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NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

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THEARTISSUE SCULPTURAL SPACESBY THUKRAL & TAGRA KOHELIKA KOHLI RAJIV SAINI

ARTISTS & THEIRSTUDIOS

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contents

CONTENTS November-December 2015 ON THE COVER THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD

A sculpture created by artist Dhruva Mistry for a Vadodara home designed by architect Kohelika Kohli. (‘The Baroda School’, pg 194). Photographer: Montse Garriga

24 26

EDITOR’S LETTER CONTRIBUTORS

DISCOVER

31

FOCUS Dust-covered floorboards and ceiling-high stacks of furniture serve as a backdrop for a trip down memory lane with colonial furniture.

44

MONTSE GARRIGA

56

SHOPS AD curates a selection of products using four artworks for inspiration, each of which are going to be auctioned. AGENDA A round-up of people, ideas, innovations and events in the news.

Pg 194

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015|

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contents 62 74

PORTFOLIO Meet four well-established Italian furniture makers, who have built successful business dynasties through years of honing their skills. INDULGE AD’s resident watch editor speaks to eight artists and designers from around the world about their favourite timepieces.

PERSPECTIVE

98 108 116 122 128 134 142 150

154 160 168

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ART Explore the creative spaces of seven artists as AD takes readers into their studios in Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and New Delhi to experience the artistic process.

SPOTLIGHT With inputs from Dennis Gassner— production designer for Spectre, the latest James Bond film—AD takes a closer look at the thrilling sets that the MI6 agent has inhabited over the years. ACCESS Nadia Samdani, a Dhaka-based collector who has lived with art all her life, outlines how her tastes and understanding of art have evolved. TRAVEL Every year in December, the Miami Beach edition of Art Basel turns the city into a lively hub buzzing with art and design. AD gives you the lowdown on where to go and what to see.

NEVILLE SUKHIA

81

PHOTO Artists and designers Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra photograph a series of surreal water tanks in Beas, Punjab, and attempt to decipher this curious display of ‘Punjabi baroque’. ICON Damien Hirst turns curator with the opening of his Newport Street Gallery in London, and its exhibition of work by the late English artist John Hoyland. SHOWCASE AD compiles a list of some of India’s most influential art collectors—the people who, through their patronage, mentorship and collaborations, are changing the face of Indian art.

Pg 81

Pg 44

ARCHITECTURE Two constructions—one in Milan, the other in Moscow—represent the new design direction that Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has adopted. RETAIL Bengaluru-based jewellery brand, Ganjam commissioned architect Denis Montel, of Paris-based design firm RDAI, to create an India-inspired showroom to celebrate the brand’s 125th anniversary.

Pg 44

PROJECT On a roundabout just outside Vienna, artist Jitish Kallat has created his largest-ever artwork, a 55-foot-wide sculpture inspired by the cosmos and infinity. DETAIL Previously relegated to the shadows, graffiti is taking India by storm, thanks to the efforts of street artists around the country. DESIGN Having recently completed a year in Mars’s orbit, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission is an unequivocal success, garnering acclaim for its design and innovative use of technology.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

Pg 44


contents Pg 160

SPACES

175

186 194 204 212 220 228

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THE BOY WONDERS It’s easy to understand the surreal works of art created by Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra when you see their whimsical, technicolour homes and studio in New Delhi. EAST MEETS WEST The Beirut home of Cherine Magrabi Tayeb—founder of House of Today, a platform for art and design—is a great showcase of this art patron’s aesthetic. THE BARODA SCHOOL In this vast two-storey home for an art-loving family in Vadodara, Gujarat, architect Kohelika Kohli fitted out a raw, modern temple for art.

URBAN RETREAT Mumbai’s posh Malabar Hill area offered architect Rajiv Saini an ideal canvas to build this home for a New Delhi-based couple.

ENRICO FABIAN

PALLON DARUWALA

Pg 150

236

INSIDE

241

246 248

MODERN MONOLITH In one of Johannesburg’s oldest residential areas, architect Wilh van der Merwe has created a Japanese-inspired abode for a Pakistan-born family.

254

HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS Architect Smita Khanna designed her home in Mumbai with a clear vision of a bright, calm space—choosing subtlety over ornamentation.

258

DESERT ROCKS Inspired by nature, and his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright, architect Kendrick Kellogg collaborated with designer John Vugrin to create this eccentric home near Palm Springs, California.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

WORKBOOK Samir Wadekar adapts the international styles in our pages for your home.

264 266

STYLE AD reinterprets the works of four iconic Bauhaus masters using a range of products and finishes to illustrate the style’s melding of art and industrial design.

ADVICE Deciphering the growing online marketplace for art can be a daunting task. Mortimer Chatterjee—founder of Mumbai gallery Chatterjee & Lal—offers a fair bit of instruction. POINT OF VIEW Unbeknownst to many, the art scene in India has seen some of the most outrageous acts of deceit and forgery. AD reveals the sometimes-slippery side of art dealings in India. RSVP AD partnered with Asian Paints and fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee for the launch of an India-inspired collection of wallpapers for Nilaya. SCOUTS A low-down on the hottest products and newest launches to hit the market this season. STOCKISTS An A to Z of the stores in our pages. AD 10 Founder of The Perfume Library, Jahnvi Dameron-Nandan lists 10 of her favourite sources of inspiration.


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t might be the vagina-at-Versailles effect but suddenly, Indian artists are the talk of the art world. The annual intervention between the classical architecture of the French chateau and the work of a leading contemporary artist is always provocative, but Kapoor’s genitalia-referencing show this summer proved the most controversial yet. Then there is the politically sensitive India-Pakistan pavilion at the Venice Biennale, which showcases the work of Pakistan’s Rashid Rana alongside India’s Shilpa Gupta. There’s more to come: next summer, the Tate Modern will dedicate a major exhibition to Bhupen Khakhar, India’s first pop artist known for exploring sexuality through his paintings. The shock factor is just part of the conversation that proves India’s art scene is once again buzzing. This is a world where, for all its highbrow ideas and conceptual statements, the numbers define the market. While not quite back to pre-2008 levels, prices have been steadily recovering. In September, a new record price for an Indian painting was set at Christie’s New York, when a monumental work by FN Souza sold for $4 million. In October, a work by Amrita Sher-Gil sold for £ 1.7 million at Sotheby’s London. No surprise then, that Sotheby’s has opened a new office in Mumbai. Or that local auction house Saffronart, under the direction of new CEO Hugo Weihe (previously of Christie’s) is repositioning itself as a major player. Eagle-eyed international investors are circling India in their Gulfstream jets, ready to descend when prices inevitably begin to soar. Watch out, China! Before the vultures strike, the emerging market is being fuelled by the passion of a new generation of home-grown art patrons who buy for love, not money. We profile a selection of these pioneering collectors on page 134. And, in a deeply personal account on page 108, Nadia Samdani, amongst the subcontinent’s most powerful collectors of contemporary art, explains what drives her decision to acquire new works.  Andy Warhol might have had The Factory, but the abundance of space and labour in India means that the country’s leading contemporary artists have even more impressive studios. AD’s Sanhita Sinha Chowdhury travelled across the country to charm some of our most celebrated—and reclusive—artists into opening the doors of their studios. She was invited to play football in the carpenter-filled studio of Riyas Komu. And Sudarshan Shetty, who was recently appointed curator of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, patiently waited as she searched for his industrial-sized space in Mumbai’s Bhiwandi suburb. Though art is never decoration, it is integral to all the homes we’ve featured in this, our Art Issue. The intersection between architecture and art is most apparent in our cover story, a landmark new house in Vadodara with interior design by Kohelika Kohli of Delhi-based K2India. Built in brick, it references Indian modernism and is filled with modern and contemporary art, including the site-specific sculpture by Dhruva Mistry seen on our cover.  Also in the Spaces section, we have the self-designed homes and studio of artists Thukral & Tagra. Their work is truly multimedia; I write this from my cabin, which features specially commissioned wallpaper. Jiten and Sumir have become good friends over the last few months as they contributed to this issue with their photo story on extraordinary “Punjabi baroque” water tanks (page 122), and as we collaborate on an installation (see our January-February 2016 issue for the results). Some houses are sculptures in themselves; an idea manifested by a spectacular home in the California desert by Kendrick Bangs Kellogg—a little-known protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. Nothing hangs on its walls. Furniture spirals to the floor from the ceiling and entire rooms are carved out of rock. Few people know of its existence. It’s the definition of rare, a masterpiece in itself. But is it art?

(Clockwise from this picture) The entrance to a Rajiv Saini-designed apartment in Mumbai, looking towards an installation by Shilpa Gupta (pg 204). The Gurgaon studio of artists Thukral & Tagra (pg 175). An Anish Kapoor from the collection of Nadia Samdani (pg 108).

GREG FOSTER

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PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): PRASAD NAIK. ANISH KAPOOR & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION. SEBASTIAN ZACHARIAH. MANOLO YLLERA

EDITOR’S LETTER


D E S I G N P O R T R A I T.

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contributors

KUNAL BHATIA

SHUMON AHMED

WRITER Kunal Bhatia is an architect, photographer and writer, who works across the three disciplines and finds inspiration in cities around the world, in people that he meets and in encounters that are often fleeting. In This Issue: In ‘Home is Where the Art is’ (pg 220) Bhatia interviewed architect Smita Khanna about her home. “When architects speak about their own spaces, it’s a true reflection of their personality; and Smita was as welcoming and easy-going as her home.”

NEVILLE SUKHIA

PHOTOGRAPHER Neville Sukhia has been photographing for himself, and various clients across the fields of adventure, portraiture, documentary and travel. In This Issue: Sukhia photographed colonial furniture and fabric in the style shoot ‘Lost Stories’ (pg 31), and seven artists’ studios around the country for ‘In the Studio’ (pg 81). He says of the latter, “It was an inspiring and humbling experience photographing some of India’s finest artists.” 26|

DIANA CAMPBELL BETANCOURT

WRITER Director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit, Betancourt also works with art collectors Vijay and Sunita Choraria— featured in this issue—and is a regular visitor to Art Basel Miami Beach. In This Issue: She explains why Miami is the ideal art and design destination every December in ‘Welcome to Miami’ (pg 116).

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

J RAMANAND

WRITER J Ramanand is the co-founder of a ‘smart’ start-up in Pune, and was once a computer science researcher. He quizzes by day, reads by night, works on weekends, and writes when the moon is blue. In This Issue: Ramanand explores India’s Mars Orbiter Mission in ‘The Final Frontier’ (pg 168). “Researching the Mangalyaan story made me feel India’s space story needs to be talked about and celebrated more.”


contributors

NADIA SAMDANI

WRITER Nadia Samdani is a Bangladesh-based collector and philanthropist. She co-founded the Samdani Art Foundation in 2011—with her husband Rajeeb—to support South Asian art globally, and also produces the biennial Dhaka Art Summit. In This Issue: In ‘Frame by Frame’ (pg 108), Samdani speaks about her evolving art collection. “AD was one of the first publications to share images of our home with audiences in India; it’s been great to reflect on how the art in our space has changed since that story first ran.”

KISHORE SINGH

WRITER Kishore Singh is the head of exhibitions and publications at the Dag Modern in New Delhi, where he writes, curates, lectures, makes films, and promotes Indian art worldwide. In This Issue: In ‘Master Theft’ (pg 248), Singh writes about how forgeries can impact the nascent market: “I undertook this piece to create awareness about some of the industry’s best-kept worst secrets.” 28|

PHALGUNI DESAI

WRITER Phalguni Desai is a writer and art consultant, and coordinates art projects for the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai. In This Issue: Desai lists some of India’s most influential art collectors and patrons in ‘Collectors’ Club’ (pg 134). “I usually find myself in the artist’s corner, away from the buying and collecting, so it was fun to speak with the collectors for a change and see things from their perspective.”

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

MORTIMER CHATTERJEE

WRITER Mortimer Chatterjee co-founded the art gallery Chatterjee & Lal, with his wife Tara Lal. In This Issue: In ‘Window Shopping’ (pg 246) Chatterjee browses through the online art world. “This is the most exciting story I have ever had the opportunity to write. The way we access art is changing before our eyes; and I had the opportunity to talk to the people making it happen.”


MADE IN ITALY

www.giorgiocollection.it Seregno (MB) Italy

Collection COLISEUM design Giorgio Soressi


FOCUS

Amidst dust-covered floorboards and ceiling-high stacks of furniture, uncovers a romantic colonial past

STYLIST SONALI THAKUR . PHOTOGRAPHER NEVILLE SUKHIA

THRONE ROOM French sofa chairs; Mahendra Doshi. ‘Meisho-Mulberry’ upholstery fabric from the Butikku collection; The Pure Concept. Portraits of King George V and Queen Mary; Essajees.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|31


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SITTING ON THE SIDE (From top) Indo-French colonial chair; The Raj Company. ‘Layered Paint’ fabric; Atmosphere. Teak-wood, caned French settee; Mahendra Doshi. ‘Koyo-Quince’ curtain fabric from the Butikku collection; The Pure Concept. ‘Herons’ Realm (Re-Deco)’ vases; Lladró.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015


Methodus - Master Fotograe

Garbo design: Umberto Asnago

ITALPROGRAM PLUS s.r.l. Mr. Mohamad Chahade - via E. Bertini 43/a - 47100 ForlĂŹ (Italy) - tel +39 0543 724377 fax +39 0543 724643 - mobile +39 3395827559 - m.chahade@italprogramplus.it

www.i4mariani.com


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HIDDEN TREASURES Pair of vintage French turquoise candlesticks, bronze and gold candelabra, pure silver lion from Udaipur; Essajees. Ebony and rosewood altar, teak-wood colonial chest of drawers (below altar), teak-wood colonial filing box with drawers (right), ‘Jackwood Raffles’ chair; Mahendra Doshi. ‘BP201002 Petit Parc’ wallpaper by Braquenié (inside altar); Pierre Frey. Antique white marble bust, antique satinwood and ebony writing box (below lion), antique Raj-era silver tea set, Dutch colonial satinwood and ebony chest (bottom right), antique Chinese porcelain jar; Phillips Antiques.


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ORDER IN CHAOS Victorian cast-iron and glass standing kerosene lamp (top left); Essajees. Antique British colonial secretaire (cabinet); The Raj Company. ‘F319-Kidney’ table; Anemos. Rosewood dining chair; Mahendra Doshi. Hand-carved wooden dog; Sarita Handa. Colonial rosewood armchair (foreground); Phillips Antiques.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015


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ALL ALIGNED Dutch colonial satinwood armoire (extreme left); Phillips Antiques. Antique Indo-Portuguese rosewood bench with backrest; The Raj Company. ‘Idabel VF_0772A’ fabric; D’Decor. Camphor and ebony Dutch secretaire (cabinet with drawers); Mahendra Doshi. Mahogany Anglo-Indian daybed; Phillips Antiques.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015


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CURTAIN CALL (From left to right) ‘Genova 501’ fabric; Prêt-fab. ‘Emerald Energy 9667’ fabric; D’Decor. ‘Ruffle some feathers’ fabric; Atmosphere. Teakwood English dining chairs; Mahendra Doshi. Location courtesy: Mahendra Doshi Production: Anomaly Production Photo Editor: Kim Sidhu Assistant Stylist: Samir Wadekar Production Assistant: Shreya Basu

For details, see Stockists 40|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015


Golden Ming Clouds Wall Sconce & Eros Bench

www.viyahome.com MUMBAI 01/31 Kamal Mansion 2F Arthur Bunder Road Colaba M.9987879694


discover SHOPS

ONCE,TWIC We looked at the calendars of some of the major auction houses worldwide and zeroed in on their upcoming sales, which we used as our inspirations STYLIST SONALI THAKUR ‘PARADISE’ VASE BY MOSER, `61,000, THEHOUSEOFTHINGS.COM

SCULPTUREDEY’ (SET OF THREE), `68,000, ARIA INTERIORS

COURTESY CHRISTIE’S IMAGES

SILVER-LEAFED BAR WITH GOLD TRIM, `6,95,000, HOUSE OF RARO

‘SANOBAR’ TEA LIGHT HOLDER (LARGE), `4,750, ANANTAYA

DATE: 15 DECEMBER 2015 UNDER THE HAMMER: UNTITLED (KRISHNA AND COW) (OIL ON CANVAS) ARTIST: MANJIT BAWA ESTIMATE: `2.5-3 CRORES ENAMELLED BOX, `52,600, RAVISSANT

(ON SIDE TABLE) ANTIQUE HUKKA STAND, PRICE ON REQUEST, THE GREAT EASTERN HOME; ‘RIO HAIR ON’ SIDE TABLE (GREY), `32,000, INV HOME

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

CHAIR IN TEAK WOOD, `45,000, BEYOND DESIGNS

‘VILLA LE LAC PAULOWNIA THE BIRDHOUSE’ DRESSER CADDY BY JAIME HAYON FOR CASSINA, `1,00,060, POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTRE

‘MARGARET’ SOFA BY PAULA SOUSA, `4,10,814 ONWARDS, MUNNA

PHOTOGRAPHERS: ANSHUMAN SEN, INDRAJIT SATHE. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: SAMIR WADEKAR, NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

CHRISTIE’S, MUMBAI THE INDIA SALE


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COURTESY PHILLIPS

‘BLU VAS SHO & `7, MOO

PHILLIPS, LONDON PHOTOGRAPHS

DATE: 6 NOVEMBER 2015 UNDER THE HAMMER: UNTITLED (MULHOLLAND), (CHROMOGENIC PRINT, 2004, ONE IN A SERIES OF SIX) ARTIST: FLORIAN MAIER-AICHEN ESTIMATE: £30,000-50,000

‘SCIGHERA’ LOW TABLE BY PIERO LISSONI FOR CASSINA, `95,850, POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTRE

‘HALF CUT’ CHAMPAGNE COUPE (ROUND) AND WINE GLASS (DOME), `6,441 ONWARDS EACH, LEE BROOM

‘ORBE’ TABLE LAMP BY PATRICK E NAGGAR FOR VERONESE, `1,30,443 ONWARDS, SOURCES UNLIMITED

‘LAYERS’ CABINET BY NENDO, PRICE ON REQUEST, GLAS ITALIA

‘MIRAGE’ MIRROR BY TOKUJIN YOSHIOKA, PRICE ON REQUEST, LEMA

‘LARIO’ SOFA BY ANTONIO CITTERIO, PRICE ON REQUEST, FLEXFORM

PHOTOGRAPHER: THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLIST: NITYA DHINGRA.

‘BISON’ ARMCHAIR BY NENDO FOR CAPPELLINI, `4,88,345, POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTRE


Jumbo Collection srl via Montesolaro 14/b -- 22063 Cantù (Co) -- Italy -- tel. +39 031 70757 www.jumbo.it – instagram.com/jumbo–collection – info@jumbo.it


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BONHAMS, NEW YORK THE IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART SALE

‘OXFORD’ ARMCHAIR, `41,900, MAC-BRUZÁE

SILVER FLOWER VASE WITH GRANITE BASE, `25,900, RAVISSANT

DATE: 4 NOVEMBER 2015 UNDER THE HAMMER: HELMET HEAD NO. 2, (BRONZE WITH BROWN AND BLACK PATINA, 1955, ONE IN A SERIES OF NINE) ARTIST: HENRY MOORE, OM, CH ESTIMATE: $300,000-500,000

‘OXYMORE’ BOOKCASE BY XAVIER LUST, PRICE ON REQUEST, DE CASTELLI

‘BRONZE BUTLER’, `1,68,000, HOUSE OF RARO

‘FOLD’ SOFA BY VINCENZO DE COTIIS, PRICE ON REQUEST, BAXTER

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

BRASS SIDE TABLE BY ANANTAYA, `61,990, KREA

MURANO HANDMADE GLASS VASE INFUSED WITH 24-CARAT GOLD, `65,000 ONWARDS, SIMONE

‘WOODY’ LAMP BY ALEX DAVIS, `35,000, INDI STORE

PHOTOGRAPHERS: ANSHUMAN SEN, INDRAJIT SATHE, THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN. ASSISTANT STYLISTS: SAMIR WADEKAR, NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ.

COURTESY BONHAMS

‘SOLARA’ WALL SCULPTURE BY HOUSE, PRICE ON REQUEST, THEHOUSEOFTHINGS.COM


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© 2015 THE WILLEM DE KOONING FOUNDATION/ ARTIST RIGHT SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK

‘CAPSULA’ PENDANT LAMPS BY LUCIE KOLDOVA FOR BROKIS, `1,20,000 ONWARDS EACH, LIGHTBOX

VASE BY MEMPHIS MILANO, `3,30,287, YOOX.COM

‘PORCELAIN GINGER POT’, `12,500, MOONRIVER

SPIRAL CANDLE HOLDER, `6,200, THE DESIGN ARTIFACTS HAVEN

SOTHEBY’S, NEW YORK THE COLLECTION OF A ALFRED TAUBMAN: MASTERWORKS

DATE: 4 NOVEMBER 2015 UNDER THE HAMMER: UNTITLED XXI (1976) (OIL ON CANVAS) ARTIST: WILLEM DE KOONING ESTIMATE: $25-35 MILLION

‘SCREEN' SYSTEM BY GAMFRATESI FOR CAPPELLINI, `2,32,600, POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTRE ‘GODARD WOOD’ CHAIR BY MATTEO THUN & ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ, PRICE ON REQUEST, BAXTER

‘BUTTERFLY’ SOFA BY PATRICIA URQUIOLA, PRICE ON REQUEST, B&B ITALIA

‘ISSIMA’ VASES BY SAM BARON, `8,732 ONWARDS EACH, BOSA

‘BROOK’ POUFFE BY TOKUJIN YOSHIOKA, PRICE ON REQUEST, MOROSO

For details, see Stockists 50|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

PHOTOGRAPHERS: THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN, INDRAJIT SATHE. STYLISTS: SAMIR WADEKAR, NITYA DHINGRA.

‘MCLAREN’ ROUND TABLE, `7,999, URBANLADDER.COM


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NEWSFLASH es to know right now A round-up of events, ideas, innovations and nam ENA DESAI

IMAGE BUILDING

Melbourne-based architectural photographer Tom Roe’s photo of Heritance Kandalama, a hotel in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, is competing in the ‘Sense of Place’ category for the Arcaid Images Architectural Photographer of the Year award.

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

COURTESY OF TOM ROE AND GEOFFREY BAWA

If, sitting in our living rooms, we are able to appreciate the masterworks of the world’s greatest architects, it’s thanks, in large part, to architectural photographers. UK-based Arcaid Images curates their work and also confers awards on talented practitioners of this craft. This year’s Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards will be announced at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore, which will be held from 4-6 November. The works of some of the most renowned architects—such as Heritance Kandalama (pictured) designed by legendary Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa—can be seen in the 20 gorgeous shortlisted photographs. At the WAF, the award for the World Building of the Year will also be handed out to one of the shortlisted firms that have submitted their projects for consideration. Four of the practices in the running are Indian: Sanjay Puri Architects, Abin Design Studio ( both AD50 firms), Arkind Architects and Edifice Consultants. arcaidawards.com; worldarchitecturefestival.com


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2

TAKING FLIGHT T

Mumbai airport’s three-kilometre art walk at the T2 terminal nears completion almost a year after its inauguration in January. Titled ‘Jaya He’, the art walk, curated by noted designer, scenographer and Padma Bhushan award winner Rajeev Sethi, is arguably India’s largest public art initiative. The most recent additions to it include new artworks near the travelator on the east side and in the India Greets section—one of the six thematic compositions at the art walk—as well as installations (made in collaboration with Sethi) for four baggage carousels by fashion designers Ritu Kumar, Zandra Rhodes, Manish Arora, and the NGO, the Mijwan Welfare Society. csia.in

WEARABLE SCULPTURES

COURTESY OF MISHO

Finding fluidity in metal and taking ideas from geometry, jewellery designer Suhani Parekh recently launched a new collection of rings titled ‘Blueprint’ through her brand Misho. A trained artist from University of London’s Goldsmiths and part of interior designer and architect Ashiesh Shah’s design team, Parekh worked predominantly with sculptures and installations till she started designing jewellery, which she regards as ‘wearable sculptures’. Inspired by the works of Constantin Brâncusi, Isamu Noguchi, Naum Gabo, Paul Klee, and Julio González, and the Bauhaus school of art that focused on form and material, Parekh designed a collection that is distinctly angular, geometric and architectural. mishodesigns.com

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

SITTING PRETTY

For its 30th anniversary, London-based retailer and manufacturer SCP persuaded Cypriot lighting designer Michael Anastassiades to design his first piece of furniture, as part of a collection titled ‘Sofa in Sight’. Exhibited at this year’s London Design Festival, the idea behind the collection was to explore modern upholstery making. The ‘Rochester’ two-seater designed by Anastassiades, has a high back and which create a small enclosure for the user, providing them a small amount of privacy within public environments. The side table next to the sofa is also an Anastassiades design. scp.co.uk


+39.0362.7714 www.asnaghi.com

THE ART OF THE ITALIAN STYLE FURNITURE SINCE 1916


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THE ART OF STORIES

Independent Indian publishing ra Books, known for its handmade oks featuring experimental designs and content, is launching its most ambitious project yet: Between Memory and Museum: A Dialogue with Folk and Tribal Artists. This pioneering book, made in collaboration with 38 extraordinary folk and tribal artists from across India, focuses on the idea of the museum, particularly as seen by communities historically regarded as anthropological subjects themselves. An exhibition of limited edition art prints by the publishers will be held at Mumbai’s Artisans’ gallery from 24-28 November, followed by a film screening and the book launch. tarabooks.com

7

D DREAMS IN 3D

A recent entrant on the Mumbai design scene is MakeWhale—a design studio that offers customized 3D-printed products and solutions. Founded by Mumbai resident Siddharth Sah, the studio works with a variety of materials from basic plastics to metals, and can conceptualize and co-design products if clients are unsure of what they want. MakeWhale uses industrial-size 3D machines, as opposed to desktop machines, which are mainly used for prototyping. makewhale.com

TRAVEL IN STYLE

Retracing French fashion house Louis Vuitton’s journey from 1854 to the present, an exhibition titled ‘Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton’, will be on at the Grand Palais, Paris, from 4 December 2015 to 21 February 2016. The exhibition is curated by fashion historian and director of the Palais Galliera, Olivier Saillard. Robert Carsen, the artistic director and set designer, has conceived the journey as a navigation through nine chapters, opening with an antique malle (trunk). A section dedicated to craftsmanship closes the exhibition. louisvuitton.com

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

(This picture and above)

The ‘Petite Malle’ which translates to ‘small trunk’, can be used either as a clutch or a shoulder bag. The poster for the exhibition.

