St+art Mumbai 2017 Urban Art Festival will aim to reintroduce the city to one of its lost spaces- Sassoon Dock!

St+art India Foundation has just announced the launch of the Sassoon Dock Art Project as part of the St+art Mumbai 2017 Urban Art Festival. The project will be an experiential exhibition with site-specific installations, murals, audiovisual experiences, screenings, talks and curated tours of one of the busiest docks of Mumbai, situated at the tip of Colaba! Over the course of the next 2 months, the 142-year-old space will be transformed into a public art exhibition that will showcase the deeper layers of the city, and the multilayered contexts of the dock.

Credit: Pranav Gohil

A city that is skyrocketing its way toward being the largest modern settlement in the world, Mumbai still has pockets of the lifestyle of the past, preserved beautifully amongst the hustle and bustle of modern living. Sassoon Dock is a perfect example of such a site. The dock, which has remained largely unlocked for Mumbaikers in the past, will soon be revamped with artworks, installations, and other performances and unlocked to the public. Amongst a vast host of cultural institutions, Asian Paints, and associations with Mumbai Port Trust (MBPT), Singapore Tourism Board, Bonjour India, Institut Français and JSW Group, St+art Mumbai 2017 will bring 30 Indian and international artists to Sassoon Dock between November 11-December 30. The aim of the project is to create a temporary cultural hub and a provide a stimulating experience, open to everyone while working alongside the vibrant community of locals and economies that are thriving in the area.

Giulia Ambrogi, Co-Founder & Festival Curator, St+art India Foundation said, “Expanding at a very fast pace the city that never sleeps has spots lost in time. Everyone in Mumbai knows of Sassoon Dock but very few have ever stepped in. The aim of the Sassoon Dock Art Project is to unlock an area, which is ready to be discovered, enlightening its narratives through art interventions of international and unique Indian artists. The Sassoon Dock Art Project is an ecosystem of its own to experience in an overall dialogue between the finest contemporary global urban art and the deepest local traditions.”

Credit: Pranav Gohil

Mr. Amit Syngle, President-Sales, Marketing, Technology & Home Improvement, Asian Paints Ltd. said “Like every year, we yet again hope to add a bit of vibrance to the city and uplift the moods, spirits, and lives of the Mumbaikars. We want to take art to the masses and make it accessible to a wider range of spectators. The idea is to open spaces to dialogues, conversations and culture creation through the lens of the city.”

Hanif Kureshi, Co-Founder & Creative Director, St+art India Foundation said, “Sassoon Dock is surrounded by many established art galleries, but most of the local community is not aware of it. Same way people outside the docks have only heard of Sassoon Dock, but not many people have ventured inside. With this project, we invite all Mumbaikars to come and discover the new side of the city and experience art at this unexpected place. Sassoon Dock Art Project makes our motto even more clear, which is ‘art for all’ and ‘all for art’.”

Credit: Akshat Nauriyal

There will be special schedules across weekends in November where the exhibition will transform into a pop-up cultural hub for various creative communities to come together. These weekends will see special programming with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Institut Francais and Bonjour India. To promote creative and cultural exchange between India and Singapore, the project will see the Singapore Weekender with several Singaporean artists in association with Singapore Tourism Board’s new brand ‘Passion Made Possible‘.

Between November 17-19 Sassoon Dock will be revamped with artworks by The Yok & Sheryo, Tan Zi Xi, a Zine festival and screen printing workshop with Knuckles & Notcha design + risograph press based in Singapore, an exhibition by photographer Darren Soh and film screenings by Objectifs Centre for Film and Photography as well as performances by Turntablist and Producer DJ KoFlow. The weekend will also see a unique collaboration between Chef Gresham Fernandes (Social) and Chef Bjorn Shen (Artichoke) whose styles represent the cultural similarities between Singapore and Mumbai share – like our mutual fondness of seafood! The collaboration is meant to be a sensorial showcase that reflects passion, inspiration, and style, and will be available all across Social’s in Mumbai until December 2.

Credit: Pranav Gohil

Mr. GB Srithar, Regional Director, South Asia Middle-east and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board said, “Singapore is popular as a family-friendly destination. We are happy to partner with St+art India Foundation and Impresario Group, both players are known to break boundaries in their own fields. Through this collaboration, we seek to present Singapore in a different light to the young adults and working millennial segments who travel for various pursuits. In showcasing Singaporean artistes’ work in line with our “Passion Made Possible” brand, we hope to entrench Singapore as an exciting lifestyle hot spot. Many travel interest triggers, like music, art and dining can be satiated in Singapore.”

