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan in India. During this time he was awarded with various prestigious awards such as National Academy Award, All India Fine Arts & Crafts society (AIFACS), National Research Grant award etc.

Ranajit has received his second Masters degree in Painting from Central Washington University, with a teaching assistantship grant. He is a recipient of many awards, grants and had solo, group shows in Canada, USA and India.

Ranajit has worked in the advertising world with reputed companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Young & Rubicam for a period of time during his stay in United Arab Emirates.