PHOTO: JULIA HETTA

HEARS BID BY BID

On 17 September, at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York, auction house Christie’s sold FN Souza’s 1955 oil-on-board, titled Birth, for $4,085,000, making it the most expensive work sold at any South Asian art auction and setting the world auction record for the category. christies.com


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AO1, Amerchand Mansion, 16 Madame Cama Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400 001, India +91 22 7111 7700 | sales@simone.com Fine Fabrics | Furniture | Artefacts Tuesday to Sunday: 11am - 8pm


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ily ur of ilyWRITER SAMIR WADEKAR

ASNAGHI INTERIORS

(Clockwise from top right) OUT OF THE WOODWORK A rendering of the ‘Giglio’ armchair along with the finished piece. The handcarved frame of the chair. The cutting and assembly of the components. A sketch of the carved details of a piece of furniture from the Giglio collection.

PHOTOS: LUCA DAL GESSO

‘GIGLIO’ ARMCHAIR You know you can count on a furniture company when it has been in the business for nearly a century. Founded in 1916 in Meda, Brianza, Asnaghi Interiors is a leading classical Italian furniture-maker whose products have furnished diplomatic embassies, presidential residences and even the palace of the king of Malaysia, and the Kremlin in Russia. Gianluca Asnaghi explains, “The company has maintained a strong bond with the cultural and manufacturing traditions of the Brianza region, where it was founded. Our craftsmen produce pieces by hand from the finest solid wood varieties, which are accurately finished by our artisans.” The ‘Giglio’ armchair is part of a blue-grey-toned living room collection consisting of sofas, tables and soft furnishings. The hand-carved frame takes a single craftsman around 20 days to carve, and is covered in a gold-coloured aluminium leaf— to best imitate the gleam of solid gold. The chair and its sofa companion are upholstered in a lustrous, hand-ruched silk cover. The custom design and personalization features attest to the adaptability of the company; each piece from this series can be made using an 18-carat pure gold-leaf finish, which takes 30 days to apply. asnaghi.com


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(Clockwise from left) ALL LIT UP The 12-bulb version of the ‘Taif’ chandelier. A technical drawing of the lamp given to the glass blowers. Over 400 components were assembled to create the 5.2-foot-tall chandelier, which weighs 55 kilograms.

BAROVIER&TOSO

‘TAIF’ CHANDELIER It’s not often that you come across a glassmaking family that has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest family of glass-workers. The Barovier family has been making glassware since 1295. In 1936, they merged with fellow Muranobased Toso glassmakers to form Barovier&Toso. In 1980, Angelo Barovier conceived the design of the ‘Taif’ chandelier for the palace of the king of Saudi Arabia in the eponymous city of Ta’if. Angelo reimagined the traditional aesthetics and techniques of chandelier-making and employed a series of subtractions and replacements for the design. The brand’s traditional floral motifs were eschewed in favour of a simpler form with chrome-plated candleholders and Bohemian crystal drops. It takes one master blower and four assistants to create a single piece, and a total of 80 hours from furnace to ceiling. Though the colour black is part of the traditional palette in Venetian glassmaking, it had never been used as the sole colour for a chandelier before this. With Muranese and Venetian decorative elements and over 12 colour variations such as violet, gold, red and liquid green, the ‘Taif’ has now become a bestseller and an icon. It is available in 6, 9, 12 and 18 bulb configurations. barovier.com 64|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015


AHMEDABAD BY DESIGN ITALIANO OPP. SINDHUBHAVAN, SINDHUBHAVAN ROAD, BODAKDEV AHMEDABAD - 380015 GUJARAT (INDIA) T. +91 98 79026328 - INFO@DESIGNITALIANO.IN CUSTOMISED INTERIOR DESIGN SERVICE

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ELLEDUE ARREDAMENTI TABLES FROM THE SARAYA GIORNO COLLECTION

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ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

(Clockwise from top left) SUPPORT SYSTEM The ‘T643’ dining table has a light Emperador marble top; the ‘AT 649/L’ side table has a lacquered top and base. A preliminary sketch for the dining table. The casting, manufacturing and assembly of the legs at the company’s foundry. The legs in different metallic finishes.

PHOTOS: LUCA DAL GESSO

When the heirs to a family of furniture-makers with decades of artisanal experience form a company, you can rest assured their products will be designed with a refined aesthetic and the finest quality. Elledue Arredamenti is a third-generation family-run company founded by the Lanzani family in 1972. The Saraya collection, designed by Lebanon-born architect Walid Flehian, is divided into three segments: Bagno, Giorno and Notte. The ‘T643’ dining table and ‘AT 649/L’ side table (pictured) are part of the Saraya Giorno segment, which comprises living and dining room furniture. Lead designer Alessandro Lanzani reveals, “We wanted to present pieces that balanced classical aesthetics with modern forms and materials. We felt that this would work well with younger clients who are wary of traditional interiors and extravagant furniture.” The separate sections of the metal legs are moulded and cast at the company’s foundry. The multiple segments of the leg are welded together before the surface finish is applied; one can opt for either bronze, nickel, chrome, or gold. The Saraya collection exemplifies Elledue Arredamenti’s philosophy of making ‘avant-garde classics’. elleduearredamenti.com


BUILDING

LUXURY Verde Residence Collection, Kalyani Nagar, Pune

Meet Amit Bhosale, managing director of ABIL, The Avinash Bhosale Group—a luxury realestate company that’s transforming urban lifestyles by building state-of-the-art five star hotels and residences

Amit Bhosale brought a fresh, new perspective to India’s real-estate market when he took the reins of the ABIL Group from his father. After completing his Masters in Hospitality Management from the elite Les Roches International School of Hotel Management, Switzerland and the Owner/President Management Programme from Harvard Business School, he decided to take luxury living to the next level by developing prime locations with buildings that combined contemporary architecture, resplendent interiors and state-of-theart amenities. Within a short period, ABIL, under Amit Bhosale’s leadership, “I believe that art should transformed the skyline of Pune with complement the interiors of projects like the Verde Residence a space. When we start Collection, Castel Royale Towers, God’s designing projects, we always Grace, Avaanti Residences and try to incorporate ideas Premium Commercial Spaces, God’s seen internationally.” Blessings—the city’s first 100m tall -Amit Bhosale, managing tower, and Megapolis. The company also forayed into the director of the ABIL Group development of luxury five-star hotels that are fine examples of art, architecture and design. For instance, The St. Regis Hotel, Mumbai has been designed as per The St. Regis legacy of uncompromising elegance. While the lobby mural by artist Iranna GR was specially commissioned by the hotel to depict nuances of Mumbai, the 75 paintings and sculptures by SH Raza, MF Husain, NS Bendre, Jogen Chowdhury and Paresh Maity among Castel Royale Grande, Bhosale Nagar Extn, Pune others, make this hotel an art connoisseur’s paradise. The Westin, Pune is another representation of ABIL’s The St. Regis Hotel Bar, Lower Parel, Mumbai brilliance. The shape of the building and the 20-metre gateway with Arzan Khamabatta sculptures make this property stand out against the other buildings in the vicinity. With a luxury project underway in partnership with Versace Home at Hughes Road, Mumbai, and plans to develop several properties, Amit Bhosale is taking the ABIL Group to an all-new echelon of excellence.


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OPERA CONTEMPORARY ‘BUTTERFLY’ BED

Since 1886, classical furniture-maker Angelo Cappellini & C has been creating designs in the European styles of Louis XV, Regency, Empire and Biedermeier. Its Opera Contemporary division was established in 2010 to manufacture modern furniture with a subtle design aesthetic. Stefano Zecca, the brand manager of the company and member of the Cappellini family, states: “Opera Contemporary draws its energy from the values of tradition and targets a sophisticated audience by offering high-quality products with refined details and forms that hint at the past.” Design duo Alessandro Castello and Maria Antonietta Lagravinese, from Studio Castello Lagravinese (which helms the artistic direction for the division), have designed the majestic ‘Butterfly’ bed. It is named for the wing-shaped capitonné (type of upholstery) headboard which is made using a single length of fabric (3.6 metres). Of the seven artisans who create the bed, two are responsible for the detailed upholstery. The bed is available in two variations—one with storage space, and the other featuring exposed oak wood legs. operacontemporary.com

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PHOTOS: LUCA DAL GESSO

(Clockwise from top left) WING TIPS Sketches for the ‘Butterfly’ bed. The tufting of the headboard and the manufacturing of the bed’s frame. The variation of the bed with exposed oak wood legs.


discover OYSTER PERPETUAL YACHT-MASTER, ROLEX TOMMY HILFIGER, FASHION DESIGNER

PHOTO: SAKIS LALAS

When the American designer isn’t wearing one of his own designs, you might just catch him wearing a Rolex. Pioneered for sailing the seas luxuriously, and swimming to depths of 100 metres, the watch has a bi-directional rotating bezel that can help track elapsed time. “I just love the classic blue rim around the dial,” he says, referring to this two-tone novelty.

INDULGE

Find out what makes these creative minds tick WATCH EDITOR RISHNA SHAH

CLASSIC FUSION ENAMEL BRITTO, HUBLOT ROMERO BRITTO, ARTIST

DE VILLE, OMEGA

PAYAL KHANDWALA, ARTIST AND FASHION DESIGNER

Established over a century ago, Omega has maintained strong ties with space exploration, the Olympics and the James Bond franchise over the years. The brand’s watches are also popular as vintage collectibles; and creative mastermind Payal Khandwala is one such collector. “I adore vintage watches,” she says. “One of my favourites is a ‘De Ville’ automatic watch from the 1970s that has a day-date window in Spanish.” Khandwala bought hers on eBay five years ago. 74|

Brazilian artist Romero Britto was invited to collaborate with the Swiss horologers and recreate his colourful acrylic artwork. Inspired by the pop art and cubist movements, Britto’s forms came to life on the watch dial with the century-old techniques of champlevé and grand feu enamelling. “I love the elegance and modernity of Hublot watches,” says the artist. “You can wear them anytime, with anything.”

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

CALVIN KLEIN CLASSIC, CALVIN KLEIN

BOSE KRISHNAMACHARI, ARTIST

“I have a couple of watches from Calvin Klein,” says artist Bose Krishnamachari. “I like the black and white in this one, the precise and sharp hour markers and the extreme minimalism,” he says of the Classic, adding, “I usually like designs in extremity—minimalism juxtaposed with maximalism.” The American label has been known for producing fashion-forward timepieces since 1997, which it does at affordable price points, which is what piqued Krishnamachari’s interest.


discover PATRAVI CHRONODATE, CARL F. BUCHERER SANJAY PURI, ARCHITECT

The easy-to-read date window, chronograph function and strong case fixed with seven screws caught the eye of award-winning Mumbai-based AD50 architect Sanjay Puri, while he was in transit at Zurich airport. “I love the blue shade of the strap and dial,” he says. “I checked the price in three countries before finally buying it in Mumbai.”

IRONY CHRONO RETROGRADE, SWATCH

COURTESY CASA PARADOX

MADHUSUDHANAN, ARTIST

TANK FRANÇAISE, CARTIER SUNEET VARMA, FASHION DESIGNER

“I love the Tank for its sharp and classic design,” says fashion designer Suneet Varma. Known for his embellished collections, Varma was drawn to the curved case and streamlined silhouette of this particular timepiece a decade ago, while on a trip to America. This bestseller by Cartier was first launched in 1996, and is easily recognizable for its angular dial and chain-link bracelet. 76|

MASTER SQUARE, FRANCK MULLER

RASEEL GUJRAL, INTERIOR DESIGNER

With art deco influences, this geometric model was the first pick for Raseel Gujral, founder of Casa Paradox. “I’m a watch lover and a diehard Franck Muller fan,” she admits, often choosing for her husband as well. Her version of the ‘Master Square’ is studded with diamonds and fitted with a luxurious green leather strap, as Gujral enjoys experimenting with colour.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

With three counters on dial, this sporty retrogra has a graphic interface t is complemented by its chocolate leather strap stitched edging. “I was gifted this watch by a d friend who was travelli abroad,” says the Keral based contemporary ar and filmmaker. “I don’t it as much for checking time, but I wear it more the memories of friends that stretch endlessly lik time,” he adds.


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FOR THE LOVE OF ART

Known to build aesthetically active visual experiences and contributing to the growth of contemporary Indian art, Art Alive Gallery has carved a niche for itself in the world of art If you’re looking for a space that showcases the best of Indian contemporary art, head to Art Alive Gallery. Here you will find works by both young and prominent artists like SH Raza, Sakti Burman, Krishen Khanna, Anjolie Ela Menon, Jogen Chowdhury, Laxma Goud, Thota Vaikuntam, Manu Parekh, Paresh Maity, Sujata Bajaj, Jayasri Burman, Senaka Senanayake, Maité Delteil, PR Daroz, Raghu Rai, S Harsha Vardhana and Narayan Sinha among others.

Dedicated to promoting contemporary Indian art both at home and abroad, Art Alive Gallery hosts a number of innovatively curated shows and intra-disciplinary events. The gallery has also showcased works at various international galleries like the Royal College of Arts, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Jebiwool Art Museum, Seoul among others.

Art Alive Gallery also works closely with emerging artists from various art institutions and provides them a platform to showcase their works through various projects. Founded by Sunaina Anand, Art Alive Gallery also publishes books on contemporary Indian art and artists. The most celebrated are Master Series—life and art of SH Raza, Thota Vaikuntam and Laxma Goud—and the first volume of Faces of Indian Art


PARESH MAITY

that offers an insider view into the studio of artists through the lens of Nemai Ghosh, along with insightful profiles by distinguished art writers and critics. The gallery’s most recent publication, Sakti Burman focuses on the artist’s works and was published in collaboration with Skira, Italy. What’s more, Art Alive Gallery also has a separate division of specialists who work closely with eminent architects and interior designers to curate works for hotels and high profile homes. The gallery works closely with the design team to provide a bespoke portfolio of artworks for various projects including works of senior and

young emerging artists. Art Alive Gallery also works with contemporary artists on commissions for large and unique spaces. S - 221 Panchsheel Park, New Delhi. For more information, call 011-41639000/011-41638050, email info@artalivegallery.com or visit www.artalivegallery.com

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perspective

EWSMAKERS, OPINIONS HAT MATTER, PLUS HE LATEST IN ART, RCHITECTURE AND DESIG

CURATORIAL VISION Sudarshan Shetty on the rooftop of his warehouse in Bhiwandi, Mumbai.

SPOTLIGHT

STYLIST: SAMIR WADEKAR

IN THE

STUDIO Equal parts arena, shrine, refuge, and playground, artists’ studios are where their creative ideas take form. visits seven renowned contemporary artists at their workplaces to see the spaces that influence their methods and their madness WRITER SANHITA SINHA CHOWDHURY PHOTOGRAPHER NEVILLE SUKHIA


perspective

STYLIST: SAMIR WADEKAR

(Clockwise from this picture) TREASURE HUNT Taj Mahal, an artwork by Shetty stands on the long desk in his studio; a vase from the Every Broken Moment, Piece by Piece series rests on a table in the corner. An Untitled work by Shetty. The work-in-progress sculpture that will be exhibited in January 2016.

SUDARSHAN SHETTY

On a warehouse rooftop in Bhiwandi, Mumbai, Sudarshan Shetty is building his next big artwork. Entrusted with the responsibility of curating the 2016 edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), Shetty is currently a favourite on the Indian art circuit. But here on the rooftop, he loses the curator’s hat and becomes an artist. A wooden haveli, with wobbly mouldings on its pillars, is under construction. Ask Shetty about its significance and he vaguely replies that it “concerns the

performative aspects within the making of objects”. For an artwork that is to be displayed at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, from 15 January, 2016, the vagueness is a bit scary. But a peek into the attic of his Chembur studio—stocked with lamps, porcelain vases, metal figurines, all Chor Bazaar discoveries—clears up doubts. A regular flea-market visitor, he says, “There are many places and people I know and meet in Chor Bazaar, who occasionally lead me to

ideas for my work.” His artistic process relies on such discoveries, “It’s like a chain of events. One thing leads to another to open up even more challenges.” Currently, the Biennale team has taken refuge in his studio; desks for consultants have been added on one end of a long table scattered with reading material. Shetty wants to expand the scope of KMB, to include musicians, dancers and activists. It is through these meetings that he hopes to discover the event’s overarching theme.


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perspective SUBODH GUPTA

(Clockwise from this picture) NERVES OF STEEL Subodh Gupta stands next to Two Mechanised Cows, a 2013 work in brass. A concrete skull is stationed at the entrance to Gupta’s painting studio. A work-in-progress piece. Gupta’s personal office space in the sculpture studio has an Untitled 2014 stainless steel structure with brass pincers (on the wall) and Atta, a 2010 work (in the foreground).

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In Gurgaon, standing on the first floor of his massive sculpture studio designed by AD50 architect Ambrish Arora, Subodh Gupta evaluates a wooden structure that is inspired by the traditional homes of south India. Each wooden slab of this work-in-progress sculpture bears a sticker with a number. They are to be disassembled and shipped to Hauser & Wirth’s Somerset gallery for a solo show opening on 12 February, 2016. Barring this wooden piece, a concrete skull on the third floor (never publicly displayed), and a gathering of idols to be showcased in the upcoming show, everything else is made of stainless steel. At one end of the ground floor, a compressed gas stove rests against the wall; a heap of gleaming vessels and gunny sacks with more vessels dominate the other end; the space in-between is occupied by craftsmen welding together utensils of different sizes. This studio clearly belongs to an artist in demand. The pieces are produced in factorylike order. The ground floor is reserved for making, the second for storing, and the third for ideating and experimenting. This is one of the two studios that Gupta owns; the other is an equally massive Rajiv Sainidesigned space a short drive away. Both have office spaces for Gupta. While the one in the sculpture studio looks cared for, the one in the painting studio is unkempt, all open paint tubes and unwashed brushes. Painting is what relaxes him the most; “working with watercolours is like meditation,” he says. It is, after all, the medium he started with.


perspective SHILPA GUPTA

Try to draw the map of your country on a blank sheet of paper. Can you make the right indents, or even outline its shape accurately? The very borders that countries build armies to defend are impossible for an average civilian to plot on paper. What if the suitcases we are warned about through numerous announcements at train stations and airports came dressed in white cloth with the words, ‘There is no explosive in this’? Would the disclaimer make it less suspicious? These are questions that puzzle artist Shilpa Gupta. At her new studio in Bandra, Mumbai, designed by her husband, Rajiv Saini, she tries to gauge my reaction to these weighty issues. When asked why most of her work revolves around nation, identity, religion and social conditions, Gupta replies, “I am constantly drawn to how objects get defined, and find myself looking at zones where these definitions are played out, be it borderlines, labels or ideas of censorship and security.” It’s only been a few weeks since Gupta moved into this studio, located next to Saini’s office in a 1920s building. Her artworks lie scattered around; a big ball of very neatly wound up seat belts (Untitled) commands centre stage while the embroidered Stars on Flags of theWorld waits to be unwrapped. The stillness of the space will disappear in a few months, Gupta promises. While most of her works are developed on-site, this is her ideating pad, where she imagines how they will be displayed. “The walls will be filled with holes and marks, but right now I am scared to drill that first hole,” she says.

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STYLIST: SAMIR WADEKAR

(From top right) MINIMALIST EDGE Shilpa Gupta in a verandah-like space in her studio, which will be her main workstation. A few artworks lie scattered in the studio—Eye Test series (centre), Untitled (in the foreground), There is No Explosive in This, an interactive installation and series of photographs, and Stars on Flags of the World (leaning against the wall).


perspective

STYLIST: SAMIR WADEKAR

(Clockwise from this picture) CONFLICTED AREAS Riyas Komu rests on Desert March, a camel-shaped installation, made using recycled wood and metal. The top floor of the two-storey sculpture studio. On International Workers’ Day, (Gandhi from Kochi) in the painting studio.

RIYAS KOMU

The sculpture studio of one of India’s most politically aware artists looks more like a wooden furniture workshop. Wood-carvers chip away at blocks creating intricate designs, which will be used to make a palanquin roof; pillar-sized nilavilakkus (lamps) frame the backdrop. The studio, Riyas Komu informs me, used to be more active before he took on the most challenging project of his 23-year career—the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. So why did co-founder Bose Krishnamachari and Komu decide to

organize what has now become perhaps India’s most successful art event? “It’s worth examining why, in a time of social and economic prosperity, we are experiencing colossal cultural and political decline. Art cannot change the world or create a better society, but it can create a means of resistance that translates into action, something that is rooted to the locality without being local,” Komu explains. This thought process extends to his practice, which began in 1992, the year Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid was demolished. “I

follow the times and keep building an archive of it. Through these objects and images, I try to activate something that is beyond the scope of art-making,” Komu says. His painting studio in Dahisar, a suburb in Mumbai, is a short walk from the sculpture studio and currently houses four paintings of a gaunt but smiling Gandhi against a communist-red backdrop. They had created quite a stir in Kochi where they were exhibited this year. Komu’s reaction: “A political engagement with the time we are in...”


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perspective (Clockwise from this picture) FACE TO FACE Ravinder Reddy works on a clay model that will be used to make a fibreglass sculpture. The 36-foottall scaffolding. A work-in-progress gilded head and a fibreglass sculpture.

RAVINDER REDDY

Ravinder Reddy’s golden-skinned, wideeyed beauties, with their sharp noses and thick lips are perhaps the most instantly recognizable Indian artworks of recent times. These colossal fibreglass heads awe viewers with their size and unblinking eyes, but Reddy remains unfazed by their grandiosity. In Madhurawada, on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam, he has carved out a slice of solitude. A 36-foot-tall scaffolding greets you at the entrance to Reddy’s studio. Parts of a woman’s fibreglass head lie scattered beneath it; pieces of the artist’s dream project. A few years ago, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) invited the country’s top contemporary artists to come up with ideas for a permanent installation. Reddy proposed creating a 21-foot-tall female head carrying a 9-foot-tall stack of baggage—to reflect the city’s migration problems. “I haven’t heard from the DDA, I presume they dropped the idea. But since I had thought of it, I couldn’t not make it,” explains Reddy. As a student, Reddy was inspired by a quote by Romanian artist, Constantin Brâncusi: ‘Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave’—a belief evident in the fact that, even at 59, Reddy still works six days a week. As for creating like a god, he says, “I am obsessed with monumentality and with permanence, not in terms of material but in the sense of surpassing the time and period.” 90|

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perspective (From this picture) WHITE SPACE Atul Dodiya in his studio. On the desk is the photograph that inspired his painting Police crackdown, Bombay, 9th July, 1930.

ATUL DODIYA

Atul Dodiya has built an enormous studio for himself in the business district of Ghatkopar in Mumbai. The building it is located in primarily houses small financial firms or start-ups. But take the elevator to the seventh floor and beyond a tall iron door, is a light-filled 8,000-square-foot white cube. The first thing that strikes you about the space—designed by Dodiya’s friend and architect, Sen Kapadia—is that it’s impeccably neat. “I like to be able to see

everything at once when I am working,” Dodiya explains. Adding pops of colour to this otherwise monochromatic space are Dodiya’s artworks, and trolleys stacked with ceramic pickle jars filled with brushes and paints— spray cans, oil paints, watercolours and enamel paints. The generous space allows him to work simultaneously on two or three projects. “I am quite at ease to shift from, say, subtle watercolours to painting with

industrial enamel paint on a heavy metal shutter.” Dodiya’s work with metal shutters in 2001 for the Tate Modern put him on the international map, and his recent woodencabinet installations (‘7000 Museums: A Project for the Republic of India’) at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum was quite a hit. Paint, though, is his favourite medium. “As a young boy, I could draw well and observed the surroundings minutely; for that obvious reason, it became my first love,” he says.


perspective REENA SAINI KALLAT

Sitting at her desk in her Bandra studio, in Mumbai, Reena Saini Kallat writes, on thin strips of butter paper, about her newest creation—the “Sun-poe”, a cross between two birds, the hoopoe and the Cinnyris osea. The latter, also known as the Palestine sunbird, ruffled the feathers of the Israelis, who demanded that the bird be renamed if it was to be chosen as the country’s national bird. When that didn’t work, Israel selected another bird instead: the hoopoe. In her rented studio of seven years, Reena writes about how nature often unwittingly finds itself in the midst of human conflict. The subject of coexistence has occupied her for over a decade, and her latest work, a series titled ‘Hyphenated Lives’, is a reimagining of mutations within the natural world. Here, new hypothetical cross-bred species of birds, animals, trees and flowers— otherwise foregrounded as various countries’ national symbols—are combined to symbolically unify the nations they represent. Next up are an outdoor text-based work forming a zebra crossing, a photo-piece, and some new drawings for upcoming projects in New Delhi, China and America. A chunk of Reena’s time is also dedicated to monitoring the construction of a studio in Byculla, which she will share with her husband Jitish. Rajiv Saini, Reena’s brother, had initially come up with a basic plan for the studio, but due to repeated run-ins with the BMC over the property, Jitish and Reena decided to keep things simple and settled for a no-frills design. The run-ins, however, still continue, forcing Reena to lead a hyphenated life, in-between studios.

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STYLIST: SAMIR WADEKAR

(From top right) MIDDLE GROUND Reena Saini Kallat in her Bandra studio; Saline Notations (Echoes), digital print on Hahnemühle photo rag archival paper and Paper Machine are visible in the frame. The Rio Grande River and OakPalm from the Hyphenated Lives series are stacked on the left.


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perspective COURTESY BOND BY DESIGN: THE ART OF THE JAMES BOND FILMS BY DK

(From this picture) OLD MADE NEW A sketch by Ken Adam, who designed the stainless-steel- and leather-clad boardroom for the evil organization SPECTRE in Thunderball (1965). Dennis Gassner, production designer for Spectre (2015), has reimagined the boardroom. The film’s poster.

