Big cities fascinate me, though by choice I live in the more managable bedlam of Baroda. I am back from a quick visit to Bombay where even just a day in the city allows you to cram into your schedule so much visual stimulus. Because at every corner there are things of intensity that steal away your time and hold you engrossed; and as you bargin with yourself over time, there will always be thousands of things that you have to leave for that "next time" visit. And you know you will return, again and again and again as I do, because the list of things to see and do will never ever really end!
These days I don't really gallery hop in the traditional sense as I used to when I was younger, but instead select shows that appear engaging or which friends I trust recommend; and this becomes what guides me to timetable my schedule. Shine Shivan at Mascara (The Warehouse Gallery at third Pasta Lane), was the high point for me of this trip. His exhibition titled Sperm Weaver is amongst the most accomplished shows I have seen in quite a while in India. For anyone who desires to view art that is truthful to it's intentions, then make a trip to this show please. And for all the art students out there, struggling and grappling with trying to realise conceptual ideas and most times being trivial and cliched; I urge you to make a study trip to view this exhibition. Come from ever corner of the country you are tucked away in if you must, because this show will teach you something valuable that no article in these so called Art magazines we publish in India, can ever give you.
I found the show at Sakshi The Tradition of the New curated by Andre Lee to be a crisp curatorial encounter, where the framework of intention is never even remotely compromised with any loud proclamations of curatorial authorship. What a relief! Our new age curators who put works of artists upside down (!) as supposed statements of curatorial intervention with lengthy texts to obscure simple meanings (!!) and over zealous gallerists who defend flimsy ideas because "they are different"(!!!), could well learn a lesson from this well articulated and poetic exhibition. The display of each work in this show is is quiet communication with that of another artist, or with the suggestive continuation of what you have just seen around the corner. Wu Chi Tsung's Wire Mesh IV, Tsai Charwei's Sea Mantra, Kuo I-Chen's Introduction and Newsha Tavakolian's The day I became a women, were my special favourites.
Joss was my quick hop-into- the-restaurant space, where Indonesian squid and chicken dishes left me groaning with over indulgence.
The Taj hotel was my hop-in-to-get- freshened-up space.
Good Earth was my must-visit-and-stock-up-on-delight space.
Bombay Electric was my just-to-peer at fashion space.
And winding through the by lanes of Bandra with Mithun late at night, filling me in with anecdotes about Bombay life was my chill pill of the day.