The fourth edition of Inception Grant 2024 has sixteen finalists with a diverse range of practice

and creative expression, bringing together a panorama of visual vocabulary.

About the Inception Grant 2024

The Inception Grant, initiated in 2020 in response to the challenges faced by emerging artists during Covid, has evolved into a significant stepping stone for South Asian artists, receiving over 1,000 applications annually. More than a financial aid, the grant provides access to our mentors and curators, facilitating year-long development for awardees.

In an exciting addition, Art Incept introduced the Inception Grant for Art Writers in 2023, expanding our commitment to fostering diverse voices in the art world. This new initiative complements our mission by supporting emerging art writers in South Asia, providing them with a platform to explore and articulate the evolving landscape of contemporary art.

Having awarded 11 grants and year-long mentorship programs since 2020, we proudly collaborate with esteemed institutions such as Triveni Kala Sangam and the Amar Nath Sehgal Foundation, amplifying the grant’s impact. As part of the Inception Grant, we present the Tacita Dean Award, selected by renowned visual artist Ms. Dean. Art Incept’s aim remains to foster fresh, compelling narratives from across South Asia, shaping the future of contemporary art.

Jury Members

The fourth edition of the grant has eminent artists Sudarshan Shetty, Vibha Galhotra and renowned scholar Dr. Nuzhat Kazmi.

Vibha Galhotra (b. 1978, lives and works in Delhi, India) is conceptual artist with a multimedia oeuvre consisting of sculptures, installations, photographs, videos, site-specific work, and public art interventions that address various ecological and socio-political issues rooted in the themes of climate change, urbanisation, and consumerism.

Sudarshan Shetty (born in 1961 in Mangalore, lives and works in Mumbai) is a sculptor and an artist, with a versatile practice delving into the world of human condition. His installations and large-scale multi-media works are embedded in the lyrical and sublime work of human existence employing a witty gaze.

Dr. Nuzhat Kazmi is a retired faculty and Founder Head, Department of Art History and Art Appreciation, Faculty of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Her writings are predominantly anthologized in volumes on art history, Mughal art and the European influences on late mediaeval and early modern Indian art. The main areas of specialisation are connected with Mughal painting traditions and her research has been cited in various writings of art history and criticism.

Aashish Moga image
Aashish Moga

Born in 1989 in Sarsawa, Saharanpur, Aashish Moga is a self-taught artist, inspired by his mother’s artistic practice. Moga’s artworks portray different psychological aspects of the mind. Material objects like knives, mattresses, and beads became a recurring motif in his artworks. The mattresses capture the inner world of the artist while the other canvas works are more embedded in the socio-political issues that affect different classes of society.

AASHISH MOGA | Memories of Mattresses | Acrylic on canvas, cotton filled mattress made up of canvas fabric letter beads, fabric strings | 67”x 40”
AASHISH MOGA | Memories of Mattresses | Acrylic on canvas, cotton filled mattress made up of canvas fabric letter beads, fabric strings | 67”x 40”
Abhishek Chakraborty
Abhishek Chakraborty

Abhishek is based in Kolkata, India, completed his graduation in Sculpture from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Vadodara, and a post-graduation in the same discipline from Kala Bhavana, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan.
His research interest revolves around the use of ecologically sustainable and recyclable materials for creating artworks. This passion led him to undertake a year-long research project, culminating in his dissertation on the versatility of paper in sculpture. In addition to his practice, he is actively involved in origami, paper making, and bookbinding.

ABHISHEK CHAKRABORTY | Transition I |GI wires, metal grid, m seal, cane strips and cotton thread|
ABHISHEK CHAKRABORTY | Transition I |GI wires, metal grid, m seal, cane strips and cotton thread|
Aditya Puthur
Aditya Puthur

Aditya Puthur born in 1991, completed his Post Diploma in Painting from M.S.University, Baroda in 2016 and G.D Art in Drawing and Painting from L.S Raheja School of Art in 2014.
Puthur is fascinated by the mutability of the human body and the ever-advancing fields of medical and biological science. As a result, the concept of defining the human body as a fixed concept has always been challenging to Puthur.
In his recent works, Puthur has started to focus on the process to help the viewers see the thought process and a narrative within the images but at the same time keep them shrouded in ambiguity through a diligent use of light and shade.