SPOTLIGHT

With the newest James Bond film Spectre, soon in theatres, production designer Dennis Gassner gives exclusive inputs on the cutting-edge sets built for the MI6 agent’s life on screen he James Bond effect contends that your first James Bond is usually your favourite. Of the six (official) Bonds, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig share the bulk of fans. And yet, there are men who’ve contributed just as much for queen and country—even if not in front of the camera. Men who operate in the shadows (or behind the scenes) to create the worlds that we’ve come to know and love. We’re talking, of course, about the production designers, like Sir Ken Adam, Peter Lamont and Dennis Gassner. If you’ve ever been thrilled, surprised or simply entertained by the sets and locations in a Bond film, chances are you’ve appreciated their work. See Adam’s use of architect John Lautner’s iconic Elrod House in Palm Springs in Diamonds are Forever; or the arachnid-inspired submersible lair in The Spy Who Loved Me. Or Lamont’s colourful choice of Udaipur’s grand Lake Palace (Octopussy), and the monumental Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico (GoldenEye). Or, more recently, Gassner’s use of Auer+Weber’s Paranal Residencia hotel in Chile (Quantum of Solace). Gassner, production designer for the Bond movies since Quantum, spoke to AD in a cryptic interview (no spoilers!) about the latest film Spectre, which is set to be released in India on 20 November. “It’s a continuation of the history of the Bond films. It’s a journey that takes James Bond to a place that we >

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perspective

SKYFALL RENDERING AND SKETCH COURTESY BOND BY DESIGN: THE ART OF THE JAMES BOND FILMS BY DK

CHRIS ROSEWARNE

(Clockwise from this picture) ABOVE & BELOW The Ice Q restaurant in Sölden, Austria, as reimagined by Gassner for Spectre. In Skyfall (2012), Gassner designed the MI6 underground bunker including the smallest details, seen in the sketch of the pillars.

< want him to go—on an adventure. And he ventures into an

exotic world that all the audiences know.” Adam already had 34 films to his credit when he took on the monumental task of creating a world of espionage and wonderment in 1962’s Dr No. The film gave him a chance to build something modern, with new ideas and new materials. The result was a tour de force of German expressionism and modern design. Dr No had a meagre budget. Author Ian Fleming’s James Bond was not yet a world-renowned franchise on screen, and previous efforts had proved unremarkable. Adam famously created the ‘Tarantula Room’ on a miniscule £450. In lieu of props, he used forced perspective and Caligari-esque shadows (inspired by the German impressionism in Robert Wiene’s 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari) to create a sense of dread in an almost bare room. Over the years, Adam built a world for each Bond either by himself or by inspiring his successors. Like Gassner, who says of the movie that inspired his work for the three most recent Bond films: “I go back to Dr No and Ken Adam [who] started it; that’s the model I’ve always looked at, with how the franchise started. I’ve been trying to keep that emotion alive.” THE NAME’S CRAIG Daniel Craig’s run as Bond began in 2006 with Casino Royale, which

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represented a reboot for the series—in terms of how seriously the movies took themselves, and also how seriously the audience was compelled to take them. Lamont—who first took on the role of production designer for 1981’s For Your Eyes Only—was given the onus of creating a realistic, yet magnificent world for Craig’s Bond. It is thanks to him that the neo-baroque Grandhotel Pupp and the Kaiserbad Spa are fixed in people’s minds as the Hotel Splendide and Casino Royale, respectively. In Quantum of Solace, and then Skyfall, Gassner took on the responsibility of setting this modern Bond in the real world—a far cry from some of the outlandish sets of previous Bond films. In Skyfall, he based Silva’s (Javier Bardem) lair on Hashima—a deserted island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan. For the silhouetted fight sequence between Craig’s Bond and Ola Rapace’s Patrice, Gassner turned the 007 soundstage into a psychedelic, neon-infused arena. SETS APPEAL Like the organization for which it is named, Spectre is a mysterious entity, with little known of its story or the sets built; trailers reveal fleeting glimpses. While Morocco stays under wraps, we’re shown a version of the magnificent Ice Q restaurant in Sölden, a ski resort in Austria (designed by Innsbruck-based architect Johann Obermoser), and a high-speed car chase through the streets >


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DB10 PHOTOS COURTESY ASTON MARTIN

IMAGE COURTESY BOND BY DESIGN: THE ART OF THE JAMES BOND FILMS BY DK

COURTESY SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

(Clockwise from this picture) GAINING SPEED The Aston Martin DB10 on the road and a rendering of the car’s introductory scene in Spectre. A rendering of the Day of the Dead celebrations Gassner designed for Spectre’s opening scene. Spectre’s M, played by Ralph Fiennes.

location, at the top of Sölden. It’s modern and exciting, visually interesting and works well for the story. It’s quite a rare spot to go to and it had the right tone for the film,” says Gassner. The one Spectre spectacle we were given a preview of was the film’s grand opening in Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square. Gassner says, “When the Day of the Dead came up, I was extremely happy, because it’s been something I have been watching for a long time—being from California. But it’s how you go about doing it and it’s never really been represented very well like Mardi Gras or the [Rio de Janeiro] carnival. The Day of the Dead has been a little bit under the radar. It’s an odd and wonderful presentation of a culture using skeletons as a romantic image. The Mexicans were absolutely wonderful to work with. They were passionate about displaying the festival and that brought a lot of great energy to the scene. It was one of the more exciting things I have done in my career.” James Bond is 24 movies old, and given what we’ve seen, a 25th is bound to be on its way soon after. With Gassner? “I’m always ready for a Bond film,” he says. Only three Bond films in, the production designer is already on his way to becoming as integral to the series as Adam and Lamont were. Reader’s polls in recent years have rated Connery and Craig as the best Bonds—men who have perfectly embodied the MI6 agent’s suave and occasionally boorish swagger. There are rarely polls that pit one film set against another, but if there were, Gassner’s sets, courtesy a combination of talent, advanced technology and bigger budgets, would clearly be frontrunners. What remains to be seen is whether or not they leave audiences shaken, stirred or both.

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KIM FREDERIKSEN

< of Rome. “The Ice Q was really the inspiration in finding the

THE SPY WHO LOVED… ASTON MARTIN James Bond has driven cars that weren’t Aston Martins but you’d never know it. The England-based automaker has provided six models for the series so far, and is as synonymous with the secret agent as ‘Bond girls’ and vodka martinis. In Spectre, Aston Martin takes this relationship a step further. The DB10 is the first Aston designed and manufactured just for Bond; no more cars will be produced or sold—minus the one that will be auctioned for charity. The cars were collaboratively designed by the Aston Martin team and Spectre director Sam Mendes. And, interestingly enough, in a throwback to the Bond films of old, three DB10s were equipped with ejector seats. Each of the 10 DB10s is fitted with a V8 engine that takes it to a top speed of 306 km/h and from 0-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds. More noticeably, the DB10 has a new design that indicates the future for the next generation of Aston Martins—minus, sadly, that ejector seat.


KASHMIR, PEARL, INDIA BAROQUE

WALLS OF FAME

Fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee—in collaboration with Nilaya, an exquisite offering from Asian Paints—breathes new life into your home with his unique India-inspired motifs on a range of luxe wallpapers


RANTHAMBORE, INDIGO, JODHPUR

Fashion icon, Sabyasachi makes the ubiquitous wall his canvas. Using traditional handicrafts and techniques, he turns each wall into a work of art. Rich and layered, much like his muse—the vast, varied theatre that is India—his creations are an interestingly compiled combination of sublime prints, colours, designs and materials that adorn these surfaces. Wallpapers transform into pieces of art and fashion—much like the couture you would expect out of the designer’s atelier. What’s more, it is an absolutely green product with organic colours which are handmixed in the designs. He uses indigenous methods of bandhani, gota work, pure khadi Banarasi saris, block printing, unbleached and kantha-embroidered hand-woven fabrics to make these handmade wallpapers for Nilaya by Asian Paints, rendering each one a true masterpiece. The five transcendent lines designed exclusively for Nilaya—Jodhpur, India Baroque, Spice Route, Varanasi and Makhmal—each depict India in all its glory.

JAMDANI, PISTA, VARANASI


MITHU MIYAN, CINNAMON, SPICE ROUTE

Jodhpur showcases the myriad shades of blue—indigo, navy, Prussian—and designs that reflect what the city has been traditionally famous for: hand-painted pottery, block prints, enamel, rugs and dhurries. India Baroque exudes the luxurious side of the country, when less was never more and more never enough—whether royal palaces, Cartier jewellery or Bentleys. The wallpapers that come from this line are made for connoisseurs of extreme luxury. Spice Route draws its inspiration from the fabled spices of India— cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, star anise—all fragrant, exotic and potent, while Makhmal, a symbol of wealth and aristocracy, stands testament to the regality and splendour of eras gone by.

SURAHI, CAMPHOR, MAKHMAL

Finally, Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, home to scholars, poets, artists and master craftsmen, stands for art and culture at its best. This collection draws inspiration from Peeli Kothi, a street in Varanasi where the most opulent saris are traded every day.


BATER, LAPIZ, INDIA BAROQUE

www.asianpaints.com/nilaya | /worldofnilaya |

worldofnilaya


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by

Coming from a long line of collectors, Bangladesh-based NADIA SAMDANI spent her childhood surrounded by art. Now one of South Asia’s biggest art patrons herself, she explains to what drives her new acquisitions

ollecting came quite naturally to me. My parents are collectors of Bangladeshi modern art, and at the age of 20, when I had the financial means to buy works on my own, it was fitting that my first acquisition was of Bangladeshi avant-garde artist Sheikh Mohammed Sultan, whose artworks I had grown up with. Because I was born in England and spent some of my formative years there, collecting the Young British Artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, and Marc Quinn also happened through a natural affinity with British visual culture. Although I’ve never had a formal education in art, I have, in a sense, always been studying it, since a large part of my weekly routine involves visiting local artists, looking at images with the staff of our not-for-profit Samdani Art Foundation, and taking visitors on tours of my collection; most of my international travel is related to visiting exhibitions and art fairs. I am also a member of the Tate’s South Asia Acquisitions Committee, the Tate’s International Council, and the New Museum’s International Leadership Council, and through > 108|

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(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): TOM PARKER; ANISH KAPOOR & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION; STEFAN ALTENBURGER & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION

(Clockwise from left) ROOM TO REFLECT Nadia and Rajeeb Samdani at their home in Dhaka; behind them is the painting titled Desires, from the ‘Flows Properties’ series by Italian artist Francesca Leone. The Samdanis looked for a piece by Anish Kapoor for nearly a year before purchasing this one at Art Basel in 2014. M.2062 (Fitzcarraldo) is a 2014 work by Paris-based artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.


perspective This four-panel graphite artwork by Bangladeshi artist Ayesha Sultana is the couple’s most recent acquisition.

BEYOND BORDERS I believe art is a universal language and shouldn’t be divided by region. Although our Foundation focuses on South Asian art—it tells the story of modern and contemporary South Asian art and strategically links it across historical and geographical borders—I collect art from all over the world. Our future art centre in Sylhet, Bangladesh will not have a South Asian remit, but will still be deeply tied to South Asia. For example, I have some Rembrandt etchings in my personal collection and many people don’t know that he collected and copied Mughal miniature paintings, as did Matisse, another artist in my collection. Becoming a collector was a very instinctual process, and one day, I came to the point where the collection was not something that could just hang on the walls in my house. This was when we had to hire a professional team to keep inventory, and condition reports, and to build a storage facility to protect the artworks. Our collection is currently kept at our residence, where people can visit by appointment. We often have visitors from embassy delegations and schools, and even international collectors who know of us courtesy the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors (a book listing all the private collections open to the public across the world). We have artworks on display in our different offices, and regularly lend some of them to institutions and museums around the world. We live in a six-storey house and rotate the artworks on display every 18 months, making fresh connections between the works. Just the mental process takes the full 18 months; the physical rehanging usually takes two to three months. We try to change almost every artwork in the house, except for one wall, which we call the > Lost and Found by Pakistani sculptor and photographer Huma Mulji in fibreglass and buffalo hide.

An instrument from the ‘Disarm’ series by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes.

Walk Under A White Sky, a triptych by Massinissa Selmani, is being exhibited at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

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(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): AYESHA SULTANA & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION; STEFAN ALTENBURGER & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION; COURTESY OF MASSINISSA SELMANI & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION; PEDRO REYES & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION

< my interactions with these institutions, my knowledge of art is constantly increasing.


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perspective < “Tagore wall”. It has 14 works by Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore and Gaganendranath Tagore. More than collecting, what I now enjoy is sharing, and that’s why we host the Dhaka Art Summit. Often, when people acquire a work of art, it disappears from public view. I feel that I have a responsibility to share my passion for collecting art and the artists’ passion for creating with the public.

Abandons Its Own Territory, Goes Beyond Its Borders, a 2014 work by French artist Philippe Parreno.

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Sky Fold 2, a folded paper and light cyanogram, by multimedia artist Neha Choksi.

A part of the “Tagore wall” at the Samdanis’ residence.

The ‘Rankin Street, 1953’ series from 2013 by another Bangladeshi artist, Naeem Mohaiemen.

(FROM TOP) NEHA CHOKSI & PROJECT 88, MUMBAI; TOM PARKER; NAEEM MOHAIEMEN & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION; ANDREA ROSSETTI & THE SAMDANI ART FOUNDATION COLLECTION

FAIR PLAY When it comes to acquiring art, while we also use the traditional routes of art fairs, auctions and galleries, we think it’s important to support artists as patrons—so we buy on the primary market for living artists, who don’t make any money when their work sells at auctions. Auctions are important though, because they give us access to rare works. Rather than a traditional art advisor, we employ a full-time curator, Diana Campbell Betancourt, who travels all over the world to bring the best of South Asian and international art into our collection. She also runs the artistic side of our foundation and the Dhaka Art Summit. We also have a producer, Eve Lemesle, who helps us with framing, lighting, and installing the artworks. My husband Rajeeb and I are very active in the acquisition process and we plan for each work long in advance. A good example is our recent acquisition of works by the young Algeria-born artist Massinissa Selmani. We fell in love with his work in Singapore in October 2014, and this August, we were finally able to find the right ones for us. They are currently at the Venice Biennale and will come to Bangladesh after November. My art collection has nothing to do with financial investment, though it’s considered a trend these days. There is a sense of freedom when you remove the investment element from the equation. Some of our works are so large that we need special buildings to show them, making the sale of the work impossible. Others, such as Huma Mulji’s Lost and Found, are so fragile, we aren’t even sure they will last forever. Being a connoisseur means having the ability to discern what the best art is; it takes training and commitment to make sure what you are buying is right, and not dictated by the trends of the market. But being a collector is having the passion to acquire artworks and the commitment to maintain and share them in their best light.


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perspective (From this picture) WATER VIEW The Pérez Art Museum Miami, which was designed by Switzerland-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. The pool at the Soho Beach House, a hotel and members’ club.

TRAVEL

Welcome

TO MIAMI For a week in December, this American city turns into a hotspot of art, design and cultured living

COURTESY SOHO BEACH HOUSE

PHOTO: ANGEL VALENTIN

WRITER DIANA CAMPBELL BETANCOURT

T

he Atlantic Ocean is much larger than it seems when it comes to the international art world. Be it the distance, or the lack of government-funding and cultural councils to support its travel, art from the Americas does not circulate as much as it should in India, or even Europe for that matter. This is why a visit to Miami during the Art Basel Miami Beach fair—this year, from 3 to 6 December—is a good idea for serious collectors, who want to get a sense of the bigger global picture of contemporary art beyond Asia and Europe. Miami is a hub for collectors from both American continents, as well as the Caribbean—many of whom have opened up their collections to the public. This week in Miami is infamous for its all-night poolside parties; so it’s important to plan out what you want to do ahead of time so you don’t get swept away in the city’s revelry and miss the art entirely. The art will speak for itself; this is just a guide of not-to-miss venues when navigating through the week. ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH Get to the fair early in order to see art from 267 of the world’s best galleries all under one roof. There is a very strict selection process to be a part of the fair; so you can walk in assured that what you see will be good. My first stop is usually the Nova section, where galleries >

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< feature a small number of artists, and

exhibit works that have been created within the last three years, that have often never been seen before. The sole gallery from India is GallerySKE—in Bengaluru and New Delhi—and they will be showing the works of David Alesworth, Sudarshan Shetty and Avinash Veeraraghavan. There are 33 other galleries that are worth checking out for a snapshot of what’s new in the art world. NADA MIAMI BEACH 2015 One of my regrets from past trips to Miami in December is missing the opening of NADA. The New Art Dealers Alliance opens on 3 December this year, with relatively young galleries showing some of the best emerging art in the country. Many of America’s current art darlings had their market debuts at NADA, and if you get to the fair too late, the works will be sold out because of the relatively low price points

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COURTESY CISNEROS FONTANALS ART FOUNDATION

(Clockwise from this picture) ART-SCAPE A view of the ‘Impulse, Reason, Sense, Conflict’ exhibition at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), featuring abstract art from the Ella Fontanals-Cisneros (EFC) collection. A view of the ‘Permission To Be Global’ exhibition at CIFO, also featuring art from the EFC collection. The de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space. The information desk at the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) art fair, which coincides with Art Basel Miami Beach.

COURTESY CISNEROS FONTANALS ART FOUNDATION

PHOTO: DAWN BLACKMAN

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matched with exceptional quality. Artists like Hugh Scott-Douglas have had their critical debut in NADA. It’s a great place to look for young, new talent. DESIGN MIAMI Design Miami is one of the leading design fairs in the world, and presents museumquality objects of 20th- and 21st-century design in a laid-back environment. The Design Talks programme is especially dynamic. Early-career architects design the fair’s environment anew each year, as part of the fair’s Design Commissions programme. There is even a section called Design Curio, a relatively new platform for leading tastemakers to put together ‘cabinets of curiosities’ throughout the fair.

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MUSEUMS In 2013, the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) moved into a beautiful building designed by Pritzker-prize-winning architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. This year, in the museum’s double-height Project Gallery, Bengaluru-based artist Sheela Gowda will create a newly commissioned installation that responds to the museum’s architecture. Don’t miss Jamaica-born artist Nari Ward’s mid-career retrospective, ‘Sun Splashed’, which will also be on at the museum. Where PAMM is grand in scale, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) is grand in ideas as it waits to move to a new permanent building in the Design District. Alex Gartenfeld, ICA Miami’s >


      

             

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(Clockwise from this picture) ART OF LIVING The seafront Faena Hotel Miami Beach (extreme left). Inside the Bi-level Suite at The Setai. Mandolin at the Beach, a restaurant at Soho Beach House, started in collaboration with the Mandolin Aegean Bistro. The Casa Tua restaurant.

< deputy director, is one of the most

promising young curators at the moment and is co-curating the 2018 Triennial at New York’s New Museum. Check out the solo exhibition of American video and performance artist Alex Bag, known for her satirical commentary on contemporary media culture. ‘MIAMI MODEL’ COLLECTIONS The Rubell family—pioneers of the ‘Miami model’, where private collectors create a new kind of museum—has one of the largest private collections in America, and thematic exhibitions drawn from the collection are installed in an impressive 45,000-squarefoot repurposed confiscated-goods facility of the Drug Enforcement Agency—so very Miami! In a similar large converted warehouse in the Wynwood Arts District, the Margulies Collection boasts beautifully curated permanent installations by many artists including Amar Kanwar, Anselm Kiefer, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt. In a similar vein, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) plays an active role in supporting production and commissions by young artists from Latin America. And the

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de la Cruz Collection—an extension of collector couple Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz’s home—supports the Miami artistic scene with commissioning opportunities for young artists against the backdrop of a strong international contemporary art collection. LIVING, SHOPPING & EATING Taking in all of the art and design of the city requires a calm space to recharge. The Setai, a beautiful hotel with Asian inspiration in its design and Zen-like atmosphere, is only about three blocks from the convention centre that hosts Art Basel Miami Beach. The Miami Beach EDITION, The Standard Spa, The Shore Club, and W South Beach are fantastic hotels with great Miami charm. For something more upbeat, check out the Soho Beach House. The beachside service is impeccable and you will see the who’s who of Miami here. The Faenas are among the leading art collectors in the world, and their new property, Faena Hotel Miami Beach—which follows in the footsteps of their luxury hotel in Buenos Aires—will open in Miami just in time for Art Basel. Auteur Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin, an award-winning

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

production and costume designer, are in charge of the hotel’s interiors, uniforms and “cultural programming”. For shopping, do not miss the multibrand boutique The Webster, owned by Laure Hériard-Dubreuil, wife of American artist Aaron Young. Parisian chic meets ‘Miami vice’ in this three-level boutique in the Art Deco District, with a particularly impressive shoe section. Miami has an incredible culinary scene inspired by the mix of cultures present in the city. For elegant 1920s American dining in the Design District, check out the Cypress Room. For people who love steak, Prime 112 is one of the oldest gourmet steakhouses in America, and this is one of my first dining stops on any trip to Miami. For ambience, I love Casa Tua, which is set inside a boutique inn and serves great northern Italian food. For a healthy lunch, check out the homemade Greek and Turkish fare at the Mandolin Aegean Bistro. For a late dinner—after partying at the annual Le Baron pop-up parties—check out the Miami location of New York’s The Dutch in the W South Beach for American comfort food and people-watching.

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PUNJABI BAROQUE Artists JITEN THUKRAL and SUMIR TAGRA uncover the cultural meaning behind the surreal architectural creations they discovered and photographed in Beas, Punjab

O

ur ongoing project, ‘Escape’ deals with desires, reveries and nostalgia. One of its main focuses is a postmodern architectural style commonly referred to as ‘Punjabi Baroque’ that can be found throughout India. Vulgar and ostentatious, confused and desperately misguided, the style has been propagated by builders without the assistance of architects, reflecting the jumble of sensibilities that come together to create the new exploding middle-class of India. This project documents outlandish water tanks built upon manors in Beas, Punjab, a small town adjacent to the river in the Amritsar district. These houses often act like lighthouses or landmarks, to help people find their way. The tanks themselves are unclassifiable adaptations of a rococo-like style—the outcome of a postmodern practice that can be seen across India, prevalent in this nouveau riche society. The facades of these manors are decorated—like icing on a cake—making the structures even more ostentatious, and the tanks are the cherry on top. We have documented the principles and customs of the area, to gain knowledge for use in our artworks. The children in these areas grow up with the thought of leaving the country, and the distance they travel defines their success. These engorged manors are often empty, supporting emblems on their rooftops that act as objects of prestige—which leads to more questions than answers. Are they dreams attained under pressure or acts of escapism? Or are they simply symbols of our rapidly developing society?


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PHOTOS FROM INQUISITIVE MINDS BY THUKRAL AND TAGRA, FROM THE ‘ESCAPE’ SERIES

“The [water] tanks themselves are unclassifiable adaptations of a rococolike style—the outcome of a postmodern practice that can be seen across India, prevalent in this nouveau riche society.”


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PHOTO: PRUDENCE CUMING ASSOCIATES, © KIOYAR LTD

SHOWING THE WAY Artist and curator Damien Hirst (below) designed four stained-glass windows for his Newport Street Gallery. Adjacent to the signage is an LED screen.

ICON

H Join artist Damien Hirst on his journey from creator to curator as he opens his Newport Street Gallery in London WRITER NONIE NIESEWAND

T

© ANTON CORBIJN

he date was 7 October—the place, Lambeth in London. Closeted in the brick building of London’s latest gallery that spans half of Newport Street, critics had assembled to witness the art event of the year: the debut of Damien Hirst as the curator of his new gallery. Spanning five buildings and reportedly built at a cost of approximately £25 million, the Newport Street Gallery is free to the public. It has been funded by Hirst to showcase some of the 3,000 paintings and sculptures that he owns and to house his studio called Science. Three of the gallery’s buildings are historic Edwardian structures. Converted by architecture studio Caruso St John, they served as scenery-painting studios for West End theatres. With the addition of two new buildings at either end, the 37,000square-foot gallery space is impressive. One of the central galleries has a height of 36 feet beneath a ziggurat roofline, as jagged as the shark’s teeth in Hirst’s famous artwork preserved in >

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PHOTO: YUKI SHIMA, © KIOYAR LTD

PHOTO: © KIOYAR LTD

PHOTO: PRUDENCE CUMING ASSOCIATES, © KIOYAR LTD

(Clockwise from this picture) INSIDE STORY Gallery one of the Newport Street Gallery introduces the solo show of John Hoyland. Passing rail commuters will be able to read the LED screen on the facade. This compressed oval staircase spirals from the three galleries on the ground floor to the upper-level galleries.

< formaldehyde, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of

Someone Living (1991), which is said to have sold for £12 million. Hirst now says he regrets buying the 14-foot tiger shark from an Australian bounty hunter.

DISPLAY CASE Will his new gallery showcase his notorious forensic pieces, like the white woolly lamb in Away from the Flock (1994)? Maybe even his famous luminous spot paintings that the late writer Gordon Burn described as “what art looks like viewed through an imaginary microscope”? And possibly the spinning butterflies from his series of ‘Blue Paintings’, shown in 2009 beside the Fragonards and Bonnards in the sedate salons of the Wallace Collection in London. His diamond-encrusted skull, which sold for £50 million in 2007 to a consortium, is bound to be on a pedestal there at some point. 130|

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Not since the launch of the Young British Artists (YBA)—a globally renowned art movement of which Hirst was the driving force—in the ‘Sensation’ exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1997, have jaded critics and blasé gallerists gathered to await his art collection in such a hubbub of excitement. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to wear the curator’s hat for a change,” Hirst says, playing down his own art. “It’s a great honour to curate things, to get to play with other people’s work and use them as elements in your own composition.” TOUR DE FORCE At 11 am, the 12-foot-tall outer doors to the white-walled galleries swung open for a tour led by senior curator Hugh Allan, along with the architect Peter St John. ‘John Hoyland: Power Stations Paintings 1964-1982’, the show for which Hirst had been preparing for three years, was under way. He admits to making a model of the gallery and choosing all the places for each painting, which has been done visually, “far more important than chronologically”. First into the luminous gallery is the biggest private collector of Asian art in New Delhi, Lekha Poddar and her curator son Anupam. She rarely buys from galleries and makes a point to travel to artists’ studios, to meet, and talk with them. Just as well, as apart from some Hirst memorabilia, like his jewel-encrusted skulls in the tiny shop, nothing is for sale here. It was to everyone’s surprise that Hirst debuted with the works of Hoyland (1934-2011), who was a British abstract painter not much celebrated in his lifetime. Swirling suns in orange and red in a purpling sky spin amongst orbs of light, and volcanic explosions of colour burst across 34 canvases, all owned by Hirst, in six >


perspective < galleries dedicated solely to his paintings. ‘Power Stations’ is

PRICE OF FAME Like Hirst currently, Hoyland was not the most popular painter in the British art world. Unlike Hirst, however, he is not the most internationally revered. In America, art dealers are stockpiling Hirst works, believing that his new gallery will resurrect their value. New York art dealer Jose Mugrabi, who owns 120 artworks by him, told The Wall Street Journal that, “Damien Hirst is in the same situation as Warhol was in the 1990s. I love Damien at $10,000 and I love him at $10 million. The price is secondary because I know people love him, and in the end, they will pay for him.” In a curious twist, Hirst’s work slumped in value when he bypassed galleries and took his work directly to Sotheby’s for an auction in 2008, which raised a record £111 million. The market then flooded and the value of his work slumped to 2005 levels. Worse, the sale took place on the same day that the Lehman Brothers collapsed. Subsequently, in 2009, one in three of the 1,700 pieces by Hirst that went up for sale failed to sell. Afterwards, Oliver Barker, the deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, told The Wall Street Journal: “None of us intended to devalue his market but suddenly, after that sale, the lustre of Damien Hirst was gone.” All of which goes to show the power that dealers have to determine how much a work of art is worth. Don Thompson, author of The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art, points out that in the art market “the key part of the word ‘contemporary’ is ‘temporary’”. Time, and fashion, influence collectors. So now we have a chance to evaluate Hirst and his eye for contemporary art, as well as his generosity as a philanthropist sharing his private collection, and his preoccupations, with the public. A great deal more hangs upon Hirst’s Newport Street gallery than John Hoyland’s exuberant paintings.

