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By Kate Campbell-Payne on

New South Asian art around Manchester

Find out more about the artists joining Nikhil Chopra in Manchester for #NewNorthSouth

Next weekend (29 September to 1 October), artist Nikhil Chopra is creating a powerful, 48-hour, performance piece here at the museum, influenced by one of our most iconic steam locomotives and the role engines like it played in Partition, the division and independence of India and Pakistan, 70 years ago. The work, called Blackening: 3157 after the locomotive, is part of a programme across the city that celebrates, commemorates and brings awareness to the rich arts and culture of South Asia, everything from fashion to photography, film to music. Here’s just some of the other #NewNorthSouth events and exhibitions you can see right now and over the next few months:

Manchester Art Gallery

Right now, you can see three decades of fashion, costume, textiles, ceramics, and more in the Design Gallery. There’s traditional and contemporary designs from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that give an insight into the varied culture and connections throughout the region.

From 30 September, they have five exhibitions opening by artists from South Asia, including Waqas Khan’s intricate, web-like drawings; two of Hetain Patel‘s humorous film pieces (one featuring Spider-Man living in Bolton!); and an entire gallery filled with living plants by Mehreen Murtaza.

Several of the artists will be in conversation over the weekend and there’s a performance lecture by Tentative Collective on how traditional craftsmanship survives amid the fast-paced progress of modern India.

Manchester Museum

Currently on at Manchester Museum is Memories of Partition – an exhibition featuring the stories of Greater Manchester residents from India and Pakistan who experienced Partition first-hand. This weekend (22 to 24 September), the Royal Exchange theatre is bringing together some of Manchester’s most exciting British Asian writers and artists to create performance pieces on the legacy of Partition—you can see them at the Royal Exchange on Friday and Sunday and at Manchester Museum on Saturday.

Detail of a work by Reena Saini Kallat

From 30 September, Reena Saini Kallat‘s solo show features items she found in the museum’s natural science and human culture collections giving them new meaning and a different perspective. That exhibition is also part of Manchester Science Festival, produced by the Museum of Science and Industry, and running from 19 October 2017 to Sunday 29 October 2017.

The Whitworth

The Whitworth already has three exhibitions as part of the New North and South programme including the beautiful, opulent, yet disturbing, jewel-like work of Raqib Shaw.

On 30 September, Raqs Media Collective‘s first major UK show opens. Called Twilight Language, the old and new work explore various themes including lighthouse communication, Manchester historical figures, and the Peppered Moth. The Collective will be performing over the weekend too, on Saturday drawing from an ancient conversation on the nature of infinity and on Sunday, an interpretation of a 1930s agit-prop sketch protesting against the imprisonment of Indian workers and activists.

Other events around the city later in the year include a collaboration between Aziz Ibrahim and Manchester Camerata at HOME bringing together one of Manchester’s most prolific collaborators with this adventurous classical orchestra; Arun Ghosh‘s album launch and Talvin Singh at Band on the Wall; and Child of the Divide by Sudha Bhuchar at Z-Arts, a production aimed at families exploring Partition and religion.

There are many more events throughout the exhibition runs so keep an eye on the organisations’ websites for more and remember to share your experiences with #NewNorthSouth.

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