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Contemporary Art Practice


“We do everything so automatically that we have forgotten the poignancy of smell, of physical anguish, of tactile sensations of all kinds” - Lygia Clark


The MFA in Contemporary Art Practice at Srishti Manipal is envisioned as a space for reflection of how one responds to life – the values, emotions, choices and experiences connected with it. It aims to create a dynamic, constructive, and productive environment for aspiring practitioners to begin their journey of inquiry. The program is aimed at artists who want to develop an artistic practice by broadening their knowledge, work with different combination of content, medium and materials besides challenging themselves.

Our enquiry & studio-based program invites a wide range of practices encouraging work in variety of media encouraging interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach. The practice could include old media like printing, painting, photography, sculpture etc in addition to new media, digital and technology based mediums. It also encourages non-media specific like ephemeral art, time-based arts, Live-Art, sonic art, performance etc.

It seeks to nurture values of playfulness, collaborative spirits, material consciousness and social-cultural and ecological awareness. It supports the aspiring practitioners, to become independent learners, thinkers and critically aware creative practitioners.

Course Structure

  • Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary studios
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Lines of Inquiries (Field work, Case Studies, Investigations, individual or Group Projects, Transdisciplinary Research)
  • Theory and Understanding
  • Independent Study
  • Open Elective
  • Practice
  • Exhibitions
  • Culminating Performances of Understanding (Portfolio, transdisciplinary research, projects, colloquium, capstone/dissertation)
  • Knowledge Enhancement (ability or skills)

Learning Approaches

  • This two-year program encourages aspiring practitioners to develop a sustained enquiry through the exploration of society and their personal selves.
  • This program helps develop a strong and professional body of work with a contextual argument in order to locate one’s artistic enquiry within contemporary artistic language and practices.
  • This is an interdisciplinary curriculum, exploring ideas through visuals, texts, and sound-based artifacts. It incorporates art theory and philosophy, history of media, arts and sciences and the influences of visual culture, memory, perception and cognition.
  • Building skills for creating installations, public art, developing performances, building surreal objects, or designing poetic experiences, be it with sound, experimental media, images, objects, artist books or stitched fabrics are inherent to the program.
  • This program looks at the sub-cultures of artistic production and management. It provides a framework to develop practical skills, applications of artistic practice, and the creative economies connected with it.
  • There is contextual learning and engagement with communities and site-specific interventions through a participatory approach. To learn from diverse creative communities as ways to enhance creativity and studio learning.
  • As a space for creativity and rigorous analysis through reading and writing, aspiring practitioners develop projects that requires research, fieldwork, and collaborations research, fieldwork, and collaborations through the following learning environments:
    Labs and Ateliers
    Contextual Sites, Galleries and Museums
    Independent Research & Practice


  • Develop a capacity to present new ideas and thoughts to the world by working experimentally, exploring materials, contexts and experience
  • Develop innovative ideas of practice, combining analysis and interpretations through making.
  • Develop analytical, discursive and collaborative skills to work with content and experiences with practitioners from diverse fields.
  • Develop Analytical and reflective skills to work with unique contents from social, cultural, historical and environmental contexts.
  • Locate or create diverse opportunities for continuing and sustaining ones’ arts practice by developing art projects either directed toward the art market or non-profit, creative industries or media based industries, alternative art-based spaces and communities.
  • Engaging with new mediums and practices, pursue continuous learning and keep ones practice active with new developments and practices.
  • Developing curatorial practices which can transcend political, social and cultural boundaries relevant to the times
  • Art as a means to knowledge production.


The above capability sets equip and prepare the student for a wide range of career opportunities with:

  • To create an artist's studio practice to practice across art genres, oriented toward the international art market (galleries, fairs, museums, residencies).
  • Working with creative industries such as but not limited to film production units, advertising, web designing, graphic designing.
  • Involved in teaching & learning, Making/Scripting pedagogies, policies and be creative leads in Public art and site-specific projects.
  • Working change makers in collaboration with NGO’s or other organizations.
  • Pursuit of higher academic degrees or further studies in art, art theory, art criticism, curatorial practice, cultural studies.
  • Develop career in Arts management, development of curatorial practice to be part of biennales, art fairs and Festivals, museums and other arts based organisation.
  • Connection to the Srishti Manipal network of projects and professionals.



Disciplinary Intersections

The program is informed by the following learning disciplines:

Research and Collaboration

Students under this program will have an opportunity to work at the following labs at Srishti.



Contemporary art is characterized by expansive practices where art is an approach and method and possibly but not necessarily, also embodied in conventional techniques of art (painting, sculpture, printmaking, for example).

Based on the Srishti’s tradition of interdisciplinary studies, the student will have the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills into their practice from areas such as filmmaking, hybrid art/science, public art, web or game design, writing, craft, and more.

It is increasingly common for Masters students to come with a 4-year undergraduate program in Film, Design, Web practices, Engineering, as also as an undergraduate program in Fine Art. We are seeking motivated students who want to shape an art practice amidst a diverse Srishti Manipal community of artists, designers, engineers, researchers, and theorists, who are all dedicated to helping student’s discover and follow their paths of interest.

Students will have a dedicated studio space to work in. They will take classes and have studio time to develop their work. They will be encouraged to experiment and develop an original practice true to themselves and based on the courses, seminars, and critiques that are offered.

Critical reflection and dialogue in groups or individually with instructors will be an essential part of the program. Exhibiting or presenting your work for the public is considered a necessary experience for the understanding of context and the possibilities inherent in displaying art. This opportunity will help the student build experience for a career in the arts.

Srishti Manipal offers an international exchange program with universities across the world. The selection for this is based on merit and the interest of the student.

As an MFA student of Contemporary Art, you will be able to select courses in studio art as well as disciplines that expand or deepen areas of interest, such as curatorial studies, film, animation, game art, and design, etc. As the program progresses, working methods become a platform from which the student can gain professional experience and stretch their practice through participation in labs and research projects. As an example, Art in Transit – a result of increasing demand for public art ­– offers opportunities to do public art in Bangalore’s metro stations, among other site-specific places.

There are dedicated studio spaces for each individual MFA student, and many specialized facilities such as carpentry, weaving, silk-screen, photography and printmaking, etc. These are located in workshop spaces and students will always have access to all workspaces. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively and to do off-site work as well. All the campuses have Wi-Fi and Srishti Manipal has an extensive library for reference. Students will be responsible for acquiring their own materials.

As a contemporary artist, it is possible to enter many different fields of practice. The program regards professional experience as an integral part of the development of any practice. As a practicing artist there will be opportunities to pursue work in the art world, be it in museums, galleries, the art market, or alternative organizations. Doing research, writing about art, developing public art and collaborative projects, are integral to the expanded field of art practice and professional work related to the arts. Internships, visiting gallerists, curators and interactions with other professional artists, allow the student to create a network and a community of friends. Srishti Manipal faculty and visiting artists help the student orient diverse career paths to enable them to construct build their own future as contemporary artists and art practitioners.

View Eligibility for Admission, Fee Schedule, Application Form & Other information for this Program >>