‘John Hoyland: Power Stations Paintings 1964-1982’ will be on at the Newport Street Gallery till 3 April 2016, www.newportstreetgallery.com. 132|

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CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT Temperature and humidity controls are concealed behind the white walls; the floor throughout is polished silvery grey cement.

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the most expensive tribute act in art history. As Hirst explained before the show, “I’ve always loved colour and the organized chaos of the British abstract expressionists. The painting in my office by John Hoyland has three blues straight across it. At first you think it’s one blue, then three blues and it keeps moving. It’s a very powerful painting. Hopefully, when you see this show, you’ll get the feeling that’s what these paintings do. And that the space will set off the paintings brilliantly.” It does. We also see Damien Hirst in his new role as interior decorator in his restaurant here, called Pharmacy 2. Opening in 2016, it is the grown-up version of the first Pharmacy restaurant Hirst launched in 1998 (with PR consultant Matthew Freud) and rapidly closed, saying, “It just wasn’t art at the end of the day, all the shit of life that you don’t want to get involved in—stocks and shares, ties, books, Blu-Tack, glue and string.” So what was that rant all about? And why is he a sucker for punishment? “That’s because it was badly managed,” says Hugh Allan, who has worked with Damien Hirst for over 30 years. They are currently looking for a chef and new management team, which is why Pharmacy 2 won’t open until next year.


perspective SHOWCASE

COLLECTORS CLUB With an eye for recognizing masterpieces, a knack for spotting new talent, a deep respect for tradition and a passion for the craft, art connoisseurs in India have elevated the process of collecting to a fine art WRITER PHALGUNI DESAI

I

n the hierarchy of art, collectors are at the top of the food chain. They’ve been known to make or break artists’ careers, set new trends, and preserve traditions. The top collectors of India aren’t just people who acquire, but also people who have chosen to nurture and care for Indian art. They’ve become supporters of institutions, opened organizations championing art (a recent example being India’s fledgling but superbly reviewed Kochi-Muziris Biennale), and at times, played the part of preservers and recorders of Indian art practices. We find out the what, why and how of their passion for collecting.

K

IRAN NADAR

The founder of the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, along with her husband, Shiv Nadar of HCL Technologies, Kiran Nadar has been collecting art for over 20 years now, fixing her eye on important pieces and going after them quite single-mindedly. Though she started off as an incidental collector, she educated herself in Indian art history and contemporary art, and eventually turned

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her hobby into a profession when she opened her first exhibition space in the HCL compound in Noida.“I COUL-

DN’T IMAGINE ALL THE ART WE HAD COLLECTED SITTING IN STORAGE; I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING WITH IT, ” she

says. The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in DLF South Court, a New Delhi mall, has made it extremely accessible for exhibits, talks and conferences that help familiarize people from all walks of life, with Indian art. Nadar feels that contemporary art institutions need to be more receptive towards newer ideas and a varied audience, suggesting these are some of the things that have taken art out of the public eye and made it the exclusive preserve of the elite. At the museum, many parts of the Nadar collection greet the public, including works by modern masters such as SH Raza, VS Gaitonde, MF Husain, and Ram Kumar, and contemporary artists, such as Nalini Malani and Subodh Gupta. It also makes it easy for the Nadars to loan works they have collected to museums and galleries. Along with constantly updating the museum programme, Nadar is ensuring that Indian art finds a place in public memory.

A

BHISHEK PODDAR

Growing up with artcollecting-elite parents, Abhishek Poddar has always been subconsciously aware of art, and the hold it has on him. He began collecting works by local artists in the 1980s, when the stylistic lines between modern and contemporary art hadn’t been drawn. His collection includes FN Souza, Tyeb Mehta, Manjit Bawa, J Swaminathan, Rekha Rodwittiya, Surendran Nair, Jayashree Chakravarty and Atul Dodiya, though he

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

finds it hard to pick a favourite, saying,

“GREAT WORK COMES OUT OF EVERY ARTIST, AND YOU MIGHT END UP ENJOYING WORKS BY ARTISTS YOU’RE NOT NECESSARILY A FAN OF!” Poddar also owns and manages Bengalurubased photography gallery, Tasveer, which is responsible for bringing to light a lot of contemporary and historical photography around India. Apart from the gallery, Poddar has also invested in Australian art aficionado Tim Goodman’s auction venture, Fine Art Bourse (FAB), because, “the model he’s come up with is interesting. But I don’t want to confuse it with my art activities here, and don’t want to get involved in its day-to-day functions”. His next art venture is a public museum in Bengaluru called the Museum of Art and Photography, in collaboration with the Government of Karnataka. “We’ve been allocated the Venkatappa Art Gallery, which is in a stunning location. Our plan is to modernize and expand the building, and while we will showcase some of the collection permanently, we will also have shows so the audience can explore different aspects of our collection.” >


A

MRITA JHAVERI

While she grew up surrounded by art, antiques and cultural history thanks to her collector-parents, Amrita Jhaveri only formalized her interest in art in college, and then as the first Indian representative of UK-based auction house Christie’s. She began collecting in her 30s, naming her collection ‘Amaya’ (Sanskrit for ‘without illusion’), which she put under the hammer in 2013 at Sotheby’s first-ever international evening sale of Indian art. The spectacularly successful sale was a testament to Jhaveri’s collecting acumen. She believes that

WHEN BEGINNING A COLLECTION, IT’S BEST TO START LOOKING AT ARTISTS OF ONE’S OWN GENERATION, BECAUSE ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING ASPECTS OF COLLECTING IS THE RELATIONSHIP FORMED WITH THE ARTIST. While adding to her own

F

EROZE GUJRAL

The collection of former model Feroze Gujral and her husband, architect Mohit Gujral, features a variety of modern and contemporary Indian art based on the varied tastes of her family. It showcases works by her fatherin-law, eminent painter Satish Gujral, and Indian modern greats like Anjolie Ela Menon, Manjit Bawa and MF Husain. She has also taken on the mantle of patron through the Gujral Foundation, which funds and brings to fruition a number of art-related events that highlight various Indian art traditions. “We’ve consciously chosen artists working in light, sound, video, documentary formats,” says Gujral.

“THESE ARE THINGS PEOPLE CAN’T BUY SO THEY DON’T NECESSARILY ENGAGE WITH THEM, BUT UNLESS WE SHOWCASE THEM, HOW WILL ANYONE KNOW OF THEM OR BUY THEM? ART IS A COMMENT ON OUR TIMES, WE CAN’T CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT.” At their exhibition space

in Jor Bagh, New Delhi, the Foundation exhibits contemporary artists like Tejal Shah and CAMP studio. They also lend a hand to art events like the Kochi-Muziris Biennale—for which they are founder patrons—by providing the main exhibition space of Aspinwall House. The foundation has funded the much-lauded VS Gaitonde retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the joint artistic dialogue titled ‘My East is Your West’ between Shilpa Gupta (India) and Rashid Rana (Pakistan) at the 56th Venice Biennale.

collection, she looks at what the work says, and how it fits into her life, and with the other pieces she owns. She has also channelled her ambitions towards an art-consultancy business—her client roster includes the likes of Mukesh and Nita Ambani—and Jhaveri Contemporary, a gallery established with her sister Priya. The gallery has shown artists like Seher Shah and Rana Begum, and organized posthumous exhibitions around the work of the legendary Amrita Sher-Gil, and photographer Raghubir Singh. They also worked with the late Mrinalini Mukherjee, and brought UK-based sculptor Anish Kapoor’s first and only exhibition in India. 136|

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MANISH MANSINH SAMPAT

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H

ARSH GOENKA

For Harsh Goenka, chairman of the RPG Group, engaging with art is a lot like breathing. As someone who grew up in a family that spent a lot of time dissecting and discussing various arts, including poetry, dance and the fine arts, his curiosity had been thoroughly piqued and he went on to acquire many instances of the Bengal school as a young man. Over time, his focus widened, though with a few twists, as Goenka occasionally adds thematic filters to his collection—such as his famed suite of self-portraits, including works by Atul Dodiya, Anjolie Ela Menon and Laxman Shreshtha, or his commissioned series of portraits of Mother Teresa. Apart from managing his collection, which spreads across his home and the RPG offices, Goenka has also organized groundbreaking public art exhibits, called ‘Art Mela’. His very first curated exhibition, the ‘Bombay’ show, was held at the Jehangir Art Gallery, as was ‘Art Mela’, to maximize footfall. Goenka has also arranged artist camps in the past, and is now taking art to the masses in a more definitive way; an upcoming project proposes the installation of large sculptures across public spaces in Mumbai. His recent focus for his personal collection has been on contemporary artists such as Raghava KK, Manjunath Kamath, Jagannath Panda and Abir Karmakar. As for the future, he believes that

CREATIVITY IS THRIVING, AND A GROWING INTERNATIONAL INTEREST IN INDIAN ART WILL SEE MANY MORE TURNING TO IT AS A CAREER.


perspective

A

NURAG AND PAYAL KHANNA

In Kutch, far from the madding crowd of wine-and-cheese openings, are Anurag and Payal Khanna and their wonderful collection of contemporary Indian art. What began as a way of decorating their new home—14 years ago—with the works of Sunil Padwal, Manisha Parekh and Samir Mondal, has resulted in a collection of the most exciting contemporary art in the country. Not afraid of new media and other experimental art, the Khannas believe that if the art is good, any of the mediums can stand against the other. This belief has led to their collection featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography and videos and even documentation, as they have done in the case of performance artist Nikhil Chopra. They have acquired the works of numerous artists from the subcontinent, some of their favourites being Bani Abidi, Naeem Mohaiemen, Shahryar Nashat and Dayanita Singh. “IAMATTRACTED

TODIFFERENTASPECTS ABOUTART,BEITPOLITICS, HISTORY,ORPERSONAL STORIES,” says Anurag. “Currently, I

am more drawn to intimate things; this also depends upon my mood and in what direction I am thinking or what I am reading,” he says about the kind of work he chooses to acquire. He thinks collecting younger artists is a risk, but one with its own rewards. He feels that it helps to develop one’s taste over time and collect accordingly. While not a big fan of art fairs, he considers them opportunities to start conversations and look at multiple artists in one space, and suggests Art Basel in

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R

Chopra and her husband are also patrons of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, and also supported the artistic dialogue ‘My East is Your West’ at the 56th Venice Biennale.

ADHIKA CHOPRA

Curious (and a little envious) of all the fun ‘art people’ seemed to be having, Radhika Chopra took a sabbatical from her finance job and went to work at Bose Pacia, the now nonoperational New York City gallery that focused on Indian art, especially contemporary works. While there, Chopra purchased her very first artwork, a 1957 MF Husain titled La Taza from the collection of Italian neorealist director Roberto Rossellini for $4,000 (approximately `1,50,000) after taking a cash advance on her credit card. She hasn’t looked back since, and her collection now includes a number of modern Indian artists from the 1950s onwards, including MF Husain, SH Raza and FN Souza, along with a number of contemporary artists. Chopra’s personal preference skews greatly towards female artists, and she finds herself drawn to the likes of minimalist Zarina Hashmi, photographer Dayanita Singh and painter Arpita Singh, and lives with many of their works. Her collecting strategy is simple— she buys what she likes. “TASTE

EVOLVESANDASA COLLECTOR,ONEMUSTTHEN THINKABOUTHOWTO MANAGETHECOLLECTION,”

she adds. “I’m always looking for new media works to add to it, and recently acquired a video work by Tara Kelton.” She attends at least one international art event a year as part of her collecting manual, and feels local events like the India Art Fair in New Delhi, or the Kochi-Muziris Biennale are a must for Indian collectors. She believes they help provide perspective, which could be complemented by visits to international art fairs such as the Frieze London, Art Basel and Art Basel Hong Kong. She suggests new collectors also identify galleries whose artist roster they feel comfortable with, as a solid relationship with a trustworthy gallery lays the groundwork for a satisfying collection.

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ROOPIKA SARAN

ADIL HASAN

particular as a great learning platform. Mostly, though, the Khannas enjoy living with their art at a pace that allows them to appreciate it and learn more from it every day, the considerable disconnect with the art metropolises making it possible to make more individual and thoughtful choices.

M

ANISH MAKER

It was an MF Husain painting that sparked Manish Maker’s interest in art. The work, gifted to his father, was relegated to storage and remembered while renovating their home. “Its presence was so strong, it changed the way we thought about and approached the spaces surrounding it, and designed and planned our home around it,” he recalls, adding that the painting was probably what drove his interest in the juxtaposition of art and architecture. Add to that years of collecting and conversing with contemporary artists, and managing the family real-estate business, and you get Maker Maxity, an attempt at introducing spectacular art in the public areas of a >


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perspective occupying what used to be a drive-in theatre in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai. The project brings together Maker’s interest in the tension between site-specific art and architecture, and the ability to invest in engineering, production and installation expertise. Moreover, it provides Mumbai with a new art venue, one with a permanent collection as well as time-bound, open-air exhibits. The Maker Maxity permanent collection houses landmark works by artists Jitish Kallat, Hema Upadhyay, Bhajju Shyam, as well as the central Flying Bus installation by Sudarshan Shetty (recently named curator of the upcoming Kochi-Muziris Biennale). The 40-foot replica of a BEST doubledecker bus with 34-foot-long steel wings on either side, was commissioned for Maker Maxity, reportedly at a cost of approximately `1 crore. The bus is also conceived as an additional exhibition space—with its interiors suitable for hanging art. As with Shetty’s piece, the other inclusions in the Maker Maxity collection ruminate on the history, philosophy and the real-time context of Mumbai. Maker also looks to incorporate works in different mediums in his collection and attempts to widen their audience outside of just the office-going crowd that frequents their location. Maker Maxity has also held temporary ‘shows’, including one to mark the demolition of the drive-in theatre, featuring large-scale installations by Bharti Kher, Avinash Veeraraghavan, Navin Thomas and Dayanita Singh among others. While Maker’s standards for Maxity are very high, he advises collectors to ultimately:

international interest in public art, museums and the like. “IN INDIA,

THE FOCUS IS MORE ON COLLECTING,” he adds, rueing the

lack of patronage, which he feels died with the maharajas, who promoted traditions of local art within their lands. The Chorarias decided to do their bit to remedy that lack of patronage and public promotion of art. Teaming up with The Phoenix Group, the Chorarias have created a public art museum in the corridors, elevators and staircases of Chennai’s Phoenix Market City. The programme, called ArtC, is run professionally with curator Diana Campbell Betancourt and What About Art?, a Mumbai-based arts management agency. The work featured is often borrowed from artists or collectors, and sometimes bought outright for a more permanent display. It comprises everything, from sound and video art to sculptures, installations and even textbased art. ArtC has featured work by Indian artists Tallur LN, Ravinder Reddy, Aakash Nihalani, Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra, Vishal K Dar, as well as international artists such as South African William Kentridge and American Yoko Ono. The Chorarias also support other projects like the Mumbai Art Room, a non-profit space for experimental art, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, as well as residencies and artist exchanges organized by What About Art?. They are also patrons of the New Museum in New York, which as Betancourt suggests, is fitting, “as it sees the importance of supporting the exhibition of art that is experimental and beyond what can be possessed”.

“FOLLOW YOUR HEART. TRUST YOUR INSTINCT. AND YOUR EYES. MAKE MISTAKES.”

V

Vijay and Sunita Choraria are a collector-couple who would rather not be termed collectors. For them, engagement with art is about more than just investing in it. It’s the seeing, understanding and relating to it that does the trick. “Internationally, it’s very different; people are seeing, not necessarily buying,” says Vijay, referring to the greater

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KEDAR NENE

IJAY AND SUNITA CHORARIA

ROHIT GUPTA

< compound of office buildings,

R

AJSHREE PATHY

There are stories in the collecting world about Rajshree Pathy that give you pause. She acquired her first work at age 17; her office is called The Uffizi, after the building that housed some of the most important paintings of the Renaissance under the ownership of the House of Medici; it now functions as one of the most important art museums in the world. And yet, Pathy doesn’t wish to be termed a ‘collector’. “IDON’T

COLLECTBYARTIST,GENRE ORPERIOD!IT’SNOTWHATI SETOUTTOBEORWANTTO ACHIEVE!” Fittingly, Pathy’s

collection is an amalgam of mediums and practices across time periods, and while she doesn’t take on art advisors, she believes in buying from galleries specifically, “as they have worked hard to promote an artist’s career over years”. She considers Nature Morte (New Delhi), Experimenter (Kolkata) and Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai) among galleries with a strong Indian contemporary representation, and has acquired moderns from Sakshi Gallery (Mumbai), Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi) and Apparao Galleries (Chennai). An appreciation of all kinds of art is something she considers important, rueing the flagging importance of art and culture in Indian education. As a possible remedy (but definitely not the only one) she mentions her CoCCA project (The Coimbatore Centre for Contemporary Arts), which will be a centre for practical and theoretical art education.


perspective ARCHITECTURE

LESS IS

(From above) WINDS OF CHANGE Rem Koolhaas and his firm, OMA, repurposed a Soviet-era restaurant to create the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art—at Gorky Park, Moscow—which is sheathed in a translucent polycarbonate shell, with a massive vertical sliding entry door. Koolhaas also designed the Fondazione Prada art centre in a century-old distillery in Milan; pictured is the OMA-designed inaugural exhibition of Greek and Roman sculptures.

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em Koolhaas, arguably the most influential architect of the past 30 years, was restless. Over coffee recently in Moscow, he seemed to call for an end to the age of extravagance, talking of his own “escape from the ‘starchitect’ bubble”. But where exactly would that leave him—the visionary behind blockbuster projects like the Seattle Public Library, with its origami-like folds, and Beijing’s boldly angled and cantilevered tower for the China Central Television headquarters? Was Koolhaas really planning to deprive his clients of the kind of structural tours de force that have made him famous? Or would he find a way to get back to basics while still exploring design’s possibilities? >

PHOTO: JOHN PAUL PACELLI, COURTESY OMA

For the Fondazione Prada in Milan and Garage Museum in Moscow, architect Rem Koolhaas takes his cues from existing structures and his taste-making patrons. checks in with the design world’s boldest team player WRITER FRED A BERNSTEIN . PHOTOGRAPHER IWAN BAAN PRODUCER SAM COCHRAN


perspective < The answer is now coming into focus, thanks to two

dazzling structures, both adaptive reuse projects that reflect Koolhaas’s efforts to accomplish more by building less. In May this year, the Dutch architect unveiled the Fondazione Prada’s new Milan art centre, largely constructed from the remains of a century-old distillery. Then, a month later, he christened the new permanent home of Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, set in a repurposed Soviet-era restaurant in Gorky Park. In each case, by serving as renovator rather than creator, Koolhaas says he was forced to put aside “pure ego to pursue relationships with the past”. TALE OF TWO CITIES Which is not to say these two projects are in any way staid—on the contrary, Koolhaas and the team at his Rotterdam-based firm, OMA, have devised a pair of dynamic architectural complexes for institutions that are energizing the cultural landscapes of their history-rich cities. But while the Fondazione Prada and the Garage both have plans for diverse exhibitions and programmes, there are differences. Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, the brand’s chief executive, have been collecting and exhibiting art for decades and were ready to give their trove a proper venue in their home city. (The organization opened an outpost in Venice four years ago.) Garage’s founder, philanthropist Dasha Zhukova, Koolhaas notes, “is at the early stages of deploying her ambition”. Her upstart museum, established in 2008, is dedicated as much to mounting shows exploring overlooked areas of Soviet art, as it is to displaying >

(From above) THE MASTERMIND Koolhaas at the Garage Museum, which occupies a renovated restaurant from the 1960s. At the Fondazione Prada, a gallery displays a salon-style arrangement of contemporary art.

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perspective < blue-chip international works. So while the vast

Fondazione Prada, with 118,000 square feet of space, is a highly refined mix of old and new, the far-smaller Garage— at two storeys and 58,000 square feet—is deliberately less polished. Constructed during the Cold War, the one-time restaurant that the Garage now occupies had deteriorated since the fall of Communism. “We were dealing with a ruin that was only 50 years old, something built and destroyed during my lifetime,” Koolhaas recounts. “But we discovered that preserving a building from 1968 meant preserving the mentality of 1968.” That era’s mindset—which for much of the world entailed newfound freedoms and openness—led Koolhaas to cover the structure in a translucent polycarbonate shell, creating a gauzy divide between inside and out. Some of the shimmering plastic panels slide up to reveal the >

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PHOTO: VASILY BABOUROV, COURTESY OMA

OPEN SEASON The ground-floor lobby of the Garage Museum features an autumn-themed mosaic preserved from when it was a Soviet-era restaurant.


perspective BIG SCREEN At the Fondazione Prada, OMA added a theatre to the complex, seen here on the left.

< building’s entrance hall. Inside, sleek additions meet original aside for more exhibition space. This structure, in Koolhaas’s details with an exciting informality. Crumbling tile-work, including elaborate mosaics, remains, the rough edges complementing a dramatic network of terrazzo-and-steel stairs. This raw, youthful energy suits the museum’s mission to attract curious Russians, particularly those who haven’t previously been exposed to international contemporary art. As part of its inaugural exhibitions, the Garage chose ping-pong tables by Argentinian artist Rirkrit Tiravanija and fun-house-like installations by Yayoi Kusama from Japan.

GRAND SHOW The more mature and mannerly Fondazione Prada, meanwhile, is a high point in Koolhaas’s 15-year-long relationship with the fashion company, a collaboration that began with the brand’s New York flagship and has since expanded to runway shows and even a portable exhibition-and-event space that has travelled the world. As the Milan complex proves, Koolhaas and Prada are a match made in design heaven: both are expert at pulling disparate elements and ideas together into surprisingly harmonious, sophisticated compositions. Two of the seven original distillery buildings have been reconfigured as long halls for permanent displays of paintings and sculptures. (The revamped compound also houses a playfully retro Milanesestyle cafe conceived by film-maker Wes Anderson.) An existing four-storey tower at the centre of the complex has been set 148|

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most opulent gesture, is sheathed in gold leaf. Sunlight bouncing off it makes visitors standing nearby “look like gods”, the architect observes. Complementing the renovated edifices are three new ones, including the Podium, a glass-walled gallery with floors of richly veined marble. The space opened with a remarkable show of Greek and Roman statues, all brilliantly installed by OMA using raised travertine platforms that largely obscure the figures’ pedestals. (Such bases, Koolhaas suggests, “drain all the energy out of sculptures”.) The second addition, Cinema, containing a 200-seat theatre, is partly underground. Koolhaas clad much of it in mirror-finished stainless steel, with one wall that folds at the touch of a button to transform the enclosed theatre into an open-air performance venue. Under construction is the third building, Torre, a nine-storey tower with another 8,600 square feet of galleries for the foundation. Koolhaas is quick to share credit for the Fondazione Prada and the Garage with his clients as well as with his colleagues at OMA (whose roster of current projects includes the Qatar National Library in Doha and the Faena Forum, a cultural centre in Miami Beach, both set to debut later this year). Plus, he notes, he was also guided by the “ambitions and intentions” of the creators of the original structures. Indeed, it’s as if the architect has found a way to reach new heights not by building tall, but by standing on the shoulders of those who came before him.


perspective (From this picture) PRIVATE VIEWING One of the retail spaces allotted for individual attention. The design of the staircase was inspired by a stepped-well that designer and architect Denis Montel came across in a temple in Hampi, Karnataka.

RETAIL

TOUCH

In an exclusive interview for Denis Montel—artistic and creative director of renowned French design firm RDAI— speaks to URVASHI KESWANI about creating a contemporary space grounded in heritage, for jewellery retailer Ganjam, on the occasion of the brand’s 125th anniversary

PHOTOS: PALLON DARUWALA

Architectural Digest: How did you get involved in this project? Denis Montel: The memory of our first encounter with [Ganjam’s joint managing director] Umesh Ganjam and his team in Paris is an emotional one. Before getting started, we went to [Bengaluru] to discover the brand and were very impressed by their craftsmanship. After several conversations, I had a deeper understanding of the culture, the roots, how important nature and Indian symbols were to them, and I felt that this project should carefully consider those concepts in the design. AD: What was the brief given to you to design the store? DM: The brief talked about the brand’s ambition for the store, which was to establish a design vocabulary for an Indian luxury brand in a global context, and, at the same time, to express the essence of Ganjam by reflecting the depth of their heritage. We understood that their unique handcrafting [technique] was an important part of their ethos and must be highlighted. Their concepts of understated design, originality and craftsmanship were included in the brief. > 150|

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perspective (Clockwise from this picture) GOLDEN CENTRE The jewellery gallery which highlights the two-storey, banyan-tree-inspired interior detail. Another individual retail space. An original concept rendering of the store facade. A showcase inset in a gallery with stone-clad fins.

