Top artists from India are collaborating with those from ASEAN countries to create a new body of artwork that aims to foster bonding between the countries in the South East Asian region.
An Indo-ASEAN artists' residency titled "Merging Metaphors", brings together 25 artists from 10 countries who will collectively create art leading to a joint exhibition.
The event initiated by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (IICR) began in Darjeeling on June 10 and is scheduled to culminate on June 17.
"It is a very interesting and innovative initiative where leading artists from across the region interact and create a new body of work that will be shown first in India and then hopefully also tour the region," says Sushma K Bahl who is curating the event jointly with Archana B Sapra.
After being shown in India it will probably travel to Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
"Given the unprecedented surge, and prestige and place of contemporary art in cultures of the world, as a continuum of living traditions, it seems appropriate to use this platform to promote cohesion and thereby economic and all around development for a better society," according to a statement by the organisers.
"There is a common cultural and civilizational thread which brings India and countries of South East Asia together. This common thread is evident in their performing arts such as Wayng Kulit, Apsara dance in Cambodia and Laos, the Ramayana in Thailand and much more," says Suresh K Goel, Director General, ICCR who inagurated the residency.