Committees & Advisory Council
Dr. Pheroza J. Godrej is an art-historian and a Ph.D. in Ancient Indian Culture. She founded the Cymroza Art Gallery and authored various publications and curated highly acclaimed exhibitions for leading National and International Museums.
She is Chairperson of the Museum Society of Mumbai; former President of the National Society of the Friends of the Trees for 17 years, President Emeritus since 2016.
Dr. Godrej is on the Executive Board of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology (ATREE) and the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation; Trustee of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and the Sea Cadet Corp India.
Dr. Godrej is on the Board of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development International Advisory Council. She is an ardent promoter of the Cornelia Sorabji Programme, and supports the Cornelia Sorabji Scholarship at Somerville College, Oxford. She is a Member of the Advisory Council for the JCB Prize for Literature, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce (RSA), U.K. The Asiatic Society of Mumbai conferred her with the Society’s Honorary Fellowship for her outstanding contribution in the field of art and culture.
Dr. Godrej is the Chairperson of the Godrej Archives Council.
Sangita Jindal, Chairperson of the JSW Foundation, strategizes and oversees social development projects within the JSW Group. A philanthropist who believes in the transformatory powers of art, Mrs. Jindal set up The Jindal Arts Centre (1992) at National Center for Performing Art, Mumbai, India, a hub of interdisciplinary arts activity.
The programs at the JSW Foundation span across a wide range of interventions and focus on the holistic development of the girl child. From providing Skill Development opportunities, to empowering woman across India, through health, education and livelihood oriented programs. JSW Foundation also works with the Government of India to devise strategies & programs to eliminate malnutrition in India. She also publishes Art India Magazine which has been a chronicler of record of the Indian Art scene for over two decades.
Her efforts to preserve heritage for future generations led to extensive restoration work at the Hampi temple complex in the southern Indian state of Karnataka & The Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The Hampi Foundation for the work at the Chandramauleshwar Temple and The Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue in Mumbai have both been conferred the UNESCO-Asia Pacific Award for Merit for Cultural Heritage Conservation
Mrs. Jindal is an Eisenhower Fellow and is on the Board of Trustees of the World Monuments Fund - India Chapter & an Advisor on the Khoj Board. She has been inducted as a key member of Tate International Council as well as UN Women Business Sector Advisory Council (BSAC). She was recognized by Vogue India as ‘Heritage Keeper of the Year’ in 2019 in their Women of the Year awards celebration in recognition of her work in the preservation of cultural heritage in India. She also received the Golden Peacock Award for Social and Cultural Leadership 2019.
Kiran Nadar founded the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, giving India a global platform that showcases and promotes the immense talent of generations of Indian artists. An avid art collector, the museum holds one of the largest and most significant collections of modern and contemporary Indian art and from the South Asian region.
Kiran Nadar has profoundly shaped and inspired the Indian art world, becoming a pivotal force with an influence and vision that has increased the presence and relevance of Indian modern and contemporary art worldwide.
Radhika Chopra is a patron of the arts, based in New Delhi. She was Founding Director and current Advisory Board member of the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) and an Arts Advisory Council member of The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University.
She has supported various exhibitions and art projects including, Raul Zurita's Sea of Pain at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, My East is Your West, a collateral event at the Venice Biennale 2015, and Word. Sound. Power, a collaboration between the Tate Modern and Khoj International Artists’ Association in 2013. She is the founder of luxury tea brand No. 3 Clive Road.
Mukeeta Jhaveri is a longstanding collector of contemporary Indian art, miniature paintings and Asian antiquities. As a self-confessed museum junkie, gallery hound and member of the International Directors Council of the Guggenheim Museum in New York she follows international contemporary art practices keenly.
She has a deep abiding interest in the intersection of art, design, architecture, aesthetics and culture conservation. She is an independent director on the boards of Raymond Ltd & UTI Mutual Fund Trustee Company. She is Vice-Chairman of respected NGO St. Jude India Childcare that provides a home away from home for under-privileged children suffering from cancer, pan India.