AD: What was your vision and thought process for designing the store? DM: We have aimed at creating a unique and sensorial experience through contemporary expression that is linked to nature and the five elements. We discovered vastu and understood that it considers our home as our temple, and works on a grid system. It helped us draw on beauty, comfort and the use of natural materials. We were totally inspired by this and designed with the grid and the vastu purusha [layout]. The grid was used as the spatial base to organize the layout and specified functions. The great symbolic meanings— the use of repetitive geometrical forms involving self-similarity on different scales and fractals, or self-similar forms where the whole has the same shape as one or more of the parts—were also very inspiring for RDAI and have been an important consideration. AD: What influenced the materials and colour palette? DM: Nature, man and his creations are all one in vastu. This, and all the important symbols for Ganjam—like the peacock and banyan tree; their significant detailing; the sophistication and refinement of their handcrafting; and their profound humanity and values—inspired us to use natural materials. Light stone for the facade, the flooring and the interior walls; a golden teak as an ode to the contemporary banyan tree; a high-gloss rosewood for the furniture; Indian silk panelling on the walls; wool and silk for the peacock-inspired carpets; and a bronze-finished metal for the metal work to differentiate and not compete with the precious jewellery colours. The early dawn or setting sun colours as seen in the perspective of archways or on the banks of the Tungabhadra river suggested to us a wonderful, warm colour range for the materials and lighting in the store. 152|

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AD: Is there a specific part of the store that you are particularly proud of? DM: I must admit that I am proud of many parts of the store. The staircase is a beautiful architectural element, but I am particularly proud of the central room in the middle of the shop. It is just an empty space without any display or commercial role—open and linked to silence and air. AD: Tell us about your design for the facade of the store. DM: We proposed the idea of a contemporary temple that reflects the history of Ganjam. Our wish was to create massive and timeless architecture made entirely of stone. This aesthetic of mass and roughness provides a strong contrast to the refinement of the jewellery within. We discovered an austere and grandiose site in Hampi with Dravidian temples and palaces through [Ganjam]. It won our admiration and stimulated our imagination and creativity, particularly the massive dimensions, the harmonious integration into the landscape, the feeling of space and air that is everywhere, the sophisticated elements of architecture with framed and decorated details, the carved columns, and the light passing through the arches. AD: You have worked on a project in India before; the Hermès store in Mumbai. Tell us about your experience this time. DM: This time we were invited to design a project for an Indian company and it was essential to enter into this universe and complexity. From the preliminary images to the completion of the work, there was respect between everyone. The level of quality on this project was astounding and I can tell you that [in the end] we reached a very high quality of workmanship.


perspective PROJECT

Jitish Kallat turned to the infinity of the cosmos to give context to local Austrian road signage, and earned his street credentials by creating, on a roundabout near Vienna, his largest artwork to date

(Clockwise from this picture) WORKING MODEL Artist Jitish Kallat’s sculptural work, Here After Here After Here, which has been installed on a roundabout in Stockerau, Austria. A 3D rendering, wireframe and paper model of the sculpture.

S

itting on the desk of his sunny Bandra studio, the paper model for artist Jitish Kallat’s newest sculptural work, Here After Here After Here, recently opened on a roundabout in Stockerau—which is 20 kilometres north of Vienna, Austria—looks, more than anything else, like a big, stick-on bow. When I point this out, Kallat smiles, “At this scale, yes,” he says, then, picking up the model and holding his thumbnail to its side, “but the real human scale is closer to this.” Approximately 50 feet in diameter and 18 feet high, the new work is the largest ever created by the Mumbai-born artist, and, he says, the first he’s ever designed to be permanent. For any artist whose body of work is often preoccupied with temporal and spatial play, both of these components are of supreme importance. Among Kallat’s works are Infinitum, which recasts semi-consumed rotis as cycles of the moon, and a recent work— currently on display at a solo exhibition in Paris. Consisting of close-up images of skins of overripe fruits, the work, at that scale, looks like explosions of supernovas, events of astronomical importance. The meanings of such works are neither opaque nor

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PHOTO: RAIMO RUMPLER

WRITER MICHAEL SNYDER

especially complex. Instead, they are designed to make the viewer reconsider the materials that constitute the world around them. DOING THE ROUNDS Kallat first visited the site, on which his sculpture now stands, in 2012, shuttling between 10 nearby townships to visit their respective mayors and inspect a variety of possible locations. Travelling around, he says, “You would see traffic signs and windmills and not much else. I wanted to replicate that sort of frugality in the landscape. I didn’t want something too loaded with meanings.” He got back to Mumbai unsure of what shape the project would take, but shortly returned to forms that he’s always found fascinating: self-consuming loops, Celtic knots, the ouroboros—an ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail. One day, while examining his site using the satellite view on Google Maps—first zooming in close, then zooming out slightly to see where it was situated in relation to the town, Stockerau—he accidentally zoomed farther out than intended, and caught a sudden, startling glimpse of the minuscule point where his largest >

PHOTO: NEVILLE SUKHIA

WIREFRAME & RENDERING COURTESY JITISH KALLAT STUDIO

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PHOTO: NEVILLE SUKHIA

(From top) DRAWING INSPIRATION A sketch and mood board for the installation along with the shapes and symbols that inspired it. Kallat with his sculpture in Stockerau.

PHOTO: RAIMO RUMPLER

OPEN TO INTERPRETATION Unlike his previous projects, this one had to be designed to be viewed in motion. While galleries and museums encourage extended viewing, precisely the kind of close examination that Kallat’s works aim to interrogate and exploit, a roundabout is quite explicitly meant to do the opposite: facilitate constant, efficient motion. “The physical traffic norms require that you slow down, pause momentarily at the work, and that’s where an odd place name will come out at you,” he explains. “Your mirrors will throw back information that dilates space and distance.” Each approach, even for those who drive by the sculpture frequently, will provide an opportunity to see the work anew as different places and distances emerge and as the signs, removed from their flat, overhead positions, reflect light and throw shadow in unexpected ways through the day. The sculpture manages both, to take something small—a roundabout on a low rise connecting a small town to a capital city—and contextualize it within the immensity of the globe, and to convey the immensity of infinity, suggested by the sculpture’s looping form. The sculpture itself, three times the height of a human, makes itself small by pointing outwards. In its use of a mundane material paired with exotic place names, in its witty play with scale, the sculpture is principally about the way we perceive the world and the objects around us. “I like the idea of a prolonged gaze,” Kallat says, smiling again, and holding up a glass of water, “that if you look at this simple thing long enough it can start to seem strange, to look like something else.” He smiles again—or maybe still. “People won’t be able to prolong their gaze on this object, but I’m curious to see how the other signs around them will transform after they’ve paused to see it.” A whorl of road signs indicating distances to far-off cities, collapsing into an invisible centre point at the middle of the traffic symbol, this new work, like much of the work that precedes it, plays with spatial and temporal expectations. And like Kallat’s other work, this too will make viewers think, long after they’ve passed it.

COURTESY JITISH KALLAT STUDIO

< work would be placed in relation to the big, round globe, suspended like an ornament in the cosmos. “Suddenly, these different things were overlaid: the traffic circle, the globe, the recurrent loop.” To combine those elements, Kallat decided to use the most quotidian possible component, something drawn directly from the landscape of European transport: the street sign, which he describes as “omnipresent, but completely missable”. The final sculpture is a whorl of street signs—using the institutional blue background and white font as the local signage—indicating distances and exits for far-off cities, some of them well known (Istanbul, New York), others less so (Quetta, Al Mawsil Al Jadidah in Iraq). Though composed of some 20 distinct pieces—manufactured, bent and printed in Austria—the final sculpture, seen at human scale, will resemble a single, endless sign, as though the point at the centre of the roundabout had exploded infinitely out to capture and record its place in the world before rushing back, pulled inexorably inward by its own gravitational force: on the verge of disappearing into a black hole. Like the fruits and the rotis of Kallat’s installations, the sculpture is the quotidian made cosmic.


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NEW More pro- than anti-establishment, more complimentary than controversial, graffiti and street artists are beautifying India, one brick wall at a time

PHOTO: AKSHAT NAURIYAL

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Like all his murals, this one by street artist Yantr in Shahpur Jat, New Delhi, depicts a fantastical creature made up of tiny machine parts.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

A mural by Paris-based street artist Rock in Bandra, Mumbai.

Siddhesh Bharati (Minzo), standing in front of one of his tags in Bandra, Mumbai.

PHOTO: LEENA DESAI

inzo yanks open a can of spray paint and gives it a good shake—the marble inside it rattling furiously— and proceeds to spray the outline of his latest ‘tag’ (an artist’s name written in a signature style). The sibilance of the spray paint seems to put the graffiti artist in a trance. For the next hour, he seems oblivious to the fact that he’s painting on the wall of a busy street with the deafening sound of traffic competing in intensity with the debilitating afternoon heat. Dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, cap deliberately askew, a skateboard in hand, and American rapper KRS-One’s Step Into AWorld blaring on his headphones, Minzo seems more suited for the Bronx than Bombay. He’s part of a motley crew of graffiti and street artists who are unleashing their creativity using public spaces as their canvas and the streets as their art galleries. >

PHOTO: KUNAL ACHARYA

M

WRITER LEENA DESAI


PHOTO: RUCHIN SONI

A mural by artist Ruchin Soni on the wall of Tihar Jail, New Delhi.

THE STREET’S STAKEHOLDERS Siddhesh Bharati, aka Minzo, is a jobbing graphic designer. When he isn’t Photoshopping advertisements and brochures, he does his bit to “represent hip hop in India”. Like his compadres Zine, Sam Sam and Rane of the Aerosol Assassins Crew from New Delhi, Snik from Kolkata, and Zake and Mooz from Mumbai, Minzo believes graffiti is art, not vandalism. There are some who concur, preferring tags over drab, moss-covered walls. And while Minzo and his gang take advantage of this and frequently have “graffiti jams”, they are still a minority when compared to the street art community that’s exploded on the Indian scene in recent years. Considered as the biggest countercultural movement of the recent past, street art originated in Europe and America in the 1990s. But it wasn’t until British provocateur Banksy managed to simultaneously ruffle feathers and command a rock-star-like fan following that street art gained recognition as a legitimate form of art. Today, some of the museums in America and Britain where Banksy secretly installed his art are believed to have retained it, while prints of his artworks have been sold by Sotheby’s at its auctions for as high as $1.9 million. While street art has always been a part of Indian culture—with paintings of religious and cinematic gods gracing our street walls for 162|

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COURTESY OF THE WALL PROJECT

A mural of Mahatma Gandhi on one wall of the Delhi Police headquarters, by German artist Hendrik Beikirch (ECB) and Anpu Varkey.

A street artist standing next to his mural of a Kathakali dancer on Tulsi Pipe Road, Mumbai.

COURTESY OF BOLLYWOOD ART PROJECT

PHOTO: ENRICO FABIAN

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A mural of iconic Bollywood villain Amrish Puri from the movie Mr India by artist Ranjit Dahiya as part of his initiative, Bollywood Art Project.

decades—we adopted its most contemporary avatar, as a tool for sociopolitical commentary, only recently. Initiatives like The Wall Project, which amassed people to create wall art on Mumbai’s Tulsi Pipe Road; Extension Khirkee, which has enlivened New Delhi’s low-income Khirkee extension neighbourhood; and Pune Street Art Project, which has given a facelift to Kasba Peth (Pune’s oldest neighbourhood) have helped anchor street art in the public consciousness. Last year, St+art, an organization that promotes street art, with help from Asian Paints, held two open-air exhibitions in New Delhi and one in Mumbai—bringing together some of the biggest names in Indian and international street art like Daku, Anpu, Yantr, Ranjit Dahiya, Ruchin Soni, Lady Aiko and more. St+art has also gained recognition for India’s largest (of Dadasaheb Phalke, in Mumbai), tallest (of Mahatma Gandhi, in New Delhi), and possibly longest (on the walls of Tihar Jail, in New Delhi) murals. PAINTBRUSH PROCLAMATIONS In the West, street art has a reputation for being controversial. In India, it’s a little different. New Delhi-based artist Anpu Varkey, famous for her huge cat murals, feels, “In India, it’s hard to make a decision on what to paint, because people insist on finding meaning

>


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Street artist Yantr creates awareness about saving the one-horned rhino through his mural in Guwahati, Assam.

PHOTO: AKSHAT NAURIYAL

A collaborative mural by artists Phomes, Tona, Tofu and Anpu Varkey in Bandra, Mumbai.

PHOTO: LEENA DESAI

COURTESY OF TRANSHUMAN COLLECTIVE

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Rani Lakshmibai at Lodhi Colony, New Delhi, by Japanese artist Lady Aiko, who is known for her emphasis on strong female characters in her works.

and I avoid representations in that manner.” Dhanya Pilo of The Wall Project feels that, given our volatile political climate, it’s better to steer away from sensitive issues. “In the last 50 years, public service messages that have been on the walls haven’t really worked and there’s no point having such messages in wall art if they have no effect.” One of the best ways in which street-art initiatives have assisted the government is by beautifying cities across the country. “People are conditioned to see so much ugliness in the city,” Pilo opines. “We saw dirty walls and we thought that if we paint them, they could provide relief to the people who pass by. If murals and colours can bring visual relief to people temporarily, then we give people the space to think positively.” Spreading positivity is a huge job in itself; but there are a few street artists who use the art form to make a statement. Soni’s mural in Shahpur Jat, New Delhi, shows people using binoculars to find birds. “The mural is a comment on the concrete jungle we live in, where birds are a rare sight.” South India-based street artist Guesswho uses Banksy-esque black-and-white stencils that show western icons in Indian garb. “For me, the best way to create interest was to use familiar imagery. But I try to connect it with socially and culturally relevant subjects. I’m least interested in painting just another pretty picture on the walls.” A RED-LETTER DAY Beautification might be street art’s raison d’être in India, but artists and street-art proponents are conscious of its relevance. “It’s exciting that people have now opened themselves to another new canvas,” Pilo feels. “But it’s very important to look at the context when they are painting on the streets. You want to paint something that’s relatable, meaningful, which inspires people and initiates a conversation.”

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A mural of iconic Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan from the movie Deewaar by artist Ranjit Dahiya (not pictured) as part of his initiative, Bollywood Art Project.

Years of hard work by Indian street artists and aficionados seem to be paying off. Thanks to the Google Art Project, Indian street art is now getting worldwide visibility. Will it ever be exhibited in art galleries and museums, and be auctioned for astronomical prices? It’s a matter of time, says St+art’s Arjun Bahl. “Because of the age we live in, street art is appreciating much faster in terms of value. We’ll see many Indian Banksys emerging. There’s already Daku who has caught the imagination of people; and artists like Anpu and Amitabh Kumar are doing very well. It’s just a matter of time before street art is exhibited in galleries in India. The art establishment can no longer ignore it.” Well, until such a time, we’d all do well to infuse a little joie de vivre into our lives by picking up a paintbrush and painting our cities red. Quite literally so.

COURTESY OF BOLLYWOOD ART PROJECT

< in it. I find it hard to be preachy when I paint; I hate moralizing


perspective (From this picture) LIFT-OFF! The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) takes off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh, carrying the Mars orbiter spacecraft. The spacecraft, dubbed Mangalyaan (meaning ‘Mars craft’), mounted on top of the PSLV.

DESIGN

THE

FINAL R O N T I E R

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Mars Orbiter Mission was the envy of the world, not just for the success of its maiden voyage, but for the technological and economical accomplishment of its design

PHOTOS COURTESY INDIAN SPACE RESEARCH ORGANISATION

WRITER J RAMANAND

“What is red, is a planet and is the focus of my orbit?” — @MARSORBITER ON TWITTER, 24 SEPTEMBER 2014

I

ndia’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) left for the red planet on 5 November 2013, a Tuesday. It was an apt day for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to send out the craft, also dubbed ‘Mangalyaan’ (Mangal means ‘Mars’ and also lends its name to Tuesday in Hindi). Ten months and some 225 million miles later, on the morning of 24 September 2014, MOM, now in Mars’s sphere of influence, began a delicate manoeuvre. The orbiter reoriented itself in preparation and began firing its engine and thrusters to reduce its velocity. If it didn’t slow down enough, it would skip past Mars; too slow and the embrace would turn deadly. The drama intensified. Soon after firing the engine, MOM would be eclipsed on Earth by Mars; that was just the way the heavens had conspired to align these bodies. There would be no radio contact. MOM would be on its own for almost 30 minutes. If anything went awry, no one on Earth could help. Even under normal circumstances, it would take about 12.5 seconds for a distress signal to reach home. Mangalyaan had been designed

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to make it through this period: but would it? The answer came in the cheers that were heard around 8am IST at the space agency’s Bengaluru headquarters. ISRO had just achieved the primary mission objective: to demonstrate it had the technology for interplanetary travel. Mangalyaan’s success made India the first nation (and ISRO the second space agency) to get to Mars on its maiden attempt, and easily the cheapest, at $74 million. ISRO’s story of frugal innovation helped consolidate its position in the commercial space market, winning it accolades for its design. The orbiter was shortlisted in Icon magazine’s 2014 design awards; and the agency received the 2015 Space Pioneer award from America’s National Space Society. >


(From left) SPACE RACE Renderings of NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which was launched two weeks after Mangalyaan, but reached the red planet a few days before its Indian counterpart.

A BRIEF HISTORY The project was announced in 2012, two years after ISRO’s partially successful Chandrayaan-1 moon mission. The stated aim was to get to Mars as cost-effectively as possible. This meant launching the craft and manoeuvring it into orbit in a series of fuel-efficient steps, designing the optimum payload for the scientific side of the mission, and crucially, providing the ability to make autonomous decisions during situations like the Mars occultation. To put something around Mars without wasting a lot of fuel, space agencies use a Hohmann transfer orbit, an elliptical path that takes into consideration the positions of Earth and Mars relative to the Sun. The right opportunity comes once in 26 months—which, in 2013, gave ISRO a launch window just 14 months away. Taking Mangalyaan into space would be ISRO’s trusty old Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), not the troubled Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). This choice came at a price: the PSLV did not have the power to put MOM directly on the path to Mars. Instead, once in orbit around Earth, a series of “burns” would increase MOM’s geocentric orbit over a month. Finally, like a hammer-thrower letting go, it would be placed in the final trajectory. This sequence meant MOM would take longer than others, like the NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) orbiter—also Mars-bound and launched by a significantly more powerful Atlas V rocket. THROUGH SPACE & TIME With costs in mind and constraints on what the PSLV could lift, Mangalyaan could only accommodate a slim scientific agenda. It carried a payload of just 15 kilograms, as if taking a single check-in bag on a domestic Indian flight. This was one per cent of its launch mass of 1,340 kilograms, with propellant fuel being the major component, at just over 850 kilograms. In contrast, MAVEN had almost double the launch mass, at 2,454 kilograms. The scientific instruments on board the orbiter focused on measuring the Martian atmosphere and imaging the Martian surface. Prominent among them was a three-colour camera, which would send back photos of the red planet and its two satellites, and a methane sensor, de rigueur for every visitor to Mars these days. Reports of small quantities of the gas have been seen as a potential 170|

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‘biosignature’—a sign that life could, or does, exist. A remarkable aspect of the mission was the speed with which it was executed. Staff reportedly worked 18-hour days, components were reused, and tests were designed to extract the most out of each experiment. The result: ISRO (literally) shipped a working system in just over a year. The mission was originally to last six months, until March 2015, by which time it still had 37 kilograms of fuel left, leading to a six-month extension. According to Deviprasad Karnik, director of publications and public relations at ISRO, the mission is expected to remain functional for some more time beyond one year. The frugal technological prowess exhibited via Mangalyaan has underlined its claims to cost-effective space journeys. However, the challenge remains to prove it can take larger payloads in interplanetary journeys. A successful GSLV launch in August 2015 came as a boost. Karnik says, “[The] mission has given us a lot of confidence and also useful inputs for future missions. The mission and the recent successes of the indigenous cryogenic stage in GSLV have re-emphasized the capabilities of ISRO.” Perhaps Mangalyaan’s two biggest successes, outside its proof of technology project, have been strategic and domestic. China’s Mars mission, part of its aggressive space programme, suffered a jolt with the failure of a 2011 orbiter launch. The mission gives India a leg-up on its Asian rivals. Emily Lakdawalla—senior editor at The Planetary Society, and author of an upcoming book on NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover—feels that the main significance of the mission is that it has expanded the number of organizations that can viably explore the solar system. “This is likely to stimulate innovation and creativity while bringing costs down”, she says. The success of Mangalyaan also caused great excitement in India and could well turn out to be an inflection point in raising ISRO’s cachet in India. Social media contributed to this; MOM was active on both Facebook and Twitter. The latter saw it indulge in cute exchanges with Curiosity and MAVEN. Online forums were abuzz with questions about everything from the technology involved to the habits of people working in India’s space programme. In Hindu astrology, the planet Mars is also malefic. With Mangalyaan charting a new course, ISRO will hope that for its space ambitions, this foretells another meaning of Mangal: “auspicious”.

IMAGES COURTESY NASA

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TAKE A JOURNEY THROUGH SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOMES IN THE WORLD

THE BOY WONDERS Colour, kitsch and cleverness come together in the Gurgaon homes and studio of artists Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra

MONTSE GARRIGA

WRITER SUNIL SETHI PHOTOGRAPHER MANOLO YLLERA

ABSOLUTE ART Jiten Thukral (left) and Sumir Tagra in the main hall of their double-height Gurgaon studio, surrounded by works in progress, including a maquette of their Absolut vodka bottle.


(This page and facing) JOINT VENTURE Tagra’s living room is lined with customized sofas upholstered in leather; he had the houndstoothpatterned cushion covers specially printed; the nested coffee tables are from BoConcept; the second-hand armchairs were given a makeover in black lacquer. The entrance corridor of Thukral and Tagra’s “think space” is lined with finished works reflected in floor-to-ceiling mirrors.


SHOW AND TELL Most walls in Thukral and Tagraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interiors are painted a uniform slate grey, with the ďŹ&#x201A;oors lined in laminate boards. The main room of the think space is a showcase for their works, including the porcelain sculptures made for Meissen, a German porcelain brand. The pale grey sofa is from Iqrup+Ritz; the Charles Eames chair was ordered online. The coffee table is a packing crate topped with beige stained glass.


WORK SURFACE The sectioned work tables in this room were customized to suit the artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs. The cartouche-shaped window near the clock was created to capture the colourful canvas in the next room.


A TASTE FOR COLOUR Tagra designed his family apartment himself. Green mosaic tiles and tinted glass give the open-plan kitchen a fresh, clean look; the hand-painted bottles on the counter are cast in resin and advertise “artificial” strawberry flavour, a recurring Thukral and Tagra conceit.


(Clockwise from this picture) BED AND BREAKFAST The spare dining room in Tagra’s apartment features one of their Meissen porcelain sculptures; the mirror artwork on the wall is by Tagra’s wife, an artist who goes by the pseudonym ‘Princess Pea’. In the bedroom, the chest of drawers was a flea-market find, given a cheerful lick of paint, and the rocking chair is by acclaimed designer Patricia Urquiola for Kartell.


(Clockwise from this picture) ART AT WORK Thukral and Tagra’s two-storeyed studio has plate glass windows in front to let in natural light. Elsewhere walls are punched with woodframed windows shaped like speech-boxes. The work spaces are sparsely furnished to show their works to best advantage.

WORK IN PROGRESS Thukral and Tagra’s studio, done up in concrete and granite, provides the perfect backdrop for the artists’ vast colourful canvases and sculptures


COLOUR CONTRAST One of the rooms in the studio, which is used largely for the artist duoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works on canvas.


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iten Thukral and Sumir Tagra are one of a kind. Few know the given names of this artist-designer duo whose collaborative works, like some esoteric brand, also go under the label ‘T & T’. From large, vividly coloured canvases and prints that fuse surreal imagery with the symbolism of small-town kitsch— plastic flowers, cheap toys, hot-air balloons and gaudy wallpaper—to a selection of one-off porcelain sculptures commissioned by Meissen, the 18thcentury German manufacturer of fine china, their oeuvre is constantly developing in ever more astonishing directions. At the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, between April and July, this year “the boys”—as they are affectionately known in the Indian art world— were invited by museum director Tasneem Zakaria Mehta to create a series of performance and participatory installations inspired by a set of 120 antique Ganjifa (an ancient card game from the Museum’s collection) playing cards. Titled ‘Games People Play’ the show included live wrestling bouts, and ping-pong games played on a table shaped to

(This page and facing) ROCK SOLID The liberal use of mottled Mahabalipuram granite in the interior flooring and for the meeting table was entirely fortuitous: they happened to buy a truckload of plain and shaped blocks cheaply after its use at an exhibition. Thukral and Tagra, in the latter’s living room.


resemble the city’s seven islands. Unsurprisingly, the show attracted a record-breaking 60,000 plus visitors. But unlike their fanciful, often wackily subversive and high-priced art, 38-year-old Thukral and his partner in crime Tagra (who is a couple of years younger) are a remarkably downto-earth partnership, unaffected by success and deeply moored in their conservative, middle-class Punjabi upbringing. A day spent with them, with a delicious no-nonsense dhaba lunch thrown in, is living proof of the axiom: you can take the boys out of Punjab, but you can’t take Punjab out of the boys. SPACE DYNAMICS In Gurgaon’s anachronistic geography of potholed roads and ramshackle shanties out of which rise luxury condominiums and commercial high rises, Thukral and Tagra occupy three apartments in a gated compound; and, a short distance away, a largely self-designed studio on a 5,400-square-foot plot, with doubleheight ceilings of exposed concrete overlooking a sloping lawn. They call one of the apartments—an interactive lab-plusoffice—their “think space”. It is here that the works are digitally conceived from a vast database of images—sketches, photographs, objets trouvés—which are then carefully sifted and layered to create preparatory drafts, often in 3-D renderings. Although many of their images are playfully sly, they keenly suggest the migrant’s inchoate longing to escape from the stifling small towns of Punjab to urban and foreign settings—the recurring leitmotif of the hot-air balloon being a vehicle of flight. Several of their shows exemplify this desire. An exhibit at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, in 2009, was titled ‘Escape for the Dream Land’. Other than canvases, the think space also contains works in progress: an experimental series of audio speakers in terracotta, and finished examples of the globular, double-vase-shaped Meissen sculpture placed on imaginary musical instruments. The ongoing collaboration with Meissen began in 2010 and has acquired a challenging complexity. “To achieve the shaded background of our works, some of the porcelain pieces had to be fired as many as seven times,” explains Thukral. RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS When Thukral and Tagra first acquired the apartments as work and living quarters, they were rather characterless cookie-cutter spaces, and the duo set about customizing them swiftly but inexpensively. Laminate floors were laid throughout; walls and woodwork painted a uniform slate grey; and much of the furniture, acquired online from BoConcept, bespoke retailers like Urbanist, or improvised out of old packing crates topped with tinted glass. Casual acquaintances who compare them to European art pairs, such as the Italian-British couple Gilbert & George, or the French Pierre et Gilles, are briskly corrected. “We don’t live together,” Tagra clarifies politely. “Ours is a working partnership.” They live in separate homes with their spouses and children. In Tagra’s case, a four-bedroom apartment is refurbished in much the same colour scheme and style as the think space: grey walls punctuated by jade green, off-the-shelf sofas customized in leather, or thrift-shop chairs back-lacquered in homage to Le Corbusier. He shares the flat with his artist wife, their child, his architect brother and family, and their mother, a yoga instructor

and former art teacher. Living in a joint family, he confesses, anchors his life and is a source of abiding comfort. “I couldn’t imagine it otherwise.” Thukral grew up in Jalandhar and Tagra was raised in New Delhi. They met briefly at the Delhi College of Art in 1997, but joined forces in earnest when employed in Ogilvy & Mather’s art department for four years. It was a tenure both satisfying and suffocating. Bored with designing ad campaigns, they began an after-hours design scheme that centred on the word ‘BOSEDK’—a play on a common Hindi expletive—on the lines of FCUK. Plastering T-shirts, matchbox labels and office corridors, their underground BOSEDK rubric soon went viral. Soon after, they met curator and gallerist Peter Nagy and “the boys” of Indian art took off. “They dropped me a postcard at the gallery in 2004,” recalls Nagy. “And I thought, ‘Hey, they’re cool’. I told them, drop your first names, take your imagery to paintings, and I’ll be able to sell you as Thukral and Tagra.” That gambit has paid off. Nagy admires the boys’ diligence, intelligence and grit. “They can take criticism,” he adds. He has seen them persevere to build their Gurgaon studio, its construction frequently held up for lack of funds. Now complete, it is where they transfer works from the think space, to be executed on scale. The studio’s architecture is composed of concrete and rough Mahabalipuram granite, which they bought cheaply as remnants from the BE OPEN exhibition (held in New Delhi last year) and redeployed. Tearing off a protective sheet, Tagra inspects a canvas covered with a trellis of masking tape and intricate half-finished details. “I’ll come and finish this bit tomorrow morning,” he says, and quickly adds: “Actually, we’ll both be here to complete it,” to emphasize Thukral and Tagra’s composite state of art.


