Born in Assam and having traveled across the length and breadth of country, Amrita Varma has had the first hand experiences of various arts, sounds & sights. Being the daughter of an Indian Air Force Officer, Amrita went hiking, saw craftsmen at work, climbed trees, ran through the fields while being very young leaving an imprint on her mind.
Amrita Varma is the Associate Director at JAPA Arts, advising on art and helping art collectors, look at evaluations, consult organizations on various facets of art, help coordinate and work on projects and sourcing artworks through an extensive network of galleries, the secondary market and art institutions globally on Indian art.
Here is this week’s feature on our exclusive [Masters Xpress] series.
Tell us something about yourself ?
I was born in Assam in India and made to run cross country runs when I was ten! My dad has always been adventurous and so I went hiking, ate local and swam, danced, saw craftsmen at work, climbed trees, ran through fields and experienced some amazing sights and sounds when very young. They have left an imprint. This attitude of living life has continued to date. I can never give up on a chance to go on an adventure, travel, meet people, experience life as seen from a different set of eyes, discuss philosophical stand points or document all that art and culture in front of me. I truly understand the value of art and culture because
of the diverse experiences I’ve had since i was a child. This was an education I was privileged to get thanks to my parents. I continued my teen years in a boarding school, nestled in the Shimla hills which developed my love for art and literature. A lot of who I am and what I do takes root from this. India is one of the few countries in the world which is so diverse yet so similar. It told me a lot about humanity and its need
to grow through thought and action.
How and when did you think of venturing out into the creative field? Where did the inspiration come from?
I remember the first drawing i truly made with all my heart. It was a dark deep blue coloured fish! Somehow, no numbers or letters stick to my mind from my early memories. I love meeting people, understanding their lives and what makes them think what they do. Art, I believe, is a reflection of society and a propagator of
thought. Thought leads to action. The more art we induce into society the more open and diverse perspectives become. This leads to discussions and certain cohesiveness which gives one a positive approach to life to cope with all situations.
What are your views on creativity and entrepreneurship as the change agents for positively impacting the society?
There will be no conflicts and wars if we can understand all perspectives and then make decisions. So to me art is important in placing a positive seed in every individual’s mind, body and soul. Combine it with the satisfaction I get in painting or photography[though I’ll admit I can be lazy in my personal artistic practice] and the need to help everyone explore and be introduced to what I’ve experienced through art in the land I have been brought up and lived in and you will understand that it was always a journey which lead to the work I do today.
Tell us about JAPA Arts? What services do you provide to businesses.
JAPA(meaning Meditation/chanting in low voice) Arts is an art initiative which looks at adding value to the Indian art market. It looks at making all aware on what is happening in Indian Contemporary, Modern and emerging art. In simple terms I advise on art and help collectors build collections, look at evaluations, consult organizations on various facets of art, help coordinate and work on projects and sourcing works through an extensive network of galleries, the secondary market and art institutions globally on Indian art. I also tailor and personally take clients through exclusive art tours taking care of their time limitations, the cities they can visit and the kind of interests they may have so that they may connect with and enjoy art directly. Here I may also have a visit to an artist’s studio and/or an interaction in a gallery space. The idea is to develop a keen interest and discover the various facets of artistic practice and what goes on behind any given work, even if one has a fair knowledge on Indian art. I am also heading editing and production of a gallery art map on Indian art which is quite popular with all who have seen or picked one up.
What do you think is the single most important factor for anyone who wants to start a venture?
The drive to really want to make it happen.
What are the future plans for JAPA Arts? What events can we look forward to in the coming time?
At present we are looking at revamping our web portal so that we can be more effective in the transmission of events on art through our web portal. There are many plans, some very exciting, their fruition being dependent on the management giving it the green light. I have high hopes for the company and if situations allow, you will see a lot more positive productivity from our side!
There are many who want to be in the business of arts management/creative entrepreneurship. What is your advice to all the youth?
Knowledge and constant learning is important. You can get it through degree or through experience or both. Choose your own path. If things don’t happen for you, don’t wait forever. It is a waste of human potential. Make your own structures or look at synthesis with bodies where your work will be valued. Work towards your goals. You may or may not get support. Have the patience and the passion to work on it. Things will come around. Be practical on financial aspects. Don’t compromise on your ideals. They will define your work. And the most important thing: At the end of the line it’s not all about the money, it’s about you loving the
work you do.
Live Life, Don’t Exist
Some words for DesiQube.com?
A big thank you for giving a space to art in your list. And I have to say I admire your intentions to share knowledge for all to benefit from it! This is a wonderful initiative and I look forward to see it grow and prosper.