The weekend with Bonjour India and Institut Français will bring iconic French photographer/ artist JR’s global participatory project, the ‘Inside Out Project’ to the city, whose largescale street paste-up project celebrates identity and shines a light on untold stories. The project will celebrate the vibrant, bumbling fishermen communities of Sassoon Dock through blowups of portraits. This will be an extension of JR’s Inside Out Project, which deals with commitment, freedom, identity, and limits through close-up black and white portraits.

Photographer/ Visual artist Akshat Nauriyal, the Co-Founder of St+art India Foundation, spent the initial weeks of October researching the intricacies of the Sassoon Dock area and getting in touch with local community leaders to get an idea of the diverse socio-cultural web of the space. Through his research he discovered the region to be inhabited predominantly by the Koli, the Banjaara and the Ghati fishermen and women communities, all co-existing in the micro-economy of Sassoon Dock. This was followed by the setup of a pop-up studio where, over the course of a week, over 150 portraits by the artist and his assistant Pranav Gohil were taken. These will now be blown up to large size prints that will be pasted across the dock. The aim of this installation is to represent the people behind the scenes, working tirelessly in anonymity despite themselves being one of the earliest settlers in Mumbai. There will be a film screening of the project where Naurival will outline the procedure and complexities of the project, followed by a screening of JR’s film, ‘Women are Heroes’. Urban designers Faizan Khatri, AWP, Ayaz Basrai and Sameep Padora will be giving talks at the event. The French duo Ella + Pitr, who are famous for creating art in aerially-viewed spaces will also be speaking on their methods, followed by the screening of their spectacular aerial videos. There will be graffiti workshops conducted by Lek, famous for reclaiming abandoned spaces in the name of art.

Credit: Akshat Nauriyal

Dr. Bertrand de Hartingh, French Embassy in India – Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs / French Institute in India – Country Director / Bonjour India General Curator said, “Institut français India has a long-standing relationship with St+art India Foundation. With Bonjour India, it has developed into an even stronger partnership. St+art Urban Art Festival will animate Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chandigarh with social innovation and urban art. Local and international artists will create works on site inspired by local stories and materials. Together these will tell each city their own stories. With murals, graffiti, audio-visual experiences, this tale of two countries will come together in one Indo-French moment.”

Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust said, “With its historic legacy, Mumbai Port is pleased to be a part of the art exhibition at Sassoon Dock, which is the oldest dock from where the port has evolved over the past 150 years. The port has been a standing testimony of Mumbai’s evolution and this initiative of wall painting and its exhibition is a step further in this direction. We welcome the artists, both international and Indian in their journey to revamp the Sassoon Dock with their murals and take it to global limelight.”

Credit: Akshat Nauriyal

Over the past 3 years, the foundation has organized 6 St+art festivals and numerous public art projects in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad creating iconic landmarks within all these cities. Each new edition of festivals and public art districts asks for us to reimagine our idea of public spaces, and provides a much-needed platform for cultural innovation in urban culture. For the foundation, which has been responsible for making urban art a movement in India, public art interventions are a celebration of the street as a canvas for visual creativity.

The Artist line up at Sassoon Dock Art Project is as follows:

Akash Raj Halankar (IN), Arthat Collective (IN), Asim Waqif (IN) & Lek (FR), Avinash Kumar (IN), AWP (FR), Clemens Behr (DE), Curiot (MX), Darren Soh (SG), Do & Khatra (IN), Faizan Khatri (IN), Furqan Jawed (IN), Guido Van Helten (AU), Hanif Kureshi (IN), Hanisha Tirumalasetty (IN), Inkbrushnme (IN), Inside Out Project (FR), LIVIL (AT), Pierre Guyot (IN), Poornima Sukumar & Sadhna Prasad (IN), Sajid Wajid Sheikh (IN), Sameer Kulavoor (IN), Shilo Shiv Suleman (IN), Spy (SP), Tahska (IN), Tan Zi Xi (SG), The Big Fat Minimalist (IN), The Fearless Collective (IN), The Yok & Sheryo (SG) and Vibhor Yadav (IN).

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