Advisory Council for Arts and Culture
Pheroza J Godrej
Dr. Vishakha Desai (Chair) is Senior Advisor for Global Affairs to the President of Columbia University, Senior Research Scholar in Global Studies at its School of International and Public Affairs, and Chair of Columbia’s Committee on Global Thought.
Dr. Desai joined the Asia Society as the director of its museum in 1990 after having served as a curator and as the head of academic programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2004, she was appointed as the President and CEO of the Asia Society, the first Asian American, and a woman to hold the position. During her twenty-two-year tenure at the Society, she developed major new initiatives, ranging from a robust program of contemporary art exhibitions and performances and the establishment of the Center on U.S.-China Relations to Asia 21, the first major program for young leaders from Asia and the U.S. She is also author of “World as Family: A Journey of Multi-Rooted Belongings,” published by Columbia University Press and contributes frequently to numerous newspapers and magazines in both the US and Asia. Dr. Desai is the recipient of five honorary degrees and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bombay University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian Art History from the University of Michigan.
Mayank Mansingh Kaul is a New Delhi-based writer and curator with an interest in post-independence histories of textiles, design and fashion in India. A graduate in textile design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Kaul has been involved in the past in areas of cultural and creative industries’ policy.
Exhibitions that he has curated include The Idea of Fashion (Khoj International Artists’ Residency, New Delhi, 2011), Fracture: Indian Textiles, New Conversations (Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, 2015), Gold: The Art of Zari (Bikaner House, New Delhi, 2017), 25 Years of Abraham & Thakore (New Delhi, 2017), Crossroads: Textile Journeys with Ritu Kumar (India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 2018), New Traditions: Influences & Inspirations in Indian Textiles (Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, 2018) and Meanings, Metaphor - Handspun and Handwoven in the 21st Century (Chirala, Coimbatore, Bangalore, 2018-19).
He is the editor of Take on Art Design (2012), Cloth and India: Towards Recent Histories, 1947-2015 (Marg, 2016), Baluchari: Tradition and Beyond (2016) and Take on Art Fashion, which looks at a century of Indian fashion (2019). Kaul has represented the field of Indian design and textiles in prestigious forums internationally, and regularly lectures within India on the intersectionality of design, art and craft practises.
Nadia Samdani is the Co-Founder of the Samdani Art Foundation and Dhaka Art Summit. In 2011, along with husband Rajeeb Samdani, she established the Samdani Art Foundation to support the work of Bangladesh and South Asia’s contemporary artists and architects to increase their exposure.
As part of this initiative, they founded Dhaka Art Summit in 2012, which is a bi-annual event and has since completed five successful editions, with a footfall of half a million visitors in nine days in 2020. Nadia Samdani with her husband are the first and only South Asian art patrons to receive the prestigious Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in 2017.
Namita Saraf is the cofounder of the Saraf Foundation for Himalayan Culture and the director of the Taragaon Museum, which documents the richness and complexity of the Kathmandu Valley. For over 20 years, Saraf has worked as a collector, patron, and curator in both countries, and she advises on artistic endeavors that include contemporary art.
She resides in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Mumbai, India. She has worked with the curator and scenographer Rajeev Sethi and commissioned and curated art projects and site-specific works by contemporary artists and artisans. Saraf has participated in various panel discussions on public art and collecting, including serving as a jury member from 2007 to 2011 to select the Promising Artist of the Year award organized by Art India. Along with her husband, Arun Saraf, she was a leader in founding the Taragaon Museum in Kathmandu. The institution is a major archive of works of international scholars, architects, photographers, and researchers. She is also a Trustee for the Rubin Museum of Art, New York.
Rahaab Allana is Curator, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts; Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (London), A Charles Wallace Awardee, and was previously, Honorary Research Associate at University College, London.
He is on the advisory board of the Trans-Asia Photography (TAP) Review; Founding Editor of PIX; Founder of the ASAP/art app; and guest editor of Aperture Magazine’s 2021 summer issue on Delhi.
Ritu Sethi, Founder-Trustee Craft Revival Trust is editor Global InCH journal of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and the Asia InCH Encyclopaedia on traditional arts, crafts, textiles of South Asia. She serves on boards that include the National Crafts Museum and Hast Kala Academy; ICH committee (ABICHU), Ministry of Culture.
She chaired the UNESCO Consultative Body examining nominations to ICH safeguarding; was Member, Steering Committee Handlooms and Handicrafts, 12th Plan; was board member National Museum of Man, Bhopal; member advisory board UNESCO centres in China and Japan, amongst other positions. Some of her writings include ‘Embroidering Futures - Repurposing the Kantha’ (ed.), ‘Designers Meet Artisans’ (ed.) (translated – Spanish/French), ‘Painters, Poets, Performers – The Patuas of Bengal’.
Roobina Karode is the Director & Chief Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), New Delhi, India, since it opened its doors in 2010. She has post-graduate specializations in Art History and in Education.
As an art educator, writer and curator, Karode has extensively contributed to the field, teaching Art History, both Indian Modern and Western art from 1990 to 2006, at various institutions in Delhi, mainly the School of Arts & Aesthetics in JNU, the National Museum Institute and the College of Art. Steering a rigorous program at KNMA, Karode is focused on collaborations and partnering with other significant institutions to consolidate the global presence and relevance of contemporary Indian and South East Asian art.
Karode has curated numerous significant exhibitions both within India and abroad, focusing on the art of under-represented intergenerational artists whose contribution has been crucial within the discourse of modern and contemporary Indian art. She has also been focused on women artists and their representation in KNMA Collection. In 2020, she curated a landmark exhibition focused on seven South Asian Women and Abstraction titled Scripting Time, Memory and Ecology, with a solo dedicated to Zarina’s practice.
Sameera Raja is the Founder-Curator of Canvas Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan. She obtained her degree in architecture from the National College of Arts in Lahore, following which she broadened her interests to the world of visual arts.
The idea of Canvas Gallery emerged from her observation that there were limited opportunities for exhibiting cutting-edge, contemporary art in the country and in the twenty years since its inception, Raja has been instrumental in creating awareness about Pakistani contemporary art, supporting emerging artists, and building a relationship between the art scene in Pakistan and abroad. Raja was formerly the Chairperson of the Executive Committee and a Member of the Board of Governors of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVSAA), and held a previous position as the Art Chair for the 1st ADA (Architecture, Design, Art) Awards. She is also on the Advisory Panel for IPAF (International Public Art Festival), is the Jury Chair of the I Am Karachi (IAK) Awards and a Jury Member of the Toyota Motors Dream Car Competition. In addition to this, she delivers talks, participates in cultural events and promotes contemporary Pakistani art at various forums, platforms, art fairs and institutes within the country and internationally.
Sharmini Pereira is Chief Curator of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka, located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is the founder and Director of Raking Leaves and co-founder of the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design.
She was Guest Curator at the Aga Khan Museum (2014) and for the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2010) and co-curated the first Singapore Biennale in 2006. Her writing has appeared in South East of Now, Mousse Magazine, Guggenheim online, Art Asia Pacific, Groundviews and Imprint amongst others. She was a judge for the 2017 Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture. She was born in 1970 and currently lives and works in Sri Lanka.
Tasneem Mehta is the Managing Trustee and Honorary Director of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai and former Vice Chairman INTACH, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Ms Mehta is an art historian, curator, designer and cultural activist who has successfully pioneered the revival and restoration of several cultural sites in Mumbai.
She conceptualized, curated, designed and implemented the restoration and revitalization of the Museum and the ongoing exhibitions, education and outreach programmes. Ms Mehta has written and edited several articles and books. She is a Vice President of the International Council of the Moma, New York. She was selected as a Mumbai Hero by Mumbai Mirror, a Times of India publication and has received several awards for her work.