CURATORIAL PURSUITS The living room has a Tord Boontje ‘Dondola’ sofa in front of a Piet Hein Eek scrapwood cabinet for Rossana Orlandi. The Hermann Hesse and Mao Tse-tung portraits and Dollar Sign artwork are by Andy Warhol. Below the Tse-tung portrait is Pablo Picasso’s Vieillard Debout Les Bras Croisés. Also of note is the Fernand Léger artwork (top left).


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Design connoisseur and entrepreneur, Cherine Magrabi Tayeb curated her home in Beirut with select artworks and furniture by artists from the Middle East and the West WRITER GAURI KELKAR . PHOTOGRAPHER FILIPPO BAMBERGHI

PRIDE OF PLACE The living room has a Piet Hein Eek scrapwood table for Rossana Orlandi. On the wall (left to right) are Piotr Uklanski’s Cicci, Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale and Richard Prince’s Untitled (Oh).

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LOUNGE AROUND The solid mahogany rocking chair in the living room is by Vladimir Kagan. The stool and low table are by Lebanese designer Souheil Hanna; on the table is Sweep, from the ‘Sensorial Brushes’ collection by Najla El Zein for the non-profit House of Today, founded by homeowner Cherine Magrabi Tayeb. The ‘Anneaux’ lamp is by Jean Royère. The Tears of Joy installation is by Damien Hirst; the painting on the left wall is by Ahmed Alsoudani.

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QUIRK WORKS On the wall is a Damien Hirst artwork from his series of butterfly-inspired paintings. The Evolution bench by Nacho Carbonell was made from recycled paper, iron frame and chicken wire. The bronze tableâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with a blue-black patina and pewter inlayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;is by Keith Haring.


FEAST FOR THE EYES In the dining room is a ‘Tangram’ set of low tables (which form a dining table) by Martino Gamper and ‘Sedia Fiorita’ maple-wood chairs (with tree branches for chair legs) by Giuseppe Rivadossi at either end. The chairs around the table are covered in handmade suede by Helen Amy Murray. The vase on the table is ‘Second Skins’ by Tamara Barrage. At the far end is the specially commissioned vitrine ‘Cherine’ by Beirut-based design studio david/nicolas. The framed artworks are Richard Avedon’s portrait of Marilyn Monroe and Anselm Kiefer’s Die Klugen Jungfrauen. London-based architect and designer Max Broby created the installation on the ceiling, in laminated wood and cast aluminium.


ZEN ZONE The master bedroom has a Massimo Vitali framed photo, a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Totem 7â&#x20AC;&#x2122; lamp made with hand-blown Pyrex glass by Bethan Laura Wood, and a Nabil Nahas artwork under it. The cabinet is by Paul Evans, and the cushions are by May Daouk, with needlework done by Palestinian women.

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(From this picture) BEDROOM ACCENTS The carpet in this bedroom is by Iwan Maktabi; above the bed is an artwork by Italian painter Dadamaino, titled Volume (Bianco); the floor lamp and desk are by Greta Magnusson-Grossman; the chair is a Pierre Jeanneret design. The master bedroom features a vanity table from the Play Time Tables collection by Bethan Laura Wood and a ‘Collage Chandelier’ by David Wiseman.

esigner of a line of high-end sunglasses; artistic director of the family-owned optical retail chain, Magrabi; magnanimous benefactor of non-profit organizations; member of London’s Serpentine Gallery council; patron of the Beirut Art Center; and most significantly, the founder of the Lebanon-based art and design non-profit, House of Today, a platform for upcoming artistic talent. These are the many facets of one person. Cherine Magrabi Tayeb has, in all probability, perfected the fine art of multitasking, no mean achievement considering she has now added another feather to her wellplumed hat, in a manner of speaking. For someone with no formal training in the field, she has also designed and decorated her home, located in the heart of Beirut. “I derive as much pleasure from wandering in a flea market as I do in a high-end gallery or a museum.” That pretty much sums up Tayeb’s ability to instinctively recognize the potential of a product or a creation, which has made her a redoubtable patron, as the founder of House of Today, for talented young Lebanese artists. Her house, in the heart of Beirut Central District (BCD), an area that has witnessed an economic and cultural renaissance after the civil war in Lebanon, has been designed without the benefit of an interior designer. “It’s all personal taste. I don’t believe that there are ‘rules’ in design; it’s more of an expression 192

of oneself and we are all unique in that sense,” says this mother of three. For someone with such a passion for all kinds of design, an instinctive understanding of it and the ability to spot people with a particular talent for it, Tayeb’s approach to designing her home was anything but straitjacketed. It’s a space that wears its many masterpieces as easily as its little-known, but extremely personal treasures. PERSONAL CHOICE “The more ‘mistakes’ you make, the more personalized the space is. I don’t think art should be ‘serious’; it should be pleasant and pleasurable to interact with,” she explains. It was an approach that allowed her to convert her 680-square-metre sea-facing apartment into a space that would adapt to the specific requirements of her family, and be a home that represented her. The house was designed to reflect the personalities of the people who would occupy it. The furnishings and objects were carefully chosen; Tayeb opted for those she felt some connection with. “Objects must mean something to me rather than me needing them for some purpose. The process is more of an emotional one, whereby I surround myself with stories and memories through each piece.” Art, of course, was a foregone conclusion, despite the fact that this was a house with three adolescent boys. That, however, didn’t stop her from populating the space with works she and her husband collected. “I believe that children should grow up


being exposed to art and culture as regularly as possible. It helps develop their appreciation for the world of art and the hard work of artists.” You would imagine there was some thought to using art that would complement the interiors; like the Andy Warhol portrait of Hermann Hesse, whose colours work so well with the sculptural ‘Dondola’ sofa by Tord Boontje. Or the Massimo Vitali photograph in the master bedroom that looks like it brings all the elements of the room together. That, though, was far from the case. “[The artwork was chosen] independently from the interiors. Rather, it focused much more on the memories it evoked. Our art helps bring even more life to our home as it becomes a reflection of us and the memories that bind us together.”

IN HER ELEMENT If you like your interiors to go with your art to go with your decor to go with your furniture, so to speak, then you’d think Tayeb’s approach almost flirts with chaos. Far from it, because the predominant element that binds the space together is an overarching artistic aesthetic. Whether it’s the stunning chandelier branch in the master bedroom that is more installation than light, against a beautifully textured white wall, or the dining room with its delicately contoured table and exclusively commissioned ‘Cherine’ vitrine, every element comes together eloquently. That’s in no small measure because of the view, which also had a hand in dictating the interiors, and led to Tayeb choosing (From this picture) PRIVATE SANCTUARY The bedroom has a Martino Gamper desk and off-cut shelves, and an Iwan Maktabi carpet. Tayeb in the master bedroom; the floor lamp is by Swedish designer Hans-Agne Jakobsson; the Marie Laurencin artwork is titled Jeune Femme Au Chien.

“bright colours and a breezy flow to help connect with the sea to form a smooth continuum”. The result is a house that’s essentially like a white shell layered with pops of colour and a selection of furniture that can only be described as eclectic. For someone with no particular preference for trends or periods—she’s as much at home with Edwardian furniture as she is with contemporary—Tayeb’s house is really a testament to her penchant to break from the tried and the tested, to make non-traditional choices. She got some of the furniture customdesigned, “partly for practical reasons, but more importantly, to reflect my taste or state of mind.” This included the aforementioned dining table, which is actually “modular and can split into four depending on the occasion”, the vitrine cabinet and the “children’s bookshelves, desks and rugs”. It all comes together to create a space that redefines the notion of luxury without losing out on comfort. It still manages to make a distinctive statement, an inevitability with Tayeb, given that she firmly believes that one aspect of luxury is managing “to find ‘true uniqueness’ in a world that is flush with designs and artworks of all kinds”. In a neighbourhood that was at the centre of the civil-war destruction, this home almost serves as a microcosm, a reminder that art and culture can inspire a magnificent rebirth from the throes of utter devastation, a renaissance, the phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes kind. And Tayeb—both through her House of Today foundation, and her home— shows how that can be done.


THE baroda

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE The focal wall in the living room has a Thukral & Tagra artwork. On the table in the foreground, a Ravinder Reddy sculpture at one end and organic volcanic glass on the other, subtly reinforce the juxtaposition of natural and man-made art.


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A sprawling home in Gujarat maintains a simple aesthetic, and provides the perfect counterpoint to what lies withinâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a stunningly curated collection of art WRITER MANJU SARA RAJAN PHOTOGRAPHER MONTSE GARRIGA


CONCRETE POETRY The concrete walls of the dining room lobby are hung with Rekha Rodwittiya artwork on ceramic; the space looks towards the conical-shaped staircase finished in coconut wood, leading to the first floor.


VIEW TO A ROOM The entrance lobby features chairs that are Gio Ponti reproductions and a metallic sculpture by Seo Young-Deok.


HIGH DESIGN The first-floor family lounge opens into the box-like study. The concrete walls have Naina Kanodia and Farhad Hussain artworks. The ‘Agatha’ light crafted in wood veneer hangs from the ceiling.


(Clockwise from top left) UP AGAINST THE WALL The first-floor study has a Ruhlmann desk as its centrepiece; the wall behind holds a collection of artwork created on glass by several acclaimed artists. The Chintan Upadhyay painting is part of Barkha and Pranav Amin’s contemporary collection. The entrance lobby looks into the dining room lobby and beyond into the gardens; the Gio Ponti chairs contrast with the Chinese lacquered consoles behind them, over which hang paintings by Lalu Prasad Shaw.


GLAMOROUS OVERTONES The dining room primarily has art deco furniture with a pair of Van Egmond’s ‘Hollywood’ chandeliers hanging over the table. All the furniture in the house was designed and custom-made by Kohelika Kohli.


(Clockwise from top left) STYLE SHOOT The dining court where Pranav loves to barbecue with the family. The first-floor master bedroom overlooks the gardens and the pool below; the black terrazzo flooring continues throughout the house. The kitchen, where Pranav loves to cook. The master bathroom has a skylight above the shower which allows natural light to flood the space.


SURFACE APPEAL A view of the house from the rear garden and swimming pool.


he interesting quality about second-generation art collectors is their nonchalance about the thing itself. They have a confidence that makes them forget to tell you about the signatures in their possession. This struck me when I met Barkha and Pranav Amin. The couple and their two kids live in a spectacular art-filled home in Vadodara, best known for that storied cultural institution, the Maharaja Sayajiraro University of Baroda. Its fine arts programme, set up in 1950, consistently shows up as one of the three best art schools in the country, and boasts alumni such as Bhupen Khakhar, Padma Vibhushan awardee KG Subramanyan, Rekha Rodwittiya, Surendran Nair and Pushpamala N.

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BUILDING BOOM For over a 100 years, generations of the Amin family have lived in Vadodara, for the most part, smack-bang in the centre of the city. Pranav is the joint managing director of Alembic Pharmaceuticals Limited, part of his family’s Alembic group of companies. In 2006, when the couple decided to build a home after their daughter Samira was born, they opted to be in a portion of the 7.41-acre family property, which also houses Pranav’s parents, Chirayu and Malika Amin. Like many tier-two Indian cities, Vadodara has the telltale signs of dystopian urban development: malls, newfangled commercial buildings, wide well-kept roads fanning out beside unplanned neighbourhoods. All that chaos exaggerates the contrast within the Amin compound. The vast camouflage of trees gives way to a sober brick building designed by Goa-based architect Ini Chatterjee; a simple construction in response to a simple brief. “We didn’t want anything ornate. We wanted a design that made interesting use of space, light and water,” says Pranav. The couple loved Chatterjee’s very first drawing for their home. “This is a simple L-shaped structure with a moat running alongside, and windows overlooking the garden bringing in the light. We made a few alterations but essentially, it was the first concept Ini presented,” says Barkha. But home-building is an extreme sport. The most interesting homes are realized because hard-nosed dreamers with visionary zeal stay committed. I asked Pranav how many years he thought he was signing up for when construction started. “Two-three years, but eventually we realized there was no way it would take less than five.” The couple did the bhoomipuja, a ceremony to mark the start of the project, in May 2008; and moved in in January 2013. Part of the delay was circumstantial, like the fact that they had their second child, Ranvir, now eight. Then there were issues of man and material. It took seven months and 20 samples to achieve the quality of terrazzo flooring they wanted. The dramatic coconut-wood-clad central staircase surrounded by spiral windows required more wood than anticipated; when that was sorted, they realized it’s nearly impossible to get curved glass. The final interpretation of the design uses tall pieces of rectangular glass placed in a curved shape. Some three years into the project, they decided to have a pool, which meant a host of alterations to the landscape. Waterlogging was another problem, caused by the fact that the property is at a lower level than the roads outside; Chatterjee solved it by introducing a pond for rain harvesting. THE FINE ART OF DESIGN As a counterfoil to the simple architecture, the Amins wanted an interior designer who could “take the house to the next level”. The couple’s conversations with Delhi-based firm K2India, set up by mother-daughter duo Sunita and Kohelika Kohli, led to a collaboration with architect Kohelika. “When I was commissioned, the architectural elements had

been designed, but the functional details were yet to be worked out. So we started working on all the details, finishes and the spatial planning with its exterior connections.” In the two years that she worked on this 24,531-square-foot project, Kohelika planned the artworks and designed and custom-made most of the furniture. But perhaps her most significant role was creating a lighting plan best suited to showcase the Amins’ art collection. “I knew what I wanted but there were limitations, as the house has a lot of glass,” says the architect. “We kept in mind specific furniture pieces and artworks that were to be highlighted, to create a completely different avatar at night.” It is a particular stroke of kismet to own artworks with stories of personal attachments to the artists. Bhupen Khakhar, one of the most important artists this country has produced, was also a family friend; samples of his narrative works are a reminder of his relationship with this household. A large Untitled Khakhar diptych, made when he launched one of his books, is from Pranav’s parents’ collection. The couple’s neighbours and friends, artist Rekha Rodwittiya and her partner, Surendran Nair, chose the spots for their works. For Rodwittiya, it was the vestibule connecting the entrance to the dining room. “The set of 12 circular works like planets, is a tribute to the strength of the women in the family, which quietly blueprints a landscape of living that makes the patterns of existence beautiful and complete,” Rodwittiya explained. My particular favourite is the series of glass plates behind Pranav’s desk in the den. They are the results of an experiment catalysed by Malika Amin some 20 years ago, when she invited various artists, including Nalini Malani, Khakhar and Anjolie Ela Menon, to make art using glass produced in the Amins’ glass factory. “I thought it would be an interesting experiment for them to try a new medium,” she explained. The result is a whimsical collection of concave and convex works, energetic, impulsive and a significant departure from the artists’ styles. Works by Ajay Lakhera, Prasad Swain, Neeraj Patel and many others who used a studio space— originally a defunct warehouse—that was set up by Malika for upcoming artists, are also part of the collection. The fact that they share wall space with the likes of FN Souza and Tyeb Mehta is what makes this home a striking example of Vadodara’s contributions to the art world. FAMILY AFFAIR Barkha and Pranav Amin with their children, Samira and Ranvir.


URBAN


RETREAT A sea-facing apartment in Mumbai’s Malabar Hill area provided designer Rajiv Saini an opportunity to get creative, while staying within the defined outlines of a contemporary urban aesthetic for a New Delhi-based couple’s first Mumbai home WRITER GAURI KELKAR . PHOTOGRAPHER SEBASTIAN ZACHARIAH

SEA SENSE The sea-facing elliptical living room looks out onto Mumbai’s Marine Drive (now known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road). The vases by artist Sudarshan Shetty are showcased in the vitrine stand created to hold them. The wooden bench is a George Nakashima design.


LIFT OFF The lift opens into this lobby, which designer Rajiv Saini treated as an extension of the house. Past the door is an installation by Shilpa Gupta, titled Someone Else.


(From above) LIGHT & SHADOW In the sea-facing living room, the painting behind the sofa is by Shibu Natesan. Additional storage in the master suite is concealed behind the Nubuck-covered shutters; a Gulam Mohammed Sheikh artwork hangs above a niche holding a collection of Japanese ceramics.

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A NICHE MARKET A small desk niche was created in Corian between the ďŹ&#x201A;oating wardrobes. (Facing page) SCREEN PLAY The den is separated from the corridor by glass-and-gauze screens that allow light to ďŹ lter into the passage. One wall displays an eclectic collection of mixedmedia art, all in black and white.

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f you’ve lived in this city long enough, there are things about it that you just know: traffic jams are its eighth wonder; the sea will always hold a magical allure; Malabar Hill will always be the toniest address in the city; and a sea-facing apartment at the said address is a rare acquisition. The question to ask then is: what kind of design would do justice to such a location? The short answer: one that almost outdoes the view. Enter designer Rajiv Saini, armed with a vision for the Mumbai home of his New Delhi-based clients. It helped of course, that the designer-client relationship went back to the late 1990s, when Saini first worked on the couple’s sprawling Delhi home. “Seldom do you share that kind of rapport with a client, where there’s a complete understanding of each other’s ideas,” says Saini. “And then there’s the mutual respect that comes from having worked together and knowing that both of us will deliver and do that extra bit to make the project special.” MATERIAL MATTERS This sea-facing apartment, the couple’s first in Mumbai, was no exception. The work began with a simple brief: “Rajiv, do your thing.” And that’s just what Saini did. One thing they all agreed on was the conversion of the 3,800-square-foot space into a three-bedroom apartment by knocking down extra bedrooms. Within that framework, “the idea was to push [the limits] with this apartment”. One way in which he did so was in the use of materials, to “create a palette that was different from the other homes. We did a reversal of basic flooring materials. You always tend to have stone or marble in the public areas, and wood in the private areas. We decided to flip it. So we used this pale grey material—somewhere between limestone and marble—in the bedrooms and bathrooms, and walnut wood in the public areas.”

The wooden flooring runs through the long corridor, straight out the front door, with the lift lobby treated as an extension of the house. This was possible only because of the building’s one-flatper-floor layout. “I wanted to make it more like a reception area. The lower half [of the door] is fitted with glass panels, which also filters the natural light and livens up the space,” explains Saini. Other design elements Saini introduced to light up the corridor were halogen lighting—long, white, linear light, surface-mounted on black metal—and the cleverly conceived translucent ‘wall’ a little further down. “We knocked down a wall along one length of the corridor and replaced it with glass panels that had gauze sandwiched between them,” says Saini, about the tactic that ensured light from the den beyond flowed into the corridor.” The design evolved as much through planning as through spontaneity. “You can plan only so much. A lot of things change when you are placing things. I believe your gut instinct is as important.” Think jigsaw puzzle, where one right choice can give you clarity about the next piece. Saini’s choice of furniture was just as instinctive. The living room—the only front-facing space with direct sea views—is elliptical, which led him to pick furniture with unconventional angularities. “Orthogonal pieces wouldn’t have really fit into this space,” he says. Most of its ‘walls’ are floor-to-ceiling windows, and its eclectic furnishings include geometric coffee tables and a George Nakashima wooden bench. A photograph of the bench, seen against the backdrop of the slate-grey sea, so inspired Nakashima’s granddaughter, Mira Nakashima, that she requested the composer of that set-up for permission to use the image on their website. SPACE CRAFT While the living room certainly deserves bragging rights, the other rooms hold their own. The den didn’t have the views, so Saini simply introduced design elements prettier than what was outside. “When it comes to furnishings, there’s generally one thing that gives direction to the rest of the room. In the den, it was the colourful rug, so our choice of the black-and-white photographs followed that decision,” he explains. The bedroom designed for the couple is the result of a decision, taken early on by designer and client, that they would knock down a few rooms. The couple was used to lavish spaces–courtesy a New Delhi residence and a holiday home by the Ganges–so the decision was an easy one. Since this would be a home just for two, the idea wasn’t as much about having many rooms, as it was about making the space suitable for its residents. With this in mind, Saini eliminated an adjacent bedroom and converted it into a spacious dresser for the master suite. “I wanted to make this an open space, so I created a screen, beyond which are the dresser and master bath,” he says. The matching screen in the bathroom ensures design continuity and also conceals views of the building it overlooks. Despite the distinct elements, everything comes together to form a cohesively designed space, where art and interiors have a fluid interaction. “Art is part of all my projects. For this house, I encouraged the client to look beyond traditional canvas, at new media, international artworks and sculptures,” explains Saini. So you have Sudarshan Shetty vases anchoring the living room, an Arpita Singh artwork in the master bedroom, and above a stunning custom-made dining table, sculptural lights specially created in New York. Before work on the house began, the clients told Saini: “Make us something that will tempt us to be here.” This house has the kind of view—and certainly the kind of design—that will accomplish that.


(Clockwise from above) FLUID SPACES A central island-and-breakfast table anchors the large monochromatic Poggenpohl kitchen. This powder room has a series of coloured, lacquered ďŹ ns that are reďŹ&#x201A;ected in the adjacent mirrored wall. The bespoke circular dining table was made out of reclaimed logs from Venice, Italy sandwiched in resin; a photo collage by artist Yamini Nayar rests on the custom-made bronze console.

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(From above) FORM AND SUBSTANCE A blonde veneer panelling covers all the walls in this bedroom; the light above the desk is a Corbusier design. The bed in the master suite is placed in the middle of the room to beneďŹ t from the ocean views; an Arpita Singh artwork graces one wall; a wooden screen provides a backdrop and conceals the entry into the dresser beyond.


SUBCONTINENTAL DRIFT The art wall in the living room features works by Indian and Pakistani artists. The two grey sofas and yellow and blue pouffes are by B&B Italia; the dark leather sofa (bottom right) is by Roche Bobois. The ‘Nomad’ coffee tables are by Henge Italy. The black leather coffee table is from Italian luxury furniture brand Ivano Radaelli. The ‘Fortuny’ floor lamp (left) is by Pallucco. The mosaic and hand-painted side tables are from Lahore, Pakistan. The fireplace is by Hergom, Spain. The ‘Minomushi’ floor lamp (right) is by Issey Miyake for Artemide.


Inspired by the restraint of Japanese architecture, this home by architect Wilh van der Merwe, in one of Johannesburgâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest residential areas, embraces the dichotomy of form and function WRITER KERRYN FISCHER . PHOTOGRAPHER ELSA YOUNG


STEP BY STEP The sculptural staircase came about as it was the most cost-effective way to create a spiral staircase. It was literally moulded and built on site, according to a design by architect Wilh van der Merwe. (Facing page) ON THE BRIGHT SIDE The homeowner bought the two antique chairs in the foreground and had them lacquered in bright yellow.


STRING THEORY Monastic light and simple lines set off a collection of Tom Dixon hanging pendant lights in the main bedroom. (Facing page) LIGHT RELIEF In the dining room, oversized blue â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Plassâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pendant lights by Foscarini hang over a dining table that was made to order by the owners in Matumi hardwood. The large artwork that hangs above the Gregor Jenkin buffet server is by South African textile artist Nicole Liebenberg.


