‘India Moves’ at Jaya He GVK New Musuem, CSMI Airport

Submitted by Tejal Mor

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Client: Mumbai International Airport Ltd.

Location: Mumbai, India

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $150,000

Project Team

Other

Mr. Rajeev Sethi

Rajeev Sethi Scenographers Pvt. Ltd

Other

Mr. Alfaz Miller

ABM Architects Pvt. Ltd.

Overview

Art installation, ‘India Moves’ situated within Terminal 2 of CSMI Airport, Mumbai is an integral part of its architectural design. It's concept, based on the idea of a human form as a body and soul – a transitory entity on earth space, resonates with the idea of a traveler in an Airport – also as a transitory visitor. It represents India's larger philosophy where one’s location is in constant flux. It consists of various Indian antique art objects placed in a contemporary narrative with materials like stone, wood, metal, paper-mache and gold leaf work.

Goals

The primary aim of integrating and commissioning India Moves within the airport space along with its architectural design was to offer a chance to travelers across cultures and ages to engage and connect with art spontaneously. It helps give meaning to a merely functional non engaging liminal space between retail areas and boarding gates at airport by;
1. Making an attempt to reviving generations’ old Indian art forms by putting them in dialogue with the new to make them relevant today;
2. Providing travellers opportunity to take a pause, connect, interact and introspect through the language of art;
3. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach that transcends all categories and boundaries to represent the plurality and diversity of today’s world culture while retaining the essence of the Indian heritage; and
4. Providing platform to traditional artisans often from remote villages to showcase their art and skills in public domain;
To a traveler, it tells a story of a country that lives in along multiple timelines at once. India moves, as a part of a ‘Jaya He GVK New Museum’ installations was conceptualized simultaneously along with airport architecture/infrastructure design which has been a collaborative effort of over 100 artists, artisans, historians, anthropologists, engineers, architects and conservators.

Process

India moves located on the East pier of the T2 boarding gates at CSMIA, necessitated a well-knit collaboration between the stakeholders. The curatorial team researched and travelled across the country covering over 5,000 Kms by road to understand the cultural diversity and collect objects which represent fine combination of form, material and skill and also speaks of a particular place, period, and its people. The collections were RIFD tagged by the research team, catalogued on a custom-designed software with information on its dating, provenance, history, its stylistic and technical features collated by trained art historians, anthropologists, and ethnographers. The collections were stored at the mock-up site spanning an area of 20,000 sq ft. under security where 40-member team of art conservators and restorers transformed the damaged and distressed objects into their original form. Each object was then visualised and put together in site specific installations in collaboration with the traditional and contemporary artists; and installed as per the curatorial vision with the help of architects, structural engineers and contractors as a landmark corporate initiative to safeguard an immense cultural resource from being lost for posterity as part of the Airport terminal building design.

Additional Information

India Moves at Jaya He opens up possibility of multiple interpretations to stretch the notion of oneself and the world. Defying conventional notions of art- craft or traditional-modern as binaries, it distils and interpret India, culturally, aesthetically, historically and socially. To a traveler, Jaya He Museum endeavors to become the agent of change. At a public space through art, it nurtures an environment of social inclusiveness to share ideas of positivity and hope.