15 Invitations for 15 Years

A special programme series featuring exhibitions, projects, written works, performances, a blog, and set of e-dossiers marking Asia Art Archive's 15-year anniversary.


Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta presents That photo we never got, a research-based project that explores the worlds of friendship, associations, love, and incongruities in the field of art.

By drawing out narratives from AAA’s collection, incomplete stories are gathered from documents on art institutions, artist-organised camps, workshops, exhibitions, publications, and travels around the world—extending into some of the addas and activities in Mumbai, where the artist is based.

Working alongside AAA Senior Researcher Sabih Ahmed, the artist looks at AAA material from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s to follow the innumerable tangents and overlapping vectors across and beyond the Archive’s collection. Gupta delves into chance encounters and fraught friendships, some imagined and others not, revealing the varied aspirations of artists and their relationships to peers, cities, and the world.

Gupta’s practice examines the dynamics of contexts, perception, and cartographies of knowledge, and has often incorporated methods of archiving into her work. While a number of stories gathered in this project had archival trails to follow, others surfaced as annotations from conversations and interviews conducted during its research. As the artist herself stated, "an archive can only be a proposal," this project positions itself as an incomplete proposition of fragments placed in the interstices of the archival document and living memory.

An earlier iteration of this project was shown at the 2015 India Art Fair.

Public Guided Tour
Date: 16 Apr, 7 May
Time: 2:00pm (Cantonese); 2:30pm (English)
Location: AAA Library

To register, please email: registration@aaa.org.hk

School tours of the project may be arranged through 21 May by appointment. To schedule a tour, please fill in an online booking form or email to learn@aaa.org.hk at least seven days in advance.


Shilpa Gupta lives and works in Mumbai. Her works have been shown at Tate Modern, London; Serpentine Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Mori Museum, Tokyo; New Museum, New York; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon; Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi; Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UEA; Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Liverpool Biennial ’06, as well as other museums and venues throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

The artist and AAA extend their sincere thanks to the following individuals who generously contributed to this project: Navjot Altaf, Pablo Bartholomew, Jyoti Bhatt, Jyotsna Bhatt, Iftikhar Dadi, Anju Dodiya, Atul Dodiya, Behroze Gandhy, Shireen Gandhy, Geeta Kapur, Krishen Khanna, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Nalini Malani, Mrinalini Mukherjee, Sudhir Patwardhan and Shanta Patwardhan, Johan Pijnappel, Dilip Ranade, Rajiv Saini, Afrah Shafiq, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Arpita Singh, Vivan Sundaram, Kalidas Swaminathan, Jesal Thakkar, and the Estate of Richard Bartholomew.

The artist would also like to thank Holly Leung, Hammad Nasar, Vivian Poon, Sneha Ragavan, and SKY YUTAKA.

Special thanks to Thapar Public Charitable Trust.

15 Invitations for 15 Years is supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited, the C. K. & Kay Ho Foundation, and The Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The programme is part of the ADC 20th Anniversary Celebration Series. Special thanks to Hani Charaf, Kemistry Design; and Spring Workshop.


Relevant content

01 Front Cover, VG London, 1969
Geeta Kapur and Vivan Sundaram Archive

Geeta Kapur and Vivan Sundaram Archive