(Clockwise from left) SPACE STATION The fully fitted ‘Way’ kitchen is from Snaidero; the round marble table is by Ferruccio Laviani for Misuraemme; the ‘Papilio’ dining chairs are by B&B Italia; the ‘Crown Major’ chandelier is by Nemo Lighting. The five-metre-tall wall behind the bar is carved from the same granite as the bar and the floors; it was hand-carved in China to the clients’ specified patterns— inspired by the geometric forms of Islamic architecture—and then shipped to South Africa in panels; the bar was designed by Van der Merwe; the ‘Pepe’ bar stools are by Cattelan. The mirror in the guest bathroom is recessed in the concrete wall; the Corian washbasin was custom-made for the space. All the cabinets, wall panels and mirrored cabinets in the main en-suite bathroom were custom-made.


he size of the narrow 2,500-square-metre property in a much sought-after and super-central residential area was a huge attraction for the owners. But it was the abundance of big old trees on the site, and in particular, a massive old oak that is now central to the design, that sealed the deal. “I find tremendous inspiration in Japanese architecture,” says architect Wilh van der Merwe. “In particular, their amazing restraint with materials: concrete for structure, wood for warmth and glass for light. Furthermore, they excel at shifting the gaze of a house to the outside; and it was this journey, from a warm comfortable interior to the beauty and tranquillity of nature outdoors, that most resonated with the owners when they briefed me.” The brief from the owners, who are from Pakistan, was clear: it had to be a modern structure that would incorporate the existing trees and allow for a strong connection to the garden. While they weren’t inclined towards any particular architectural norm, they were specific in that they wanted a design that was responsive to the site and the needs of their family. Their art collection was also an important consideration. The owners wanted a large main feature wall on which to hang their prized collection of art, which proved central to the design. RIGHT DIRECTION As such, the house faces north, for sunlight in winter, while shielding it from the harsh sun in summer. “This meant that we positioned the house off its axis on the stand, creating an interesting relationship between the sections of the building that run parallel to the site and those that face directly north,” explains Van der Merwe. This twist to the north allowed the driveway to meander from the north side of the house to the south entry courtyard, another request of the owners. “The driveway hints at the practices of ancient Greek architecture and planning, when the approach to a building was all about walking around it to observe it before reaching the entrance,” adds Van der Merwe. The impressive five-metre double-height ceilings in the main living area are a definitive feature of the house and offset the carefully curated wall of art to magnificent effect. With an impressive assortment of art from Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Kenya and South Africa, the wall is one of the first things you see when you enter the space. The owners have been collecting art from Pakistan and India for more than 15 years now, drawn to pieces that they love, which have, over time, proved to be excellent investments. Till date, their Indian art collection includes the works of many award-winning artists such as GR Iranna, Sunil Gawde, Jatin Das, Akhilesh Verma, Sujata Bajaj and Pratul Dash, among many others. “We buy mostly online, and from New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata galleries,” they add. The art wall provides the perfect foil to the monumental concrete spiral staircase that adds a sculptural element to the interiors. And of course, the volumes of both the ceiling and

the staircase conspire to make the space feel larger than it is without compromising on its sense of intimacy. TREE OF LIGHT The 900-square-metre house is laid out over two-and-a-half levels, with the living, entertaining and kitchen areas all located downstairs. Every ground floor room opens almost entirely onto a timber deck that connects to the pool and garden. As a result, every room feels like a covered patio in itself, which has allowed for generous spaces that feel immersed in the landscape. Just up the concrete staircase is a second ‘pyjama’ lounge, where the family hangs out and watches television. Up another flight of stairs is the main bedroom and the couple’s teenagers’ bedrooms. The other significant feature is that the house is built around a massive oak tree that stands sentinel in a circular courtyard. It not only acts as a lung for the house, but also as a wonderful light source for just about every room in it. Downstairs, the kitchen, dining room and guest room open out onto this courtyard, while upstairs, the children’s music room looks onto it, as do both the passageway leading to the rooms, and the couples’ son’s bathroom. Thanks to Van der Merwe’s responsive architecture, the design savvy of the owners, and an incredible site, the Japaninspired, Pakistani-owned, Indian-art-filled house provides the perfect balance between beauty and usability.

PIPE DREAMS The owners’ preference for volume has been interpreted wherever possible, and the ingenious use of standard industrial-use pipes mixed with oak pipes of the same width and length create an unusual and sculptural front door. The grey and white artwork is by Indian artist Yusuf.


HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS While designing her new home, Mumbai-based architect Smita Khanna chose to keep it simple and go the subtle and understated route to create an oasis of calm best suited for two WRITER KUNAL BHATIA PHOTOGRAPHER MONTSE GARRIGA


BEST-LAID PLAN The doors of the vestibule lead into the living-dining area, with one of the two large daybeds in the foreground. Resting against the partition is a large watercolour-and-charcoal work by artist Surendran Nair. Above the doorway of the vestibule is an example of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pinchedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; false ceiling used to hide the rafters.

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SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME The row of seats in the entry vestibule was picked up by Smita Khanna from Bungalow 8 in Mumbai. The partition details were created by Khanna’s design studio NOTE, and crafted in teak wood and fluted glass. (Facing page, from top) FRAME WORK The kitchen behind a fluted-glass partition is located towards the end of the vestibule; the circular wall light is a vintage piece sourced from Chor Bazaar, Mumbai. Floral-patterned tiles from Tiffany Tiles are inlaid between the black Brazilian slate flooring in the vestibule; the photo art on the walls is from Dayanita Singh’s ‘Museum of Chance’ series.


hough architects and designers are forever learning and furthering their skills, it is often in the formative years that the biggest shifts in their design sensibilities and creations occur. Each project has its own learning, leading to evolving stances and more nuanced responses to spatial challenges. So when Smita Khanna, co-founder of Mumbai-based experimental design practice NOTE, had an opportunity to design a second home, which she would occupy with husband Nikhil Mathew, she knew that she wanted it to be a lot calmer and softer than before. “Our first home was all about trying to understand the notion of ornamentation. I was questioning what it means to adorn spaces with elements that are as strong in their form as their function,” says Khanna. Four years later, when planning this space, she started with a blank slate and foreknowledge; with the new home just two floors below the first one, she was well-versed with the constraints of the apartment block in Colaba. FRESH BEGINNINGS “The flat was partitioned into a couple of small bedrooms and had a number of storage nooks all over. We had to break down all the walls to start afresh,” explains Khanna. With the couple retaining their upstairs residence as a space to host guests and entertain friends and family, the agenda of this home was based solely on accommodating the needs of two. “As a practice, NOTE focuses strongly on programme and working out spatiality based on the needs of the client and an understanding of how they will occupy the space. Here, both Nikhil and I preferred to have an open area to unwind and relax, but which still afforded a degree of privacy,” she elaborates. Consequently, Khanna created a generous vestibule, furnished only with a row of chairs, which serves as a prelude to the main spaces of the home. While the floral tiles that are inlaid within the floor are a definite eye-catching detail, the vestibule’s most striking feature is the partition, made up of interlocking apsidal shapes. Khanna’s studio, at that point, was studying the works of Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati, known for his emphasis on form. “Inspired by Olgiati’s works, we experimented with a series of screens in varying profiles and materials. The gentle curves bring a much-desired softness to the partition, while the lines of the glass and the grain of the wood form the complementary ‘ornament’,” she reveals. At the far end of the vestibule is the kitchen—a compact but fully functional space in which Mathew, a passionate cook, likes to experiment with different foods. Shutters and cabinetry in handpolished teak wood conceal built-in appliances and an adequate amount of storage. Both Khanna and Mathew wanted to populate this home with their handmade creations and were initially hopeful of building their own furniture. “But our long working hours did not let us create any of our own pieces,” says Khanna ruefully. What the couple did manage to do, instead, was experiment with patterning for their kitchen tiles. “We simply used ink splotches on paper—folding them, pressing them and weighing them down to come up with a number of creations that resembled a Rorschach pattern. A few messy days of ink later, we had a series of unique patterns to choose from, which were then digitally printed on tiles and used in the kitchen.” MAKING A HOME The doors from the vestibule lead to the main space of the home: an open-plan configuration of living and dining areas that serves a

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< multitude of purposes—as a den for watching television, a dinner

setting for a cosy meal or simply a space where Khanna and Mathew can lounge around with a glass of wine. The most prominent element here is the lush black stone flooring that not only runs across the entire floor, but also noticeably wraps up on the walls. While the couple’s three dogs ruled out the possibility of using wooden flooring, this “bowl upturn”, as Khanna refers to it, was also the result of a desire to create a grounding effect in this main space. “I created large openings on both the external sides to bring in as much natural light as possible, while also framing the dense foliage of the trees outside. Also, one of the first design decisions taken was to ‘pinch’ the ceilings and raise them as much as possible. This not only hid the unruly beams of the original structure, but also gave this space a much-needed breather in terms of height,” says Khanna thoughtfully. A six-seater teak-wood dining table sits by the window in the dining area, while two large and inviting daybeds sprawl out in front of the television screen. All three pieces were designed by Khanna and,

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together with the ‘Ghost’ armchair by Gervasoni, are the only pieces of furniture in this space. Though Mathew is not associated with any design discipline, both Khanna and he are passionate about art, evident from the numerous works and collectibles that occupy a place of pride in their space. Some pieces, such as Gautam Bhatia’s political sculpture, Emerging Power, have found a snug location towards the edge of the living area, while other objects such as the Sri Lankan papier-mâché figurine lamp by the armchair and the Moroccan blankets on the daybeds were picked up by the couple on their travels. In their bedroom, Khanna is quite fond of a monochromatic Prabuddha Dasgupta work acquired nearly a decade ago. “The piece was lying at my mum’s house for a long time. But once we brought it in here and placed it against the wall, it sort of completed the space,” says Khanna, and adds, “People often tend to think of their houses as an ideal of someone somewhere; whereas my approach is to tell my clients that the idea is not to make a pretty house but to make a home for you.” Like the couple have achieved with their new home.


FEAST FOR THE EYES Stuffed silk birds picked up by Khanna’s husband, Nikhil Mathew, in London sit on the polished teak-wood dining table designed by NOTE. The standing lamp near the window was salvaged from Chor Bazaar and spray-painted by Mathew. The floor rug is from Shyam Ahuja. (Facing page) MAKING A STATEMENT The papier-mâché figurine lamp from Sri Lanka rests next to the ‘Ghost’ armchair by Gervasoni. In the background is Gautam Bhatia’s political sculpture, Emerging Power.


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FRAMES OF MIND The back curtain on the bedroom window is from Bandit Queen. The rose-coloured ‘Nerd’ chair is by David Geckeler for Muuto. A monochromatic portrait by the late Prabuddha Dasgupta rests on one wall. (Facing page, clockwise from top left) PET PROJECT The kitchen features Rorschach-inkblot-like imprints on the dado tiles. The teak-wood cabinetry and granite platforms in the kitchen complement its black slate flooring. Khanna with one of her pets in front of a sculpture from artist Rana Begum’s series, ‘The Folded Page’. Large windows ensure the bathroom receives natural light; the pattern resembling Rorschach inkblots are carried forward on these tiles as well.


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DESERT ROSE This house in Joshua Tree, California is composed of sprayed-concrete petals that arch over the living areas and seem to grow organically like a giant ďŹ&#x201A;ower from the tumbled sandstone boulders of Joshua Tree, a high desert area in southern California.

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ENTRY FORM John Vugrin, a local craftsman, spent 20 years designing and fabricating every element in the house including this metal entry gate. (Facing page) AHEAD OF THE CURVE In the living area, two bronze beams swoop down to support glass tops that can be used as work surfaces or for display. A row of ceramic lamps hovers within the room.


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(From this picture) GAUDĂ?-ESQUE Another view of the bronze beam. The three-legged chairs were custom-designed and are drawn up to a dining table that is cantilevered from the wall.


LEVEL UP The circular master bedroom is elevated high above the living area just below the roof vault.

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(Clockwise from this picture) CIRCLE OF LIGHT Harsh sunlight is softened by the concrete petals, and it models the folds, tracing arcs of light across the interior from early morning to late afternoon. In the master bathroom, a pair of washbasins are contained within a plant-like form and a shower is placed outside against an expanse of natural rocks. Stone and metal play off rough-textured concrete.

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his desert house—near Palm Springs, California—is the masterpiece of Kendrick Bangs Kellogg, an architect who draws inspiration from nature and from his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright. Beginning in 1957 at age 23, he created a succession of houses and commercial buildings that shaped space in daring ways, but his originality condemned him to obscurity. Like the late John Lautner, another protégé of Wright, he cannot be readily categorized and has thus been largely ignored by editors and critics. As a maverick in his ninth decade, he merits recognition and the opportunity to build, but proudly refuses to compromise his vision. Kellogg’s last great project was commissioned by two artists, who found a site perched among sandstone boulders, overlooking the Joshua Tree National Park. The architect conceived a giant flower of overlapping concrete petals that enclose a soaring open space, an elevated master bedroom, and a downstairs guest suite. The structure seems to grow out of the boulders like the spiky Joshua trees that give this expanse of wilderness its name. Construction stretched out over many years, and the rough-textured shell was then enriched for another two decades by San Diego-based designer John Vugrin. Etched glass, sinuously curved marble, wood, and bronze define an open work area, a sitting room, dining area, kitchen and bathrooms. The pool terrace was recently transformed into a glass-enclosed spa. SET IN STONE Chance played a large role in the creation of this extraordinary house. Artists Jay and Bev Doolittle acquired the four-hectare site in exchange for a flat plot on the street that would have been much easier to build on. They saw several of the houses Kellogg had built in San Diego and invited him to drive up to Joshua Tree. He chose the ridge as the ideal location, and then sketched an open, light-filled space on a yellow pad. Aerial photographs were combined with land surveys to create a site model as the plans grew from the initial concept. Little did the Doolittles realize what they were embarking on. To describe the experience, they quote science-fiction author Ray Bradbury: “You jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down.” No contractor would assume responsibility for such an audacious design in so remote a location. Instead, the owners hired a supervisor and paid him for time and materials, without setting a deadline. A team of unskilled workers figured out solutions as they went along. It took three years to cut the rock, lay a concrete pad, and construct a driveway, while leaving many of the boulders in place. Twenty-six hollow columns are deeply rooted in the rock and fan out to form the overlapping planes that block the sun, while admitting refracted light through the glazed spaces between. Steel and concrete withstand the desert climate much better than wood; and neoprene joints allow the glass to expand. Terraces extend out to either side, shaded and protected by the house from fierce desert winds. There’s an architectural promenade from the road, up a winding paved path, and through the interior spaces to the wall of rocks behind. The house is a place of grandeur and mystery—a total work of art

seamlessly fused with nature at its most sublime. From the rusted steel fence and a gate that resembles a dinosaur skeleton, to the ornamental drain covers and portcullislike front door, Vugrin’s craftsmanship is apparent everywhere. His sculptural exuberance and love of ornament rival those of Antoni Gaudí, creator of Barcelona’s Sagrada Família. He fabricated almost everything—from the furniture to washbasins, and etched glass to copper light-switches. IN THE DETAILS Two cast-bronze beams arch down through the living area to support glasswork surfaces. Shifting levels define the different areas of the house but there are very few doors, and each space flows smoothly into the next. The master bedroom is elevated and encircled with pleated, backlit translucent glass so that the cylindrical form hovers, like a gigantic lantern, within the main space. A sunken seating area at its base is warmed by a hearth inset with smooth pebbles and a snail-like copper hood. The master bathroom is sculpted from marble and bronze, and a shower is set beside the boulders and natural spring to the north. The juxtaposition of different materials and textures, rough and smooth, raw and refined, animates every corner. There is a constantly shifting play of light and shadow through the day. At an elevation of 1,300 metres, far from the nearest city, the air is piercingly clear, and the sun beats down fiercely. The house filters its beams, creating a penumbra that throws every surface into soft relief. Early and late, when the sun is low, its rays softly model the petals of the roof canopy from below. At high noon it is held at bay and hot air is released through vents in the glazing. There’s a telling contrast between the mass of the shelter and the openness of the stone-paved terraces, blurring the boundary between indoors and outdoors in a way that’s hard to achieve in desert valleys, where summer temperatures soar to 50 degrees, and residents retreat into air-conditioned cocoons. The house is a sustainable response to climatic extremes. When the Doolittles put it up for sale, it drew the attention of Matt Jacobson and Kristopher Dukes. He’s a Facebook executive; she is an interior designer. They drove out to see it, fell in love with the house at first sight, and now use it as a retreat from their oceanfront residence near Los Angeles. STONE TEMPLE A stone-flagged path and steps lead up to the entry.


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PHOTOGRAPHERS: INDRAJIT SATHE, ANSHUMAN SEN, THIRU S/WHITE LIGHT DESIGN; ASSISTANT STYLISTS: NITYA DHINGRA, KRITI VIJ

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EXPERT ADVICE, DECOR TIPS, AND STYLE ESSENTIALS FOR THE CONTEMPORARY INDIAN HOME

JOHANNES ITTEN (1888-1967) Itten’s 1944 painting Space Composition, II served as the inspiration for this illustration.

PHOTOGRAPHER: INDRAJIT SATHE

(Surface finishes in assorted colours) ‘DuneDrizzle’ surface finish from the World Edition collection by Royale Play; Asian Paints. (Clockwise from top right) ‘Jupiter’ plate; Diesel Living with Seletti. ‘Four Bulb’ lamp by Matteo Cibic; Scarlet Splendour. Ceramic fox by Lanzavecchia + Wai; Bosa. ‘Piede Romano’ porcelain object by Fornasetti; yoox.com. Ceramic vase; Freedom Tree. ‘Pito’ kettle by Frank Gehry; Alessi. Wooden cat doll by Alexander Girard; Vitra.

STYLE

pays tribute to four iconic Bauhaus masters through graphic interpretations of their work STYLIST SAMIR WADEKAR . ILLUSTRATOR ROHAN HANDE


JOSEF ALBERS (1888-1976) Albers is perhaps best remembered for his ‘Homage to the Square’ series of abstract paintings; a deconstructed version of his paintings serves as the theme for this illustration. (Rectangular frame) ‘Insignia Stringy’ surface finish in base colour RAL 5021 Wasserblau with white strings and (yellow plane) ‘Insignia Soft Touch’ surface finish with RAL 1007 Narzissengelb colour from the Insignia Special Effects collection by Woodtech Insignia; Asian Paints. (Clockwise from right) ‘Feniletilamina’ vase by Fabio Novembre for Venini; yoox.com. ‘Bull KRA 3’ ceramic object by Karim Rashid; Bitossi Ceramiche. Centrepiece by Jaime Hayon for Cassina; Poltrona Frau Group Design Centre. ‘Cap’ table lamp by KaschKasch; Normann Copenhagen. ‘Cammei’ scented candle; Fornasetti Profumi.

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PHOTOGRAPHER: INDRAJIT SATHE

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PHOTOGRAPHER: INDRAJIT SATHE

OSKAR SCHLEMMER (1888-1943) The structure of the metallic rods in this image is based on a costume designed by Schlemmer for the performance of the Triadic Ballet. (Background finish) ‘Dune-Drizzle’ surface finish from the World Edition collection by Royale Play; Asian Paints. (Clockwise from top left) ‘Bulle D’Argent’ ice bucket by Christofle; Emery Home. ‘Scope’ wall clock by Leff; thehouseofthings.com. ‘Dear O’ Deer’ ceramic planter; Re-Culture. ‘BeoLab 5’ loudspeakers; Bang & Olufsen. ‘Bell’ suspension lamp by Diesel Living with Foscarini; Lightbox.


MAX BILL (1908-1994) Apart from his paintings, Bill was known for his architecture, typeface and product design. This illustration is an abstract interpretation of his quadrangular, pop coloured paintings. (Copper triangles) ‘Midas’ copper-leafing surface finishes from the International Designer collection by Royale Play; Asian Paints. (Clockwise from top left) ‘Rock’ compote dish by Michael Aram; SIMONE. ‘Graal’ vase by Cédric Ragot; Roche Bobois. ‘Perch’ sculpture (medium); Taamaa. ‘Le Nid’ ramekin by Christian Ghion; Alessi. ‘Falda’ vase (copper); Rosenthal.

For details, see Stockists 244|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

PHOTOGRAPHER: INDRAJIT SATHE

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ADVICE

Window SHOPPING

The online space, as the go-to place for collectors and artists to meet and exchange notes, has redefined the concept of buying and selling art and provides a viable option to traditional galleries and auction houses WRITER MORTIMER CHATTERJEE

THE ORIGIN STORY Auction houses have dealt in Indian art since the mid-1990s, and the first online auctions were held soon after, with the entry of Saffronart, whose belief in the latter has been unwavering. Minal Vazirani, who, along with her husband, Dinesh, co-founded Saffronart, occupies a particularly advantageous position from which to contextualize the history of online art purchases: “Given that the process of acquiring art and information from anywhere in the world is far easier now, the market has grown more sophisticated in a very short span of time. Since Saffronart launched 15 years ago, there has been a significant shift in the level of familiarity, acceptance and trust that visitors have with viewing and acquiring art online, even at the top end.” International auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s have been exploring the potential of the online space for many years. In 2014, Christie’s registered sales of $34 million from online buyers, with the highest-selling lot being India’s own Tyeb Mehta at $2.8 million. In 246|

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(Clockwise from top left) ART-BUSTERS The Artsy app for iPhone and iPad. Tyeb Mehta’s Untitled (Falling Bull) (1999) and a partially glazed and engraved ceramic pitcher from the Picasso Ceramics (1881-1973) sale, both sold by christies.com.

recent years, online-only auction houses have sprung up, such as Auctionata and Paddle8. ArtTactic is a London-based art market research group. Its founder, Anders Petterson, regards India as an early adopter of online art buying. Looking at the worldwide potential of online art sales, there is still a lot of headroom in his view: “Our estimate for global online art sales in 2014 was $2.64 billion (up from $1.57 billion in 2013) and could increase to $6.3 billion by 2019—if the growth pattern continues. Recent ArtTactic survey findings show that 49 per cent of art buyers have bought directly online (up from 38 per cent the previous year).” The other online platforms for art are large aggregators and niche sellers with a very select inventory—photography-specific online sellers, Merchants of Cool, for instance. India is yet to see anything on the scale of Artsy, a US-based app and website that provides a platform for galleries and institutions to promote their artists and exhibitions; but it is only a matter of time before we see a version of it. CHANNELLING THE WEB Leveraging their large TV viewership and online following, NDTV is preparing to become India’s newest entrant into the e-marketplace for art, with an online entity named OnArt.com, offering everything from fine art and prints to collectibles, jewellery and glassware. Gallery tie-ups will play a key role in their strategy, so it is unsurprising to learn that it aims to launch at the time of the India Art Fair, in January 2016. Tara Roy, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), who observed the travails of young struggling artists while still at college, spearheads the project, “I knew brilliant artists who didn’t

ARTSY APP PHOTOS: COURTESY ARTSY.NET; UNTITLED (FALLING BULL) BY TYEB MEHTA AND CERAMIC PITCHER: COURTESY CHRISTIE’S

O

ver the past decade or so, the way we buy art has been changing incrementally, but the pace is likely to accelerate dramatically as online platforms thoroughly disrupt traditional distribution channels. If art online used to be limited, primarily, to research about what was being put up at physical galleries and auction houses, the new online art pioneers still want you to browse, and to learn, but what they really want you to do now is fill up your cart. The sales of art can be bifurcated into primary and secondary markets. A primary sale refers to artwork delivered straight from the artist’s studio to the collector. Traditionally, this meant a sale via gallery. Now, however, direct sales between artists and collectors are on the rise—often in the form of commissions—with platforms such as Instagram having created instantaneous connects between the two. A secondary sale is any artwork that is being resold. In the case of both models, acquisitions can take place at a set price or through auctions.


SPACE TO GROW One of the organizations to have partnered with StoryLTD is Kulture Shop, which showcases the best of Indian graphic artists. The aim, as expressed by co-founder Arjun Charanjiva, is straightforward, “We represent a younger demographic (22-40) than traditional art buyers. They connect better with original graphic art.” While Kulture Shop does have a bricks-and-mortar presence, Charanjiva is keenly aware of the importance of the online space: “Art online in India is at a nascent stage and has a long and exciting journey ahead. I see amateur graphic artists and designers, real graphic artists, photographers and a new crop of visual and fine artists reaching out with every passing month and Portrait of Raja Prakash Chand (1770); Saffronart.

Grace Jones by Francesco Scavullo (1979); Sotheby’s.

FINE ART AUCTIONS Christies.com (International + Indian) Christie’s LIVE allows for online bidding: christies.com/livebidding Sothebys.com (International + Indian) Online bidding is possible through the Sotheby’s tie-up with eBay: live.ebay.com/lvx/sothebys Paddle8.com (International) Auctionata.com (International) Saffronart.com (Indian) MARKET AGGREGATORS Artsy.net (International + Indian) Ocula.com (International + Indian) COLLECTIBLES AND NO-RESERVE AUCTION Storyltd.com (Indian)

year to more and more consumers.” On the relationship with StoryLTD, he says: “Our demographic is very different from the older customer base of StoryLTD, though we are happy to have a presence on their site as we represent what’s coming next.” Having followed the Indian scene for eight years, during which time ArtTactic has produced 16 Indian art market-confidence surveys, Petterson is bullish about the opportunities that will open up to it. “I think the global online art market potentially offers Indian galleries and artists an opportunity to reach new audiences outside India, which could be an important additional channel for cultivating and building collector bases outside the domestic market.” It should not be forgotten that physical galleries and institutions have been waving the flag for Indian artists for many years around the world. At any major art fair, Indian artists and galleries are certain to be present. Despite all the inefficiencies of the traditional bricks-andmortar art space, it does, ultimately, provide a collector the one experience that a pure online model can never replicate: being there with the work. Indeed, Petterson estimates that online art sales still account for only about 5 per cent of the global sales, “Physical galleries and auction houses will continue to play an important role going forward. Online art sales are not a substitute for traditional venues for buying art, but about offering clients the choice of how to search, find and, ultimately, buy a work of art”. I have a vested interest in ensuring the long-term survival of bricks-and-mortar art spaces: I own one. But it would be foolhardy not to see that the winds of change are blowing hard and that anyone unprepared for what is to come is likely to be blown away, consigned to the dustbin of art history. Dabbawala and Macchiwali art prints; kultureshop.in.

Mahabharat Se Kahabharat paintings and Kala cube by Jatin Kampani; merchantsofcool.in.

PHOTOGRAPHY Yellowkorner.com (International) Merchantsofcool.in (Indian) GRAPHIC DESIGN Kultureshop.in (Indian) POINTERS đ While following online auctions, wait until near the end before entering the bidding process. đ If bidding online, set yourself strict limits and stick to them. Understand the applicable buyer’s commission and taxes. đ Ask for certificates of authenticity on artwork purchased, as well as its provenance. đ If buying an artwork from outside the country, check the import duty.

