Saturday, January 21, 2023

Travel Diaries- Mumbai Urban Art Festival

I found some visuals from Sasoon Dock Art Project appealing. When I got a chance to be in Mumbai, I planned to attend the festival. Walking away from Gateway of India, I walked through the thrift shop lanes, watching the consumers and the sellers. 

I spotted a Kaali Peeli and hopped into it. A mother daughter duo also stopped the taxi, asking for same destination. All three of us ended up at Sasoon Dock Yard. The Dock yard welcomed with a hit of strong fish smell. I strolled across spotting unending queue to visit the installations. 

I walked till the end, hoping to find a way. I found out the ways to enter the installation. 
1) You need a stamp of art festival
2) You should get registered. 

I signed up the free registration watching the long queue. I stood near the entrance hoping for some miracle to skip the queue. The security guard was stamping in batches. I asked for one and she stamped on my wrist. Voila, I got stamped and I'm in. 

I walked into one multi storeyed rooms which got ample of installations. The first installation that grabbed my attention was by this artist, which had mirrors on the floors and text on the walls. Very intriguing and well communicated. 

There were a lot of installations. The one that stayed with me are the video set up on how water and urban cities are mingled. I was surprised by the way, everyone interacting with art. Selfies, selfies, photo shoots everywhere. I was judging everyone who were clicking selfies, pictures with the art and treating it as background. Who am I say, how to treat the art?, another question floated around. 

Walked across a lot of video installations, along with the sweeping crowd. Very few people were able to sit and watch it completely amidst a lot of noise andd commotion. Other than that, a few other installations were also interesting. 

I got into one more colorful building with series of installations across the floors. At one end of the building, there were water pipes maze under which, one had to  walk through. On the dry dull walls were two huge figures that moved all the audience. As we climbed up, a quote stretched on 40 ft wall. 

I sat there, trying to spend time with that art. Later, a series of structures were built over the fish boxes depicting the divide & discrimination of classes. 

Watching a lot of  installations, the Mumbai Urban art festival throw some light on Urban landscapes and the reality of it. No one is happy with how urban cities are evolving. Are villages better? I'm not sure. 

At the end, I bought some souvenirs, journal, photographs of all the installations I enjoyed. Clicked a lot of pictures of the art. Interacted them with the little time I got in my hand. If anyone wants to attend the festival, I suggest them to attend during the weekdays rather than weekends. 

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