About the Artist


Born in 1964 in New Delhi, India.

Lives and works in New Delhi, India.

Emerging from the Indian subcontinent, Amar Kanwar’s films are complex, contemporary narratives that connect intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political processes. Finding a contextual relationship with diverse audiences, Kanwar’s work maps a journey of exploration revealing our relationship with the politics of power, violence, sexuality, ecology and justice.

Recent solo exhibitions of Kanwar’s work have been held at the Marian Goodman Gallery, London, UK (2017), NTU, Centre For Contemporary Art, Singapore (2016), Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai, India (2015), Assam State Museum in collaboration with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and North East Network, India (2015); and in 2013 and 2014 at the Art Institute of Chicago, USA; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, U.K.; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA 21), Vienna, Austria and at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2012).

Recent group exhibitions have been presented at Documenta 14, Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany (2017), Goethe-Institut,Hong Kong, China (2017), Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, USA (2014); the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India (2014); the 56th Carnegie International, USA (2013); the Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2013 and 2012); the 13th Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2013); the 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2013); the 11th Sharjah Biennale, UAE (2013); the 1st Kochi Biennale, India (2013); the Tarra Warra Museum of Art, Victoria, Australia (2013) and the Bristol Museum, U.K. (2013).

Kanwar has also participated in Documenta 11, 12 and 13 in Kassel, Germany (2002, 2007, 2012).  Other solo exhibitions have been at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2008); the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, U.K. (2007); the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (2006) and the Renaissance Society, Chicago, USA (2004).

Amar Kanwar has been the recipient of awards such as the Prince Claus Award (2017), Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change (2014); an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine, USA (2006); the Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art, Norway (2005); the MacArthur Fellowship in India (2000); the Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, USA (1999), as well as the Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival, India (1998).

The Sovereign Forest has been made in collaboration with Sudhir Pattnaik/ Samadrusti and Sherna Dastur.

Sudhir Pattnaik is an Odisha-based independent media person and social activist for the last 25 years. He is associated with print and electronic news magazines as a part of a non-profit and non-funded collective Samadrusti. He is the editor of a fortnightly Oriya news magazine ‘The Samadrusti’. He is also a lyricist, a playwright, and a theatre director. Sudhir has collaborated with ‘The Sovereign Forest’ since 2011 and has hosted the installation in the Samadrusti campus in Odisha since 2011.

Sherna Dastur, a graduate of the National Institute of Design, is a graphic designer and filmmaker. She has designed several books like ‘Trace Retrace: Paintings, Nilima Sheikh’, ‘Project Cinema City’ and a range of interventions for social campaigns and films on issues of fundamentalism and women’s rights. Her film ‘Manjuben Truck Driver’ has been screened at several festivals and institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sherna has collaborated on ‘The Sovereign Forest’ since 2011, making handmade paper and books, and designing the installation as it evolves and travels.