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Aashna’s interaction with Sunny Chandiramani-Vice President of Astaguru Auction House

AstaGuru, a leading auction house in Mumbai recently launched an online auction of their rare collection while all participants of the art ecosystem are trying to adapt into this world struck by the pandemic. Sunny Chandiramani, an associate with AstaGuru, talks about her exciting experience while working with the auction house. Sunny was a professional from the aviation industry and often travelled to many places visiting galleries and museums. With her growing inclination towards art, she took up the opportunity to work in the art Industry and studied Indian aesthetics to understand art better. Sunny feels lucky working for an auction house as it gives her an opportunity to look at rare artworks that have been a part of a private collection for decades. Being around artworks makes her experience a new realm of beauty.

“It has changed my perception of the world around me. Being a part of this world means I can have stimulating conversations that always challenge the existing status quo and send me down a quest to learn more.”

AA. In your tenure with AstaGuru, you must have witnessed the evolution of artists. What is your view about the evolution of artists as well as art?

SC: It is encouraging to see that Indian contemporary artists are getting recognition internationally. Nalini Malani, who had her recent show at the Goethe-Institute, Mumbai, also has had international exhibitions like Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Centre Pompidou-Paris, MoMA-New York and so on. It is exciting to see the contemporaries experiment with various new media and compositions. I have had the opportunity to study the evolution of several artists. A particular artist that comes to mind is SH Raza. His journey as an artist and how he arrived at the Bindu is truly fascinating. He started his journey with landscapes using the medium of watercolour which eventually changed when he moved to France. He began to feel this constant urge to incorporate certain elements of his homeland in his works and after visiting India, he eventually discovered the Bindu. I have had chances to study the journey of several other modern artists in detail.

AA. Do you think that the current pandemic would bring change in the world of art in terms of expression as well as trade, across the world?

SC. T.S Eliot said that good poetry will also find its rightful place, will survive the test of time and stay true to the current times. In the same way, good art will always find its rightful place. The current pandemic has put the planet into hibernation mode changing identities. I am sure artists will seek inspiration in this and set out to define the new normal with new and innovative ways to depict the current unusual situation of our society. This Pandemic will be an exclusive chapter in the narrative of the artist’s oeuvre.

AA. What is your favourite art form/medium and who is your favourite artist?

SC. I have always been a staunch believer in carving out one’s own path and having a unique style so the artist resonating with me is Ganesh Pyne. He had a certain set of principles and he stuck to them throughout his life. His originality appealed to me and I am glad to see him gaining recognition by art enthusiasts and collectors alike. Medium is an extension of the artist, as the aura of the artwork comes from the artist's intentions and imagination and the medium is just a tool for the artist to translate that thought onto a surface.

Sunny believes that the Indian market needs to be more aware of art which would foster the availability of funds to artists all over the country. Some support from the government for the artists and art institutions can also help in the revival of this industry. She is of an opinion that art has an invisible force that binds our lives together. It is a reflection of our innermost thoughts and the society we currently inhabit; something that resonates within all of us. It impacts everyone in different ways and manages to evoke a response within everyone making us ponder about things which we might have taken for granted in our busy lives.

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