Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Founded by Tushar Jiwarajka in 2009, Volte Art Projects has carved a niche for itself as a preeminent space for contemporary art, collaborating with a cadre of internationally renowned artists and collectives such as Sheba Chhachhi, Francesco Clemente, Wim Delvoye, Ranbir Kaleka, William Kentridge, Nalini Malani, James Turrell, and Based Upon.

Over more than a decade, Volte Art Projects has emerged as one of the Indian subcontinent’s most impactful art initiatives, distinguished by its commitment to showcasing innovative works that seamlessly meld art, design, science, and technology. With its relocation to the UAE, the gallery has set its sights on becoming a cornerstone of the Middle Eastern art landscape, aiming to enrich the contemporary art scene through exhibitions that challenge, innovate, and inspire.

Volte Art Projects is a hub for international contemporary art, representing celebrated artists globally and blurring the lines between art, design, science, and technology. Jiwarajka’s journey from Mumbai to Dubai symbolizes a broader vision of making art accessible and engaging to a wider audience, fostering a rich dialogue between artists and art enthusiasts across cultures.

Jing Daily Culture recently caught up with Tushar Jiwarajka to discuss his evolving vision for Volte Art Projects, particularly with the launch of Volte Masters focusing on international modern masters, and the role this plays in the contemporary art scene both in the Middle East and globally.

Since founding Volte Art Projects in Mumbai in 2009 and subsequently relocating to Dubai, how has your vision for the gallery evolved, particularly with the recent introduction of Volte Masters and its focus on international modern masters?     

Since establishing Volte Art Projects in Mumbai back in 2009 and later moving to Dubai, my vision for the gallery has undergone a significant evolution, especially with the recent launch of Volte Masters. Our shift towards Volte Masters represents a pivotal moment in our trajectory, marked by a transition towards a more globally oriented perspective. Initially rooted in Mumbai’s vibrant artistic landscape, our gallery has progressively embraced a more expansive and international outlook. The relocation to Dubai has played a crucial role in this transformation, providing a dynamic platform situated at the crossroads of diverse cultures and artistic traditions.

With the introduction of Volte Masters, our focus has widened to encompass renowned international modern masters, reflecting our commitment to showcasing seminal works from across the globe. This expansion not only enriches our program but also fosters greater dialogue and exchange within the art community. Moreover, our new space in Dubai provides an expansive and inspiring environment that is conducive to showcasing these masterpieces. Its larger footprint allows us to curate more ambitious and innovative exhibitions, offering visitors a truly immersive experience.

In essence, our journey from Mumbai to Dubai has epitomized a shift towards a more global vision, one that celebrates the richness and diversity of artistic expression on an international scale. With Volte Masters, we are charting new territories, bridging cultures, and cultivating a space that transcends boundaries, inviting audiences to engage with art in a larger, more transformative way.

Rashid Rana, Desperately Seeking Paradise I, 2007 – 2008.

Your inaugural exhibition at Volte Masters features rare works by Manjit Bawa. Can you discuss your curatorial approach and how you plan to create new art historical dialogues through such exhibitions?                                             

At Volte Masters, our mission is to spotlight the remarkable contributions of Indian Modernist artists who emerged post-independence, shaping the nation’s artistic landscape in profound ways. Our curatorial approach is meticulously thought through to redefine India’s complex past and illuminate its emerging postcolonial realities through the exemplary works of these visionary artists. In subsequent exhibitions, we plan to feature a diverse array of artists whose practices reflect the rich tapestry of Indian modern art.

This includes luminaries such as Nasreen Mohamedi, whose minimalist compositions challenge conventional artistic boundaries, and MF Hussain, renowned for his narrative-driven works that resonate with societal narratives and cultural nuances.

Additionally, our exhibitions will showcase the abstract masterpieces of SH Raza, rooted in Indian philosophy and spiritual symbolism, as well as Tyeb Mehta’s emotive canvases that poignantly capture the human condition amidst societal upheavals. Furthermore, the art of Akbar Padamsee, with its intersections of Indian aesthetics, spirituality, and modernity, will enrich our exploration of diverse artistic expressions within the Indian context. Through these carefully curated exhibitions, Volte Masters aims to foster new art historical dialogues, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries.

By spotlighting the seminal works of these iconic artists, we seek to offer audiences a deeper understanding of India’s artistic heritage while fostering cross-cultural exchange and appreciation. Our gallery serves as a platform for celebrating the enduring legacy of Indian Modernist art and its ongoing relevance in a global context.

