The Bibliography of Modern and Contemporary Art Writing project was initiated by Asia Art Archive in 2011. Guided by a common tenet of sharing knowledge and collaborative research, the project has aimed at collating annotated bibliographies of art writing in South Asia across multiple languages.
In its first phase, the project began its cataloguing process in India, looking at writing in Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. As of end 2014, it compiled a bibliography of over 12,000 texts, including books, book chapters, catalogues, entire periodicals, periodical entries, and newspapers. In its second phase in 2015, AAA has expanded the scope of this project to explore the rich and resonant histories of art writing across languages and regions in South Asia. The project compiled bibliographies of art writing in Tamil from Jaffna in Sri Lanka, Urdu from Lahore in Pakistan, and Bangla from Dhaka in Bangladesh.
By sharing information on publications from libraries, institutions, and personal archives across several cities and languages, the online database aims to enrich understanding of this field and be useful to students, scholars, researchers, artists, writers, and the arts community at large. It must be noted that this bibliography is a work in progress and hopes to grow with user contributions.
The Bibliography of Modern and Contemporary Art Writing has been informed by previous AAA initiatives, most significantly the digitisation project Another Life: The Digitised Personal Archive of Geeta Kapur and Vivan Sundaram and Mapping the Field of Indian Art Criticism a research project carried out by 2009 AAA Research Grantee Vidya Shivadas. Aiming to bring important art writings in India into the public domain for further research and study, this project precedes Asia Art Archive's upcoming publication series that will contribute to new understandings of art history and art practice from the region.
The project has been made possible by generous support from Thapar Public Charitable Trust.