ADITYA PUTHUR | Unweaving the Rainbow | Oil on Canvas |54 x 72 ″
ADITYA PUTHUR | Unweaving the Rainbow | Oil on Canvas |54 x 72 ″
Agwma Basumatari
Aditya Puthur

Born in Assam in 1995, Agwma’s artistic practice encapsulates the essence of the Bodo people and their unique historical journey. Primarily, his process is driven by a profound connection with colour, form, texture, and the meticulous medium of wood cutting—a traditional process that pays respect to the environment. The focus lies in the realm of colour printmaking, and drawing inspiration from the natural hues found in the traditional attire of Bodo women, the Dokhona. Through his art, he aims to capture the authentic origins of the Bodo culture, paying homage to their rich heritage and history that has often been obscured by the passage of time.

AGWMA BASUMATARI | Weaving, 2022 | woodcut on grass paper | 12 x 14 ″
ADITYA PUTHUR | Unweaving the Rainbow | Oil on Canvas |54 x 72 ″
liactuallee
liactuallee

liactuallee (b. 1995) is a queer transient being with a diverse cultural background, exploring fluidity of the world through mixed media drawings and fibre art. li’s work deals with interconnections of contemporary discourses of gender, race and cultural displacement; and more pressingly ecology, and the ongoing climate crisis. liactuallee graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in 2016, and received a postgraduate diploma in Aesthetics, Criticism and Theory from Jnanapravaha, Mumbai. li explored traditional and feminist textile art as a child in Poland, and also learnt crochet, nee dle-point, and embroidery. The diverse tech niques encouraged more diverse modes of expression and the repetition in the process becomes a meditative journey with a calming essence. There is a certain level of fluidity to the li’s structure, which are vibrant metaphors for a hopeful future.

LI ACTUALLEE | Morph (pink-orange), 2023 | Acrylic yarn, polyfill, and felt.(with wooden frame) |17 x 17 ″
LI ACTUALLEE | Morph (pink-orange), 2023 | Acrylic yarn, polyfill, and felt.(with wooden frame) |17 x 17 ″
Oliva Saha
Oliva Saha

Oliva Saha (1998), was born in Hooghly, West Bengal. Currently, she lives in Vadodara. She completed an MVA degree in 2023 in painting from MSU Baroda, Faculty of Fine Arts. She completed her BFA in painting from the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, Rabindra-Bharati University.
Her works are inspired by her life journey and many objects are represented as her womanhood. She grew up at times shying away from reality and the complexities of life, this escape emerges in gradual chapters in her artworks. They speak about her experiences of growing up experimenting with paper, making surfaces as a material dying, and staining as methods.

OLIVA SAHA | The ruin of the city, where the drama has been staged again |2023 | | Gouache colour, tea stain, natural colour on rice paper pasted on Fabriano |11 x 55 ″
OLIVA SAHA | The ruin of the city, where the drama has been staged again |2023 | | Gouache colour, tea stain, natural colour on rice paper pasted on Fabriano |11 x 55 ″
Poorvi Sultania
Poorvi Sultania

Poorvi Sultania is based in New Delhi. She completed her BA ( Hons) from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London in 2015 and did her Masters in Fine Arts Painting from MSU, Baroda in 2020.
Her artistic journey spans various cities, weaving emotions and words into her work. Drawing, mark making, and painting explore intimacy, isolation, and healing, anchored by personal photographs. The works offer a spiritual practice to the process, echoing prayer bead counting. Repetition brings relief and freedom, with discernible forms offering comfort. This duality merges fluid expression with structured solace, speaking to a pursuit of belonging beyond time and space.

