India Art Fair 2023 ‘The Future Is Born Of Art’ Winner Studies The Strength And Fragility Of The Human Body


“Boundless” is designed to transport us to a more ethereal space, where floating bodies dance in the starry sky. The creation of Devika Sundar, the artwork is an ode to the vast and mysterious interconnectedness of humans with other beings and non-beings in the universe. It is a celebration of the possibilities of the human experience now and in the future.

Boundless is the winning proposal for ‘The Future is Born of Art’, a joint commission by India Art Fair and BMW India in which artists work on the theme of ‘Forwardism’ with the brand’s flagship car, the X7, purely as a canvas. Other pioneering artists shortlisted in the second year of the competition include Aditi Aggarwal, Rithika Pandey and Sajid Wajid Shaikh, all of whom tackled the subject in their own unique way.

The artists were selected by a jury representing some of the most influential voices in Indian art: Jaya Asokan, Director of the India Art Fair, Deepanjana Klein of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, acclaimed artists Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra, collector and founder of MASH Shalini Passi.

The theme ‘Forwardism’ for 2023 is designed to encourage the participating artists to boldly break with convention, be themselves and define the progressive values ​​of tomorrow. “Our focus as a jury this year has been to pick artists who are truly charting their own path and creating the art of the future, with the goal of passing the baton to this next generation of artists to design our collective of tomorrow,” says Asokan.

The winner, Sundar, is a Bangalore-based visual and performance artist and co-founder of QueerAbad. She has fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome, which can cause chronic body pain. Working with mixed media – collage, painting, printmaking and photography – she creates meditative pieces that explore the strength and fragility of the human body.

“When I think of Forwardism, I envision a future where art, science and fiction meet and boundaries blur; to evoke experiences of wonder, inspire new avenues of discovery and remind us of our shared humanity and collective interdependence,” explains Sundar via email.

She continues, “When we gaze at stars in the night sky or gaze deep into the vastness of the ocean, we universally experience feelings of immensity, transcendence and awe. Awe’s power lies in its ability to make us feel connected to something far greater than ourselves, binding us together and contemplating our place and purpose in the face of bodies and worlds beyond us.”

For the X7 wrap, she wanted to explore the sensations of wonder, illustrating a visionary “other world full of imagined, speculative, floating forms against a cosmic sky”. “The microscopic textures, shapes and images in each form reference and are inspired by three immensely mysterious, unknowable, yet intertwined bodies: the human body, the cosmos and the ocean.”

Asokan says, “Devika Sundar masterfully taps into the deepest human emotions of pain, silence and pleasure, seamlessly connecting us to the rhythms of the universe. Despite her struggles with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome, Devika channels her trauma and disability into a powerful force for healing and inspiration for others. I am truly mesmerized by her work.”

Indian art fair will be in New Delhi from 9th to 12th February 2023

On February 12, along with Anahita Sarabhai and Nu from Revival Disability India, Devika Sundar will discuss the skilled nature of the art world at the India Art Fair 2023. In “Disability (with)in the Arts: Looking Inward”, the panel will look at the critical need to shift perspective.

See the artist’s work Nikita Gale for BMW Frieze, Almudena Romero in Paris Photo, Rolls-Royce Muse Challengeand Émeric Lhuisset in Paris Photo.