Under the Influence: Books that Inspire Artists is a travelling library comprised of one hundred titles ranging from novels, poetry, classics, and science fiction. The library started with Asia Art Archive’s invitation to one hundred artists to choose a book that informed their practice, and to share personal stories related to their selection.
AAA in India will host Under the Influence from December 2022 onwards, and will organise talks and workshops that investigate the role of artist-led libraries and archival projects in the contemporary art field.

Under the Influence debuted at AAA’s 2017 exhibition in the non-profit section of Art Basel Hong Kong. In 2018, it visited secondary schools in Hong Kong and other arts institutions throughout Asia, accompanied by events engaging with the book selection. The library then travelled to AAA in America, where it was activated through artist-led workshops and book-reading sessions.  

Under the Influence at AAA in India’s Reading Room
5 Jul–31 Oct 2023

Venue: Asia Art Archive in India, L14-A, Ground Floor, Kailash Colony, New Delhi, 110048. On Google Maps 

Under the Influence is on view at AAA in India’s Reading Room in New Delhi. Visitors are invited to walk in and browse the annotated books at their leisure. Programmes including artist-led workshops, screenings, a reading session, and gatherings with university students will be held during this period. 

Image courtesy of Preksha Kothari and Utkarsh Singh.
Image courtesy of Preksha Kothari and Utkarsh Singh.


Recent programmes include: 

Gathering | In collaboration with first draft
Sat, 19 Aug, 2023
Venue: AAA in I's Reading Room

The recent first draft gathering in collaboration with Asia Art Archive in India on 19 Aug was conceived through the prompt of sharing - a page from a book that has influenced you. The premise developed through a pre-sharing of the pages with the participants whereby the annotations/reflections on another person's page rippled into the conversations during the gathering.

The evening unfolded through stimulating discussions, exchange of ideas, references, curiosities, personal stories, vulnerabilities and intimacies, extending from the precipice of the page into creating a familiar space for ease, warmth and laughter.


Workshop | · sequence ⁣· shuffle ⁣· loop⁣: An artist-led session with Sonam Chaturvedi
Mon, 11 Sep, 2023

In this part-thinking, part-tinkering session, Sonam Chaturvedi looked at the creative practices of listing, collecting and documenting in the present age replete with information and media. This evening session unpacked  selected practices—traversing visual art, music and literature—that have been preoccupied with the processes of list-making, collecting, and documenting as creative methodologies beyond their functional or habitual usage.  ⁣The session invited lists from the participants, who were artists, illustrators, musicians, and curators, toying with the idea of creating a collaborative list/collection of sorts.⁣


Workshop | Two-day session with MA Visual Studies students at the School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University, Delhi. 
Fri, 1 Sep & Wed, 6 Sep, 2023

In a session co-conceived with Aasma Tulika, the AAA in I team took students through the process of archiving and digitisation. The discussion centered on the necessary tools of archiving that include sorting, organising, and annotation, and how to "search" the archive. It opened up important questions on the difference between searching in a self-contained archive versus broad search engines, and weilding keywords creatively. The session concluded with an exercise where the students searched the archive and used the excel sheet to map and trace their preoccupations and findings. 

Past programmes: 

Under the Influence
Serendipity Arts Festival 2022
15–23 December 2022
Venue: Old GMC Complex

Under the Influence will be on view at the Serendipity Arts Festival—one of the largest multidisciplinary arts initiatives in the South Asian region. It will act as a space for reading and conversation, with daily walkthroughs and artist-led workshops developed in collaboration with projects at the festival, including Future Landing curated by Veerangana Solanki and Goa Familia curated by Lina Vincent and Akshay Mahajan.

Workshop | Grain of the Voice with Farah Mulla and Abhinay Khoparzi
18 Dec 2022
In collaboration with Future Landing

Taking Roland Barthes’ book Image-Music-Text as a starting point, this workshop featured a series of deep listening exercises for participants to attune to microsounds in their environment. Drawing on “granular synthesis”—a method that operates on the microsound time scale—the workshop explored possibilities at the intersection of sound, spoken words, and abstraction. The workshop was developed by artist Farah Mulla and creative technologist Abhinay Khoparzi.

Image: Courtesy of Farah Mulla and Abhinay Koparzi.
Image: Courtesy of Farah Mulla and Abhinay Koparzi.


Workshop | Constructing Narratives: Appropriation Art and Zine-Making with Kaamna Patel
19 Dec 2022
In collaboration with Goa Familia

Led by artist and independent publisher Kaamna Patel, this workshop explored the possibilities of “appropriation art” to construct narratives in books and zines. The workshop traced the evolution of appropriation in art and photography and featured an editing and bookbinding session where participants work with materials from newspaper archives in Goa to create a zine.

Image: Courtesy of Kaamna Patel.
Image: Courtesy of Kaamna Patel.


This is part of the AAA Learning & Participation Programme, supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited.