The total number and range of events was large as India itself. The project was launched on 18 August 2012 with the largest exhibition focusing on Indian art and fashion in the history of ARKEN. 

INDIA : ART NOW introduced Indian contemporary art. For the exhibition, an impressive publication was released by ARKEN in collaboration with Hatje Cantz.

INDIA : FASHION NOW showed the newest trends and the cream of Indian fashion. A beautiful reading lounge was created for the exhibitions by the award-winning Indian/Scottish designer duo Doshi Levien. 

ARKEN also hosted a conference with the participation of leading Danish and Indian experts on art and aesthetics, "Art on the move", on 26 October, and conferences on migration and identity, "Migration, Memory and Place" on 5 – 7 December, arranged by the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University in cooperation with ARKEN.

”The Indian art scene is witnessing an explosive development, and today it is one of the most exciting power centers for contemporary art. At the same time a completely new fashion scene has sprung up in India, leaving a distinctive and trendsetting imprint on the fashion industry in the rest of the world. We handpicked the most interesting artists and designers and presented them in the largest special exhibition ever in the history of ARKEN", said Christian Gether, director of ARKEN.


Films from India were shown at the film festivals CPH PIX (19 August - 16 September) as part of the festival INDIAN INDIES – BOLLYWOOD & BEYOND, and CPH:DOX (1 - 11 November) as part of the series INDIAN UNREAL. The audiences were treated to experimental films and documentaries from a country that produces so much more than merely Bollywood movies.


As part of India Today – Copenhagen Tomorrow there were four projects in the autumn 2012 where Danish and Indian musicians, dancers, performers, composers and choreographers collaborated. On 6 and 7 September the Tivoli Gardens Concert Hall was the setting for a dance and music collaboration – "Footprint – a dance performance".

On 21 September Shashank Subramanyam performed with Blue Lotus & Marilyn Mazur at Jazzhouse. The concert was repeated at ARKEN on 21 October, however without Marilyn Mazur. On 22 November there was a music performance/concert duel at Jazzhouse with Thomas Sandberg and Sivamani, and at the Queen's Hall in the Royal Library the Figura Ensemble performed with Indian musicians on 27 November.


The Royal Danish Theatre, in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), hosted a guest performance by the Rhythmosaic Dance Company. The Indian dancing company visited the Royal Danish Playhouse on 20 and 21 October with a new, modern interpretation of the classical Russian ballet "Swan Lake", in this production turned into an Indian-French dancing performance that combined jazz, Kathak dance, tap dancing and flamenco. "Swan Lake Revisited" was still a love story, where evil Von Rothbart has turned Princess Odette into a swan in the daytime, and Prince Siegfried falls in love with her one night – where she is her human self. But while the storyline was the same as in the original ballet, the plot in "Swan Lake Revisited" was set in the present time. The banquet hall was turned into a cafeteria, the wood was now a busy street, and the ballet steps were replaced by modern dancing. The music was still Tchaikovsky's, but Indian notes were added to the well-known themes.


Indian literature was presented in connection with "INDIA: LITERATURE NOW", where authors Mridula Garg, Githa Hariharan and Manu Joseph visited Denmark in the autumn 2012 and participated in events open to the public at the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and at the publishers Gyldendal. And we sent Danish authors Carsten Jensen, Astrid Saalbach and Kirsten Thorup to the Jaipur literature festival, thus showing a new side to Danish literature in India.


At the international workshop "Spectacle of Globality" on 29 – 30 August, leading experts on India – anthropologists, political scientists and historians – threw a light on the socio-political processes that contribute to making India a global power.

A conference on Indian and Danish-Indian cooperation - "India Today – Copenhagen Tomorrow" – was held over two days; on 13 September the subject was "Peace and Sustainability", and on 14 September "Co-creating sustainable business between India and Denmark".

A conference on migration and identity, "Migration, Memory and Place", was held on 5 and 7 December.

The conferences were held by the Danish Cultural Institute, the Holck-Larsen Foundation, the Copenhagen Business School, the Confederation of Danish Industry, Asia House, ARKEN, the University of Copenhagen and Aahus University.


The Danish National Research Foundation spended up to DKK 50 million over a number of years on a large-scale collaboration between elite research communities in Denmark and India. Indian institutions provided an equal amount, so that a total of DKK 100 million was spent on joint Danish-Indian elite research projects. Also, exchange programmes initiated by public and private research operators  promoted relations between India and Denmark in a wide range of areas. This included fellowships for Danish and Indian music students as well as 200 fellowships for Indian and Danish student engineers in the field of life science. Be it in the fields of culture, science or business, India Today – Copenhagen Tomorrow ensured that the ties between India and Denmark would be stronger in the future.

”We in Denmark would be grateful if we can be part of India Today and India Tomorrow, so important for global matters”, said Dr. Haldor Topsøe, chairman of the board of Haldor Topsøe A/S.


The University of Copenhagen and the University Extramural Department were hosting a number of courses and lectures on Indian culture and religion, and the Danish Cultural Institute created a digital platform, "Co-Create Now", to facilitate contact between Indian and Danish institutions – all with a professional or personal interest in initiating a Danish-Indian exchange. A competition was held for Danish and Indian students of business, technology, design, art and culture to come up with the best new ideas for "co-creating sustainable solutions for the future".

"Denmark and India can learn a great deal from each other, and Danish-Indian collaboration will benefit both nations. If we cooperate and join our intellectual forces, we shall be able to profit from each other's know-how and thus achieve even better results", said Dr. Pachauri, Director General of the Indian Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Nobel Prize winner.

’Co-Create Now’ will generate contacts and inspiration between Denmark and India – between individuals and at a personal level. 'Co-Create Now' focuses on stories and experiences that people have a genuine interest in sharing with each other", said Michael Christiansen, chairman of the board of the Danish Cultural Institute.

8 August 2012


The India Today/Copenhagen Tomorrow project and related activities were supported by more than USD 22 mill.

Ravinder Reddy

Indian contemporary art at Arken