POORVI SULTANIA | Flowers from V, 2023 | Gouache, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Handmade Paper | 18 x 22 ″
POORVI SULTANIA | Flowers from V, 2023 | Gouache, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Handmade Paper | 18 x 22 ″
Pratap Manna
Pratap Manna

Born in Kolkata in 1992, Pratap’s artistic practice mainly reflects his personal experiences but also resonates with others. At the moment, he draws inspiration for his artwork from his surroundings and the wider world. He graduated from Rabindra Bharati University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting in 2014 and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 2016. Pratap’s practice is inspired by the environment and the world around him. The imagery he creates is largely drawn from everyday life experiences and is painted in such a way that it feels like a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The artworks are multi- layered akin to day-to-day activities and they seek to capture this intricate process by adopting a layered approach to its creation. To bring his vision to life, he primarily uses a limited range of colours and mainly relies upon charcoal, ink, and watercolour as main mediums of choice.

PRATAP MANNA | The Shifting Horizons I | Watercolour and ink on acid free paper | 30 x 48 ″
PRATAP MANNA | The Shifting Horizons I | Watercolour and ink on acid free paper | 30 x 48 ″
Rajat Kumar
Rajat Kumar

Rajat Kumar born in 1988 in Meerut, U.P, after completing his BTech in Computer Science from Amity University, Noida in 2011, decided to follow his inner calling and pursued BFA from Delhi College of Arts, New Delhi (2017), followed by MFA from Subharti University, Meerut (2020). Rajat’s practice showcases his expertise with the medium itself while also providing an in-depth idea of his observant gaze.
His work delves into emotions stemming from urban experiences, marked by both passive and active human presence. Often captivated by the mundane and overlooked, Kumar seeks to capture not only the physical space but also the atmosphere and sensation of it. The city, with its routine encounters, serves as a continuous source of inspiration.

RAJAT KUMAR | Ignorant | Acrylic/ink on canvas | 48” x 30”
RAJAT KUMAR | Ignorant | Acrylic/ink on canvas | 48” x 30”
Saadia Batool
Saadia Batool

Saadia Batool, born in 1998 in Quetta, Pakistan, graduated in Fine Arts from the National College of Art Lahore in 2022, majoring in Painting. Her artistic journey has been deeply rooted in the exploration of archives, personal histories and the collective memory of her community “Hazara”, viewed in the realm of migration. The visuals that Saadia has chosen to depict are developed in layers with mixed media on canvas; creating textures, depth and nuance through layering. She has developed multilayered visuals through photo transfer technique, translucent acrylic paints, inks and natural pigments, graphite, charcoal, markers, pencil colours and other drawing materials. The paintings primarily consist of layering by deliberately treating mediums to create luminous strata that preserve the visual identity of each layer but also blend into a unified visual, bringing forth an enigmatic visual vocabulary of the artist.

SAADIA BATOOL | Did you see that the sun rose from a cold night?| Mixed media on canvas |23.5x 15.5”
SAADIA BATOOL | Did you see that the sun rose from a cold night?| Mixed media on canvas |23.5x 15.5”
Sakshi Kasar
Sakshi Kasar

Sakshi Kasar, a passionate artist who embarked on a creative journey from the heart of Bhusawal, a place where art is often overlooked. Graduating from Saptput Kala Bhavan, she ventured into the world of art driven solely by passion and fascination for its profound significance in society. Her academic journey led her to the J.J. School of Art, where she is currently pursuing a master’s in creative painting. Her artistic exploration has been a transformative experience, while initially focused on subjects like space and emotions, her perspective shifted when she began observing the struggles faced by women in her immediate surroundings, particularly her mother’s resilient journey as a single parent. This ignited a deep inspiration within her to shed light on issues plaguing women in the society.

SAKSHI KASAR | Achintyarupa | Mixed media on paper | 26 x 38”
SAKSHI KASAR | Achintyarupa | Mixed media on paper | 26 x 38”
Salar Marri
Salar Marri

Born in 1997, Salar hails from Lahore, Pakistan, and graduated from the National College of Arts Lahore in February 2023.
Salar’s work centres around the application of paint and is an enquiry of its material quality. The medium of paint becomes a tool in the transcription of various images onto a surface, preserving certain aspects whilst transforming others.
He compares the reality of everyday life, the reality of skin, objects and people that surround us with the reality of paint, a material equally real, which is not used to ‘recreate’ an existing image but to channel existing images to form new ones.