GRACE JONES BY FRANCESCO SCAVULLO: COURTESY SOTHEBY’S

know how to market their work. Artists too need to make money. Our aim is to connect the artist to the buyer by creating a market network.” She will utilize the television network for informative programming around the fine arts, but sales will be via an app and website: “We will not be in competition with galleries and collectors, but will be a marketplace aggregator. OnArt.com would like to, in some small way, do for Indian art what Amazon did for books: create a market network that gives a place in the sun for more Indian artists and raises demand for Indian art.” Of the present incumbents of the art e-marketplace, StoryLTD is undoubtedly the largest. It is a Saffronart initiative and offers artworks and merchandise from a number of niche sellers, but few traditional bricks-and-mortar galleries. Vazirani explains, “By partnering [with them] we are aiming to reach a broader audience, as well as provide a fantastic entry point for young collectors. ”


inside

POINT OF VIEW

Lies, subterfuge, betrayal and secrecy—an examination of crimes on the Indian art scene reads like a page-turning whodunit WRITER KISHORE SINGH . ILLUSTRATOR LEO GREENFIELD n 2011, socialite Sheetal Atulya Mafatlal, who had married into the Mumbaibased industrialist Mafatlal family, asked two of her friends—transport magnate Areef Patel and apartment owner Yasmin MY—to temporarily house the family’s collection of modern Indian masters worth crores of rupees. At that point, no one could have imagined the charges and countercharges that would follow. In 2012, in a curious turn of events, Mafatlal accused her friends of replacing the originals with fakes. Those friends, in turn, blamed Mafatlal for deliberately offloading fakes on them—an accusation that seemed to carry weight when, in 2014, the police seized 44 of 248|

the original paintings in a storage vault belonging to a company allegedly owned by Mafatlal herself. Of those paintings, five did not even belong to the family, and are believed to be the property of Mafatlal Dyes & Chemicals, the company owned by the family. As the case drags on in court, it has come to light that Mafatlal herself had asked yet another friend—photographer Vikram Bawa—to make the copies for a mere `35,000 each, which she then offloaded on Patel and Yasmin, while hiding the originals in the course of a drawn-out inheritance conflict. The fake paintings were stored in Yasmin’s apartments, and Patel’s employee,

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

Farukh Wadia, is the co-accused in a twist in which Mafatlal claims he switched the originals for the fakes. Bawa and another woman photographer, who were responsible for the copying, are now star witnesses in one of the most scandalous art scams that India has witnessed. Among art crimes in India, Mafatlal’s is probably the boldest, yet it is by no means the only one involving fake works. Ten years ago, artist SH Raza had lamented to this writer that he received images for authentication on an average of once every week, even though many of the works were obvious forgeries. But even he couldn’t have imagined, when, in 2009, he arrived at the >


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inside

< Dhoomimal Gallery in New Delhi to inaugurate an exhibition of his own paintings, that all, barring a few drawings, would turn out to be bad copies. Amidst charges of horse-trading, it was agreed that the gallery’s culpability was limited to its negligence in carrying out due diligence, since the works had been supplied by the artist’s own nephews! Though matters were hushed up, it left India’s most expensive living artist’s collectors more than a little jittery. COPY THAT Forgery is the Indian art industry’s sordid nightmare that can’t be wished away as long as there’s big money to be made from it. In 2008, gallerist Renu Modi shut down an exhibition of Kolkata artist Somnath Hore’s sculptures rather than risk her gallery’s reputation, because his family insisted they weren’t kosher. Art historian, critic and curator R Siva Kumar’s contention, that 20 of the 23 works by Rabindranath Tagore at a prestigious exhibition in Kolkata’s Government College of Art & Craft were crude fakes, caused a scandal on the occasion of the poet-artist’s 150th birth anniversary. Works by the artist—one of nine ‘national’ artists whose paintings it is illegal to take out of the country— command a heft that is extraordinary for their size. In 2006, artist Sanjay Bhattacharya created a furore, claiming a painting by his one-time teacher Bikash Bhattacharjee in an Osian’s auction was fake. Internationally, suspect works are routinely pulled out of auctions if questions are raised about their legitimacy. Several collectors would be dismayed to learn that at least a few works in their repertoire would not stand the scrutiny of experts. Even artists have not been spared, with assistants learning their tricks to push out copies, as happened in the well-publicized case of 250|

Anjolie Ela Menon’s house-painter-turnedforger in 2004. Manjit Bawa too grappled with fakes in his lifetime. And in the case of Jamini Roy, another ‘national’ artist, it would appear that an entire factory is at work churning out competent copies. With the fraternity pointing fingers at everyone, from framers to artists’ descendants and trustees, faking has turned into one of the biggest headaches for the art community. Whether they are of paintings by MF Husain or FN Souza, MV Dhurandhar or Nandalal Bose, fakes proliferate, at least in part, because Indians love a good deal but are loathe to pay the additional levy charged as a fee for verification. STEALING THE SHOW While the right-wing ‘moral brigade’ remains a particularly irksome force, routinely vandalizing works of art and threatening artists, another major concern is theft. Even though there is no market for well-known stolen paintings and sculptures as in the West, the theft of collections is no less rampant in India. Much of this has to do

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

with the absence of rigorous inventorying in national institutions where works have been reported missing. One such scandal was unearthed at the Lalit Kala Akademi in 2003, when paintings by senior artists Ram Kumar, J Swaminathan, MF Husain, KK Hebbar, I Jayachandran and Somnath Hore were found to have been stolen and replaced by fakes—a precursor to the Mafatlal case. Though the case was handed to the CBI in 2006, no progress has been made. In 2004, the College of Art, Delhi, heaved a sigh of relief that the 40 works of art it discovered stolen were not the labours of ‘famous artists’. Experts worry that extraordinary works of art and antiquity stored in hundreds of museums, government institutions or official residences may well be missing in the absence of rigorous auditing. Plain old ignorance or apathy is another reason for art disappearing before our eyes, and not just from public-sector buildings. The private sector has amassed a wealth of art over the decades, but as ownership of companies or buildings changes hands, previously commissioned artworks are simply ripped out and dumped by interior designers ignorant of their historicity or value. Some find new homes thanks to those who trawl the country’s chor bazaars (thieves’ markets) for such treasures; a large painting by Krishen Khanna was recently recovered thanks to such diligence. But others are fated to be consigned to the dustbin of nostalgia—a crime that mocks our celebration of the fake in the face of the desecration of the original.


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OFF THE

‘Ranthambore’ wall covering, from the India Baroque collection, by Sabyasachi for Nilaya

WALL In September, Nilaya by Asian Paints and fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee unveiled a new collection of wall coverings inspired by different corners of the country. The collection harks back to India’s regal past—reminiscent of a time when ‘handmade’ and ‘artisanal’ were the norm. A veritable who’s who from various creative fields—interior and fashion designers, and architects— were present at the launch co-hosted by .

Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Manju Sara Rajan, Sabyasachi Mukherjee

Condé Nast India’s Alex Kuruvilla, Amit Syngle

Sameep Padora

Jamini Ahluwalia

Shimul Javeri Kadri

Anupama Chopra

Ravi Vazirani, Rooshad Shroff, Mangesh DL

Sunu Aibara

Chanya Kaur

Abha Narain Lambah

Satish Kulkarni, Pavitra Rajaram, Ahsan Ansari

Kiran Shetty, AD publisher Deepa Bhatia Mohak Mehta and Pinakin Patel

BACKGROUND: ‘MITHU MIYAN’ WALL COVERING FROM THE JODHPUR COLLECTION, SABYASACHI FOR NILAYA

AD editor Greg Foster


The MIDIval Punditz performing at the event

Condé Nast India’s Arjun Mehra

Annkur Khosla

Pratik and Shikha Barasia

Namita Kuruvilla

Sangita Kathiwada

Rashida Baker-Asrani

Punish and Shabnam Gupta

Nimish Shah and Payal Khandwala

Jasem Pirani, Sameer Tawde

Rahul Gore and Sonal Sancheti

Condé Nast India’s Oona Dhabhar, Pareina Thapar

Chiki Doshi, Jai Danani

Sarah and Mohamedi Sham

Jannat Vasi

The Sabyasachi for Nilaya lookbook

Ricky and Laila Lamba Sukant Somani, Trisha Chhabra, Saurabh Singh

Prerna Goel

Vidushi Gupta Agarwal

Nuru Karim and Andrea McLeod-Karim

Raj Anand

Fahad Samar Shonan Purie Trehan

Gaurav Bhatia

Lalita Tharani and Mujib Ahmed


ANAVILA by Anavila Misra What was the toughest question you had to answer over the judging rounds? ‘What is the future of the sari in pure form?’ I thought to myself, oh God! He is asking me to predict my own future! I can laugh at it now, but it was a tense moment.

PAYAL KHANDWALA by Payal Khandwala What was the most exciting part of the process? The sketches we had to submit; being able to spend two full days drawing and painting was therapeutic because it’s my first love.

OUTHOUSE JEWELLERY by Kaabia & Sasha Grewal Can you express your excitement as we approach the finale? Anxiety. Adrenaline rush. Uninterrupted thoughts about the result. Out of words. Lol. #mustwin

SHIFT by Nimish Shah Something we don’t know about you? I was a fashion library assistant for four years!


AND THE FINALISTS ARE… As we get closer to announcing the winner of the Vogue India Fashion Fund 2015, we catch up with our Top 8 to find out how their journey has been so far.

NOT SO SERIOUS by Pallavi Mohan What was the toughest question you had to answer over the judging rounds? ‘Where do you see your brand in the future?’ The brand name is Not So Serious, so I hadn’t thought about that question seriously!

DHRUV KAPOOR by Dhruv Kapoor MALVIKA VASWANI by Malvika Vaswani The most valuable piece of advice you’ve received? At this juncture, it’s important for me to have a small shop inhouse to do test runs within my studio, as it would help me churn out more creations and increase the possibilities of an array of designs.

A word of advice to anyone applying next year? One must be true to who they are. Looking left or right just leads to chaos. Dream big and go for it.

VALLIYAN by Nitya Arora Which judge were you most nervous about showcasing to? I think I was most nervous about Sabyasachi Mukherjee because he is someone I have looked up to for a long time.


scouts

NEWSREEL From the hottest products to the coolest launches, here’s a low-down on the latest in the market this season

LUXE LIVING

Thanks to its exclusively curated pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture from around the world, New Delhi’s IDUS is a one-stop design destination. At 40,000 square feet, the store is equipped with furniture catering to a range of modern aesthetics, like the ‘Nelson’ bed and ‘Vietato’ coffee table by Cattelan Italia (pictured). The bed can be crafted with either a Canaletto walnut or a burned oak frame. The headboard can be covered in different types of leather from the sample card provided. The handmade coffee table in Apuano marble and Petit granite works well as a sculptural element in your space. The table is part of a limited edition. (idus.in)

TABLE MANNERS

Sunil Suresh, founder and CEO of Bengaluru-based Stanley Lifestyles, believes in showcasing modern India’s prowess in creating world-class furniture using fine materials. For almost 20 years, this company has created original designs in contemporary and classical styles. The Stanley team has painstakingly sourced the best materials and tirelessly worked to present the Comfort collection. Part of this collection, the ‘Astra’ (below) and ‘Derby’ (bottom) coffee tables have black bevelled glass tops and Burma teak legs. The ‘Astra’ has a walnut surface finish while the ‘Derby’ is clad in vintage Birch leather. (lovestanley.com)

OPEN HOUSE

Gurgaon-based Mixx Windows introduces the Slim Series of aluminium sliding doors from Italian brand Metra. The windows are available in two- and three-track options with corner openings. The ‘NC-S 120 STH Slim Line’ sliding system adopts increasingly contemporary detailing and functionality. It is equipped with a central junction in a reduced size with multi-point locking systems and a glazing thickness between 26-42 mm. Along with air- and water-tight brush gaskets, the windows are designed to enhance interiors as well as exteriors. It is an ideal solution for those looking for maximum thermic and acoustic insulation without any architectural barriers. (mixxwindows.com) 258|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015


COLOUR THERAPY

Be it for gifting or personal use, you are sure to find something to add character to just about any space at the Nur store. Located at New Delhi’s Meherchand Market, Nur has been making colourful home furnishings, accessories and furniture since 2007. The store’s playful designs—from cushions to chairs, bedding to tableware—change every season, giving customers a whole new range of products to choose from. The constant experimentation coupled with their commitment to Indian craft traditions result in products that have a timeless quality, and can be cherished for years. (nurhome.in)

BENCHMARK

Knock on Wood, a design studio in New Delhi’s Hauz Khas village, has an elegant collection of handcrafted hardwood furniture. At the brand’s state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Chandigarh, a skilled team of carpenters, paint and polish experts, welders, and lathe operators work to ensure that each piece of furniture is created with great attention to detail. Painstakingly made over a period of nine months, the ‘Ketch’ bench (pictured) is built using reclaimed pieces of wood, sanded, and finished with white oil. Over six feet long, the bench is suited for both indoor and outdoor use. (knockonwood.co.in)

IN GOOD LIGHT

The ‘Vivian’ suspension lamp by Masiero creates a pop-art effect with its bold colours and chrome finish. The polyurethane frame hides warm LED lighting with opaque acrylic diffusers. The bell-shaped lamp has been designed specifically to avoid shadow cones and disperse light evenly. The three-bulb suspension lights can be split into individual pieces, or combined in numerous compositions of shapes and colors. The 80-cm-high lamp has a modern and colourful form, adding a quirky touch to your decor. (masierogroup.com)


scouts PLATING UP

Stefano Ricci, the exclusive Italian luxury fashion and lifestyle brand—located at Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel—launched the 2015 Royal Suite Collection. The collection with an aesthetic matching the classic Florentine style, features fine porcelain, crystal and silverware. With their intricate detailing and gold embellishments, these pieces are perfect for a regal setting. (stefanoricci.com)

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL

Italian brand Modulnova recently opened its first flagship store in Mumbai’s Sitaram Mill compound. Spread over 1,500 square feet, the Modulnova boutique offers innovative kitchen, bath and living solutions through its exclusive collections. The ‘Blade’ (pictured) kitchen is defined by its use of straight lines and angular forms that create unexpected geometrical patterns. The kitchen appliances are fitted into the tall wall units. The island, with its large surface space, also serves as a practical breakfast bar. (modulnova.com)

TURNDOWN SERVICE

Dicitex Furnishings started with a singular vision of becoming a globally reputed name in the home decor industry. In a little over 14 years they have become one of the world’s top five manufacturers of furnishing fabrics and upholstery. Equipped with a state-of-the-art production facility, they manufacture over 20 million metres of premium quality yarn. The latest bedding collection from their DCTex label showcases free-spirited bohemian designs. Presented in the form of rich fabrics, these printed sheets reflect various personalities and lifestyles. They are available in floral motifs, abstract patterns and nature- and travel-inspired designs. (dctex.com)

CURTAIN CALL

Homes Fine Furnishings brings to you a wide range of curtains and upholstery in remarkable designs and materials. Established in 2011, the brand has become one of the largest vertically integrated mills in India, producing jacquard decorative fabrics for drapery, upholstery, wide width sheers and embroidered fabrics. Their collections are available across leading retail outlets. (homesfurnishings.com) 260|

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015


GROUND WORK

FINISHING TOUCHES

FII Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. is a non-profit market development agency funded by the Ministry of British Columbia to promote Canadian solid wood lumber in India. Based on the sustainable timber milling practices in Canada, each tree is harvested only after a period of 70-80 years. The wood species of Douglas Fir, Spruce Pine Fir and Yellow Cedar have been widely used across Indian projects. The timber screen (pictured), in Western Red Cedar, creates a striking edifice while visually separating the outdoor from the interior space of a living room. (bcfii.in)

WATER WORLD

The minimalist Linea basin mixer (pictured) by Artize has a striking design feature; a graceful swinging spout which also acts as its on-off mechanism. The multi-purpose spout pivots to form an arc that controls the temperature of water along its curve. A jet of cold, mixed or hot water can be produced at varying positions. Its intelligent design also keeps the water at the centre of the washbasin away from the rim. One of the most interesting characteristic of the Linea is the anti-scalding feature which prevents hot water from coming into contact with the chrome body; allowing the mixer to remain cool at all times. (artize.com)

For nearly 180 years, German company HKS has stood out for its exceptional quality of wooden flooring, available in a diverse range of colours and textures. Today, under its fifth generation of family management, HKS has adapted itself to the latest market situations by including solid wood floorboards and outdoor solutions in their product range. The procuring of speciality woods from all over the world and its subsequent treatment results in a refined product with a distinctive appearance. The European Oak flooring (pictured), featuring a rustic, smoked and white-oiled surface finish, is available through its Mumbai office. (hks1835.de)

FLOOR PLAN

Inspired by the Spanish phrase ‘Mi Casa, Su Casa’—my home is your home, Mikasa Floors by Greenlam is an engineered wood flooring brand with various collections offering over 100 wooden flooring options. A perfect blend of form and function, every Mikasa plank is engineered to perfection in a state-of-the-art plant. Mikasa floors are joined using PlankLoc, a revolutionary technology that locks the planks together without using glue. You can be assured about their longevity as the floors come with warranties of up to 30 years. The Oak Noir flooring from the Pristine City Collection can be seen in the picture below. (mikasafloors.com)


PRESENTS

 ip f yo tastebuds Do you travel the world in search of mouth-watering delicacies prepared by some of the most celebrated chefs? Now with Condé Nast Traveller, some of our selected guests have the opportunity to taste the finest cuisines right here in India. Presenting Hot Tables—an exclusive live culinary series for tastemakers around the country that celebrate the common passion point of food. The launch of the first Hot Tables event in Bengaluru saw fifty guests enjoy a seven-course meal prepared by Dharshan Munidasa—the half-Japanese, half-Sri Lankan chef behind not one, but two, culinary hotspots. Both Nihonbashi and Ministry of Crab feature on the Asia’s Best 50 Restaurants 2015 list. What’s more, before each course, chef Munidasa engaged in an open dialogue with the guests to explain his ideas and the special ingredients behind every dish. The ballroom at The Leela Palace Bengaluru provided the perfect setting for a riveting night with many more to follow!

To collaborate with Condé Nast Traveller on this culinary series, please email meghana.dave@condenast.in


stockists

The merchandise featured in the magazine has been sourced from the following stores. Some shops may carry a selection only. Prices and availability were checked at the time of going to press, but we cannot guarantee that prices will not change or that specific items will be in stock when the magazine is published. ALESSI: (alessi.com) AKFD STUDIO: Jaipur 141-4068400; Bengaluru 080-42106797 (akfdstudio.com) ANANTAYA: Jaipur 1414068400; Bengaluru 080-42106797 (anantayadecor.com) ANEMOS: Mumbai 02226312050 (anemos.in) ARIA INTERIORS: Gurgaon 124-4287020 (ariainterior.com) ART INTAGLIO: Mumbai 09820134547 (artintaglio.in) ASIAN PAINTS: India 1800-209-5678 (asianpaints.com) B&B ITALIA: Italy 003903-1795111; Mumbai 09833130815 (bebitalia.com) BANG & OLUFSEN:

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New Delhi 09312393123 (bang-olufsen.com) BAXTER: Italy 0039-03135999 (baxter.it) BEYOND DESIGNS: New Delhi 011-24335160, D-18, Lower ground floor, Defence Colony BITOSSI CERAMICHE: Florence 003905-7151403 (bitossiceramiche.it) BOCCI: (bocci.ca); see LIGHTBOX BOSA: Italy 0039-42-3561483 (bosatrade.com) BROKIS: (brokis.cz); see LIGHTBOX CAPPELLINI: (cappellini.it); see POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTRE CARL F BUCHERER: Ethos Swiss Watch Studios, Mumbai 02266406991; Ethos Summit, New Delhi 01140588722 CARTIER: Rose - The Watch Bar, Mumbai 022-23620277; DLF Emporio, New Delhi 011-46788888; Ethos Summit, Bengaluru 08041130611; London 004420-73126930; Paris 0033-1-58182300 CASSINA: (cassina.com);

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST|NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2015

see POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTER CK: Watches of Switzerland, Mumbai 022-26402511; Genuine & Gorgeous, New Delhi 011-27356445; Ethos Summit, Bengaluru 08041130611; The Prime Luxury Watch Boutique, Kolkata 033-22837185

022-61270011 (flexform.it) FORNASETTI PROFUMI: Milan 0039-0289658040 (fornasetti.com) FRANCK MULLER: Rose - The Watch Bar, Mumbai 022-23620277 FREEDOM TREE: Mumbai 022-24914231 (freedomtree.in)

D’DECOR: Mumbai 02266782000 (ddecor.com) DE CASTELLI: Italy 0039-04-23638218 (decastelli.it) DESIGN ARTIFACTS HAVEN: Mumbai 09820951828 (designartifactshaven. com) DIESEL LIVING WITH FOSCARINI: (foscarini.com/diesel); see LIGHTBOX DIESEL LIVING WITH SELETTI: (seletti.it/diesel)

GLAS ITALIA: Italy 0039-03-92323202 (glasitalia.com)

EMERY HOME: New Delhi 09810081810, D-1 Shopping Centre, Second floor, above HDFC Bank, Vasant Vihar ESSAJEES: Mumbai 022-22021071 (essajees.com) FLEXFORM: Mumbai

HOUSE OF RARO: New Delhi 08527443666 (houseofraro.com) HUBLOT: Rose - The Watch Bar, Mumbai 022-23620277; Kapoor Watch, New Delhi 011-41345678; Zimson Watch World, Bengaluru 080-40913800; The Helvetica, Chennai 044-28490013 INDI STORE: New Delhi 011-69999933 (indi-store.com) INV HOME: New Delhi 011-29233122 (invhome.in) IRONWORKS: Mumbai 022-26059838 (tejalmathurdesign.in) KREA: New Delhi 011-26804444


(kreaworld.com)

PHOTOS: MONTSE GARRIGA, THOMAS ZACHARIAH

LEE BROOM: London 0044-20-78200742 (leebroom.com) LEMA: Italy 0039-031-630990 (lemamobili.com) LIGHTBOX: New Delhi 09910754111 (lightbox.co.in) LLADRÓ: Bengaluru 080-40985215; Mumbai 022-22823436; New Delhi 011-41864400 (lladro.com) MAC-BRUZÁE: Noida 120-4041010 (bruzae.in) MAHENDRA DOSHI: Mumbai 022-23630526 (mahendradoshi.com) MICHAEL ARAM: (michaelaram.com); see SIMONE MOONRIVER: New Delhi 011-41617103 (moonriverstore.com) MOROSO: (moroso.it); at LE MILL Mumbai 022-65252415 (lemillindia.com) MUNNA: Portugal 0035-12-20165782 (munnadesign.com) NIRMALS FURNISHING: New Delhi 011-25176921, 3/4, Furniture Block, Lajpat Nagar NO-MAD: India 09820361687

(no-mad.in) NORMANN COPENHAGEN: Copenhagen 004535-554459 (normanncopenhagen.com) OMEGA: Mumbai 02230602002; New Delhi 011-41513255; Bengaluru 080-40982106; Chennai 044-28464092; Hyderabad 040-23331144 PHILLIPS ANTIQUES: Mumbai 022-22020564 (phillipsantiques.com) PIERRE FREY: (pierrefrey.com) POLTRONA FRAU GROUP DESIGN CENTER: Mumbai 022-22614848; New Delhi 011-40817357 (poltronafrauindia.in) PRÊT-FAB: Gurgaon 09310977254 (pretfab.com) QAALEEN: New Delhi 011-69000130 (qaaleen.co.in) RAVISSANT: Mumbai 022-22873405; New Delhi 011-45105500 (ravissant.in) RE-CULTURE: India 09811507117 (re-culture.com) ROCHE BOBOIS:

Mumbai 022-61062233 (roche-bobois.com) ROLEX: DiA, Mumbai 022-22042299; Kapoor Watch, New Delhi 011-46536667; The Helvetica, Chennai 044-28490013; Luxury Time, Ahmedabad 079-26469797; Meena Jewellers, Hyderabad 040-44767758 ROSENTHAL: Gurgaon 124-4665485 (rosenthal.de) ROYALE PLAY: (asianpaints.com/pro); see ASIAN PAINTS SARITA HANDA: Mumbai 022-40052686; New Delhi 011-43521824 (saritahanda.com) SCARLET SPLENDOUR: Kolkata 033-40501000 (scarletsplendour.com) SHADES OF INDIA: New Delhi 011-49053333 (shadesofindia.com) SIMONE: Mumbai 02271117700 (simone.com) SOURCES UNLIMITED: Mumbai 022-26201700 (sourcesunlimited.co.in) SWATCH: Mumbai 02224813523; New Delhi 01140588744; Bengaluru 080-22067921; Chennai 044-28490013 TAAMAA: Gurgaon 08826847828

(taamaa.in) TASCHEN: (taschen.com); at VARIETY BOOK DEPOT New Delhi 011-23412567, 19A, Ansari Road, Darya Ganj THE GREAT EASTERN HOME: Mumbai 022-23770079 (thegreateasternhome. com) THE PURE CONCEPT: Mumbai 022-61559898 (thepureconcept.co.in) THE RAJ COMPANY: Mumbai 022-23541971 (therajcompany.com) THEHOUSEOFTHINGS. COM: India 08003011110 (thehouseofthings.com) URBANLADDER.COM: (urbanladder.com) VERONESE: (verone.se); see SOURCES UNLIMITED VITRA: Bengaluru 09972244469; New Delhi 09811155802; Hyderabad 09949696892; Mumbai 09833183969 (vitra.com) WOODTECH INSIGNIA: (asianpaints.com/ woodtechstudio); see ASIAN PAINTS YOOX.COM: (yoox.com)


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JAHNVI DAMERON NANDAN Founder of bespoke perfume label The Perfume

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—SHREYA BASU

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1. RESTAURANT Okuda in Paris is my favourite. I usually sit in one of the private tatami rooms and it feels like I am in the inner sanctum of a temple in Kyoto. 2. SPICE NOTE The cardamom extract is a special kind of extract we use that is uplifting, elevating and fresh. 3. CITY Currently, it’s Venice. I particularly love the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which is famous for Italian painter Tintoretto’s paintings. 4. FASHION ACCESSORY My 11.11 silk bandhani scarves. I use them during the day, at night, on flights, on the beach, as turbans and even as jackets. Basically, all day, every day. 5. ARTIST Hema Upadhyay, a friend, is one of my favourite artists. I am also working on a perfume inspired by the smell of grass as used in her artwork. 6. SCENT OF INSPIRATION All the fragrant ingredients related to the smell of my grandmother’s bedroom form a very important part of my palette today. This Mnemosyne approach to fragrance is reflected in perfumes created through my Memory Pod Project. 7. GETAWAY Must I really tell? Well, OK. It’s the U Spa Barrière Shiseido in Paris. 8. PLACE TO UNWIND I love walking in gardens, particularly those filled with scents. My most recent trip was to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, which is almost like a garden of scents in itself. 9. STYLE ICON Josephine Baker (an American-born French entertainer) who was an incredibly astute feminist in mind, body and soul. 10. MOVIE Apart from all Derek Jarman’s movies, lo Sono l’Amore (I Am Love), a 2009 Italian movie, is one of my favourites.

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JAHNVI DAMERON NANDAN PORTRAIT: HIMANSHU SHANI/COURTESY OF WWW.11-11.IN. PHOTOS: 1. OKUDA PARIS. 3. DIDIER DESCOUENS. 4. COURTESY OF WWW.11-11.IN. 5. HEMA UPADHYAY. 6. PHOTOGRAPH BY SACHIN SONI. 7. HOTELS BARRIÈRE.

Library, globetrotter Jahnvi Dameron Nandan lets in on some little-known secrets, her inspirations and a few of her favourite things.


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