Manjit Bawa, Guru Gobind Singh, Oil on Canvas, 59 x 47

With the expansion of your roster to include artists like Marina Abramović and Rashid Rana, as well as the showcase of installations by Nalini Malani, what criteria do you use to select artists for representation and exhibitions, especially considering your emphasis on innovation and boundary-pushing?                                                                       

At Volte Art Projects, our selection process for artists and exhibitions is guided by a deeply personal criterion: the emotional connection we feel with the artwork. We believe that art should not only move us intellectually but also stir something within us on a visceral level. This emotional resonance serves as a foundation for our curatorial decisions, especially as we expand our roster to include pioneering artists like Marina Abramović and Rashid Rana, alongside showcasing installations by Nalini Malani. When considering artists for representation and exhibitions, we prioritize works that have the power to provoke thought, challenge norms, and evoke a profound emotional response.

Whether it’s Marina Abramović’s powerful performances that push the boundaries of the body and mind, Rashid Rana’s innovative use of technology and imagery to explore complex sociopolitical themes, or Nalini Malani’s immersive installations that confront issues of gender, identity, and history, each artist we collaborate with must possess a unique ability to captivate and inspire. Furthermore, we seek artists who are unafraid to push the boundaries of their respective mediums, embracing experimentation and innovation as integral components of their practice. Their work should not only reflect technical mastery but also demonstrate a willingness to explore new ideas, challenge conventions, and forge new artistic frontiers.

Ultimately, our goal is to create exhibitions that ignite dialogue, provoke introspection, and foster a deeper connection between the viewer and the artwork. By selecting artists whose works resonate with us on a profound emotional level and embody a spirit of innovation and boundary-pushing, we strive to create dynamic and impactful experiences that resonate with audiences long after they leave the gallery space.

You’ve been instrumental in introducing significant artists to Asian audiences and vice versa. How do you navigate the cultural and artistic nuances when creating these cross-cultural exchanges?       

Navigating the cultural and artistic nuances inherent in creating cross-cultural exchanges is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a deep understanding of both the artistic traditions and cultural contexts involved. At Volte Art Projects, we approach this challenge with a commitment to fostering genuine dialogue and mutual appreciation between diverse artistic communities. One of our key strategies for navigating these complexities is to prioritize artists whose work naturally traverses boundaries and transcends cultural barriers. By selecting artists whose practices inherently embrace diversity and cross-cultural influences, we lay the foundation for meaningful and authentic exchanges. Furthermore, we actively engage with local communities and cultural institutions to gain insights into the specific nuances and sensitivities of each cultural context.

This collaborative approach allows us to ensure that our exhibitions and events resonate with audiences from diverse backgrounds while honoring the integrity of the artwork and its cultural roots. Additionally, we place great emphasis on facilitating direct interactions between artists and audiences through artist talks, workshops, and other educational initiatives. These platforms not only provide opportunities for deeper engagement but also foster mutual understanding and appreciation across cultural divides.

Ultimately, our goal is to create inclusive and enriching experiences that celebrate the diversity of artistic expression while fostering meaningful cross-cultural dialogue and exchange. By embracing the complexities of cultural and artistic diversity, we strive to create a more interconnected and harmonious global art community.

Manjit Bawa, Circus Series, Oil on canvas, 11.5 x 8.1 in

Looking forward, how do you see Volte Art Projects contributing to the contemporary art scene both in the Middle East and globally? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re particularly excited about?                                                     

Looking ahead, Volte Art Projects is poised to make significant contributions to the contemporary art scene both in the Middle East and on a global scale. Through our commitment to showcasing groundbreaking exhibitions and fostering cross-cultural dialogue, we aim to elevate the region’s profile as a vibrant hub for artistic innovation and exchange.

One of our upcoming projects that I’m particularly excited about is Nalini Malani’s show at Concrete. Malani’s immersive installations confront pressing social and political issues with a profound sense of urgency, offering viewers a powerful platform for reflection and dialogue. This exhibition represents a continuation of our dedication to presenting thought-provoking works that challenge conventions and inspire meaningful engagement. Furthermore, we are thrilled to announce Manjit Bawa’s very first show in the UAE.

Bawa’s transcendent artworks, which blend the idealistic with the spiritual, are sure to captivate audiences and spark conversations about the intersection of tradition and modernity in Indian art. This milestone exhibition underscores our commitment to introducing diverse perspectives and voices to the Middle Eastern art scene. In addition to these exciting projects, we remain deeply committed to further collaborating with the emerging talents in our roster.

By providing a platform for these artists to showcase their work and engage with new audiences, we aim to nurture the next generation of artistic visionaries and push the boundaries of contemporary art practice. Overall, Volte Art Projects is dedicated to fostering a dynamic and inclusive contemporary art scene that celebrates diversity, creativity, and innovation. Through our upcoming projects and collaborations, we look forward to continuing to enrich the cultural landscape of the Middle East and beyond, while championing artists whose voices resonate on a global scale.


Cultural Organizations Industry Profiles