Mona Rai (b.1947) received a Master’s in Psychology at Delhi University and studied art at Triveni Kala Sangam. Rai is an abstractionist who explores the expressive potential of different materials such as metallic leaves, fabrics, glitter, sand, gravel, dirt and ash in her paintings. Her process is rooted in risk-taking. Many of her works, both on canvas and paper, resemble battlegrounds: scorched, trampled, slit, wounded, scratched, scarred, bleeding and weeping to rend objects into emotional states and aesthetic consciousness. At other times, she creates shimmering fields of color that dazzle and oscillate in the light, with imagery informed by craft production and ritual art forms. Rai takes inspiration from her environment, responding to nature and its manifestations in the animal, vegetable and mineral realms; and science, language, and their proliferation through technological means.
In the course of her expansive career, Rai has participated in multiple national and international shows including Nature Morte, New Delhi (2021, 2017, 2014, 2010, 2004); Gallery Maya, London (2006); Gallery F.I.A., Amsterdam (1997, 1993); Gallery Espace, New Delhi (1992); Gallery Augustine, Hofheim (1991); Sakshi Gallery, Madras (1991); Gallery Aurobindo, New Delhi (1988); Triveni Gallery, New Delhi (1984, 1974); Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi (1980, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974) and Gallery Chemould, Mumbai (1979). She has also shown at Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, (2001-2002); BK Kunstforum, Dusseldorf (2001-2002); Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, Cheltenham, UK (1995-1996); National Gallery of Modern Art (1986) and Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan (1984). Her work was featured in the 9th Norwegian International Print Triennial, Norway (1989); the Bharat Bhawan Biennial, India (1988); the 17th International Biennial of Graphic Art, Yugoslavia (1987) and the 15th Tokyo Biennale, Japan (1984).
With the acumen gained from two successful careers, the first in the Indian Revenue Service and the second at HSBC in India and Hong Kong, Malini serves as independent director on corporate and not for profit Boards, and advises organisations to design and operationalise the effective integration of ESG, sustainability into their strategic vision, to help future-proof them. Malini has been a Strategic advisor on Sustainability and ESG for Board level and Senior Business leaders.
As a Leader of high level stakeholder groups she has held positions on international and regional Boards for industry bodies and not-for-profits. She was a civil servant of the Indian Revenue Service, with 14 years’ experience in various Indian Government Ministries. She worked for 22 years at HSBC at first in India where she headed the financial services group’s Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability work. She moved to Hong Kong to lead the Bank’s Sustainability teams across 19 markets in Asia where HSBC had a presence, designing, developing and implementing large-scale, complex, cross-border sustainability projects in partnership with global and regional think-tanks, not-for-profits and academia, specialising in areas including sustainable finance, environmental resource security, livelihoods, employability and entrepreneurship.
Jigs Ashar is an award-winning author and banker-turned-consultant. His first short story, a thriller by the name of The Wait is Killing was adjudged a winner by none other than Jeffrey Archer in the Times of India - WriteIndia Season 2 contest. Encouraged by this, Jigs wrote his second short story in a completely different genre. Make(up) in India, a humorous take on today’s families, was adjudged a winner in the same season by Shobha De. His third short story, again a thriller titled Duel, was shortlisted for the Juggernaut Short Story Prize for the year 2018.
In a unique feat, Jigs debuted with two thriller novels that released on the same day in September 2020. The two crime thrillers - Insomnia and A Brutal Hand – have both done exceedingly well, and are currently being evaluated for a screen adaptation.
Jigs’ third novel, titled The Headless Victim, will be released in March 2023 by Rupa Publications, one of the largest publishing houses of India. His fourth novel, The Prime Minister Must Die, is an international political thriller, due for release in 2023.