03 November 2018, Bengaluru: ‘Art Bengaluru’, the city’s first ever and only art festival commenced with a Grand Opening Night on Friday – 02 November 2018. The evening witnessed Bengaluru’s art lovers gathering at the beautiful UB City to interact with the artists and view the various exhibits on display. The evening started off with Ms. Uzma Irfan – Festival Director, Art Bengaluru addressing the audience. This was followed by a mesmerizing performance by The Flying Drummers who fascinated the audience with their beats while being suspended mid-air. The Closing Act for the evening was a unique performance by Madpoi – a flow arts performance troupe from Mumbai which enthralled audiences with their LED poi spinning acts. Weaving circles of light, they morphed between pattern and frequency, fusing performance art and technology.
Apart from this, individual musical performances by Aman Mahajan (Pianist) on the Ground Floor, Nush Lewis (Harpist) on the first floor and Raman Iyer (Saxophonist) at Sublime Galleria on the 8th floor created the perfect ambience as guests walked around The Collection, UB City admiring the artworks.
With its inception in 2011, ‘Art Bengaluru’, brought about a new dimension to the art landscape in Bengaluru. For a city which had never really been known for art, the birth of this annual art soiree not just created a niche for Bengaluru on the national art map, but it also grew to become one of the most loved and anticipated art festivals in the city. One of its biggest highlights was the fact that it is held in The Collection, UB City – one of the most popular destinations in the heart of Bangalore. For 10 days, anyone can enter the festival for free and view spectacular works of art across a diverse spectrum of mediums and styles, displayed with museum-class display infrastructure under one roof.
The 2018 edition of Art Bengaluru brings together 17 Indian artists and over 200 artworks across 24 exhibits. With workshops, curated art walks, art installations and larger than life sized works of art all across The Collection, UB City, this is indeed a sensory treat for all Bengalureans. The artworks range from INR 13,400 – INR 65L.
The artworks range from photography, photo media, mixed media artworks, oil paintings, acrylics, pen and ink drawings, sculptures (from wood, steel and paper) and video projects. One of the highlights of the festival is a 30’ by 8’ oil on canvas by Saju Kunhan that, despite being created in 2011, has never been previously exhibited due to a lack of a large enough exhibition space. Inspired by Saju’s first experience of a “mega city” – Mumbai – the detail and scale of the work is mesmerising and should not be missed.
Moreover, by hosting it at The Collection, UB City, Art Bengaluru aims to create art awareness for the masses as the artworks have been put up throughout the mall and hence, is not targeted only at art lovers coming in specifically to see the art. It is targeted at everyone entering UB City – to inspire curiosity within them for the beautiful works around. With curated art walks, the festival also aims to contribute to art education among both children and adults. Art Bengaluru 2018 has partnered with several schools (Parikrma Centre of Learning, Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology and Dr. Beltran’s Animation School, to name a few) to take their students through curated walks to help them better understand and appreciate the arts.
About the Artists:
- Balan Nambiar: A master with over 60 years of experience, Mr. Nambiar’s forms dance elegantly between symmetry and asymmetry, and are often inspired by childhood memories and symbols associated with the ritual arts. He will be showcasing two stainless steel sculpture exhibits apart from a body of jewellery enamelled paintings that have never been exhibited previously, as well as a selection of mild steel sculptures.
- Gurudas Shenoy: Reputed artist, Gurudas Shenoy will be showcasing his natural and urban semi-abstract canvases, with an extensive collection at Sublime Galleria on the 8th floor as well.
- Kavita Jaiswal subsequently contemplates existentialism and perception through abstraction via mixed media works on canvas across two exhibits.
- Vipta Kapadia: Will display a collection of ephemeral abstractions in oils
- Chandan Bhowmick: Will showcase vivid terrestrial abstractions in acrylic
- D Venkatapathy: The senior most living founder member of the Cholamandal Artist Village and an important member of the Madras Art Movement will showcase large linear hillscapes in pen and ink on paper from 1986
- Yuvan Bothysathavur , S Ravi Shankar & Ganesh Selvaraj: With these 3 exhibits, symmetry replaces fluidity while paper and wood replace paint and ink. Though stylistically unique, these exhibits are tethered by strict geometrical forms employed by the artists; from the perspective-altering curves and lines of Yuvan’s work on plywood, to Ravi Shankar’s architectural laser-cut paper sculpture that transform in different angles of light, and Ganesh’s intense assemblages of magazine paper on board.
- Devangana Kumar & Rohaan Sulaiman: Their works feature photography and photo media. Devangana’s large format digital recreations of mid-nineteenth century postcards based on Indian servants under British employ strive to reinstate the identities of those commodified subjects and critique the culture of direct and indirect servitude still present in post-colonial Indian society. Rohaan’s documentation of Naga tribes and wildlife explore themes of migration, adaptation to rapidly evolving habitats and preservation of tradition.
- Parvathi Nayar , Romicon Revola , Ashu Gupta & Saju Kunhan: Parvathi’s exhibit explores water in its simultaneous ubiquity and scarcity, portrayed through the entire spectrum of perspective – from bird’s eye to microscopic. Romicon showcases two video projects and a central sculpture: the former meditates on a single drop of water and the latter engages with the phenomenon of the urban sprawl, while the sculpture attempts to address them both. Ashu, the festival’s youngest artist, attempts to reconcile her despair about Bangalore’s lost trees through a series of pen and ink drawings on canvas. The bridge features the largest work of the festival: a 30’ by 8’ oil on canvas by Saju Kunhan that, despite being created in 2011, has never been previously exhibited due to a lack of a large enough exhibition space. Inspired by Saju’s first experience of a “mega city” – Mumbai – the detail and scale of the work is mesmerising and should not be missed.
- Ashish Dubey and Pallon Daruwala: Their works feature semi-abstract photography. Ashish’s works disarmingly capture natural abstractions and, on first viewing, more closely resemble a Kandinsky than the documentation of dying wetlands that the works actually represent. One of the city’s most acclaimed photographers, Pallon’s exhibit features a selection of works from the new edition of his Vertical Horizon series, which aptly titled, capture a diverse series of subjects and settings from perspectives that are as thought provoking and disorienting as they are captivating.