SALAR MARRI | Untitled, 2022 | woodcut on grass paper | 12 x 14 ″
SALAR MARRI | Untitled, 2022 | woodcut on grass paper | 12 x 14 ″
Samiran Dey
Samiran Dey

Born in 1990 and currently residing in Kolkata, West Bengal, Samiran is a studio artist at Lalit Kala Akademi, and has completed his master’s from Rabindra Bharati University. Samiran’s visual vocabulary captures the cultural nuance of Kolkata city, presenting the real world in a surrealistic manner. Influenced by his childhood experiences, his observations revolve around the harsh realities of economic distress and apathy that exists in the world. He has weaved a vivid tapestry of Kolkata’s socio-political intricacies, capturing the shifting landscape and fading memories. Each stroke is a nuanced narrative, reflecting socio-metaphorical reality with enchanting and surrealistic undertones. Conceptualising his art from Kolkata’s fabric, he has tried to reflect the transformation of playgrounds into skyscrapers, echoing the pulse of an unscrupulous society.

SAMIRAN DEY | The Spine of Life |Watercolour, graphite, transparent paper, charcoal, burning and acrylic on paper | 25 x 36 ″
SAMIRAN DEY | The Spine of Life |Watercolour, graphite, transparent paper, charcoal, burning and acrylic on paper | 25 x 36 ″
Sanal Pt
Sanal PT

Born in Kerala at Malappuram district, completed his bachelors in BFA (painting) from Govt. College of fine arts Thrissur, Kerala in 2021 and masters from Sarojini Naidu School of Art and Communication, University of Hyderabad. Sanal’s works are mostly concerned with landscape, treating it as an active rather than a passive entity, rethinking the memory sites associated with the landscape and at the same time trying to resolve the contradictions of representing them as neutral spaces. His works address social, historical, cultural interactions of body, space, landscape and time during the insights of Kerala’s subaltern history and the notion of “oppressed time” from colonial and Post-colonial studies.

SANAL PT | Untitled | Acrylic, brown and black charcoal, red and black oxide on paper | 22 x 31 ″
SANAL PT | Untitled | Acrylic, brown and black charcoal, red and black oxide on paper | 22 x 31 ″
Yash Desai
Yash Desai

Yash Desai (b.1994) is a visual artist based in Baroda. He holds MVA Printmaking and BVA Applied Art from the M.S. University of Baroda. Working as painter, printmaker & applied artist, he is also interested in 19th-century photographic printmaking processes, where he is exploring and working in iron, chromium, and silver-based processes. Yash’s practice deals with the scenario of the environment changing in the age of climate crisis, deforestation, and urbanisation. His works encapsulate his travels where the sublime experience of the rural landscape, a rapidly changing scenery, and the fragmented elements from urban scenes shape the visuals.. Currently, he is working on a set of images with 19th-century photographic processes, and experimenting with it on different surfaces.

YASH DESAI | Untitled | Powder pigment and ink | 12 x 6.5 ″
YASH DESAI | Untitled | Powder pigment and ink | 12 x 6.5 ″
Zainul Abdeen
Zainul Abdeen

Zainul Abdeen was born in Nawla, a small village of Muzaffarnagar. He is a visual artist based in Delhi. Academically he is trained in painting, completed his BFA from Aligarh Muslim University in 2019. Zainul’s practice is embedded in the experimentation with mixed materials. It was majorly influenced by his journey from Aligarh to Uttarakhand that he traversed alone, on foot. It took him ten days to reach there, like a pilgrim on the way to the truth. Throughout his journey, he was observing the details of the varied rural culture of India, their customs, foods and so on. The journey was a long performance in itself that had a lot deeper connotations attached to it.

ZAINUL ABDEEN | Untitled, | Mixed media on paper | 12 x 18″
ZAINUL ABDEEN | Untitled, | Mixed media on paper | 12 x 18″

The works by all the finalists are on display at the Inception Grant Finalists Show at Triveni Kala Sangam up till 10th March, from 11am – 7pm.