A tribute to the Bandra boy

Jan 10, 2013, 01:19 IST | Soma Das

Bandra, the suburb associated with all things hip, cool and cultural, now has an exhibition dedicated to it � Bandradesh. The month-long art show at False Ceiling Gallery pays tribute to Shivraj Santhakumar aka Professor Postman, a resident of Bandra, a brilliant mind, a much-loved storyteller, poet and artist

With a mix of old and the new, quirky boutiques and eclectic communities, Bandra retains its distinct identity and flavour. Celebrating this is Bandradesh, an exhibition that pays tribute to Bandra resident Shivraj Santhakumar, also known as Professor Postman, who juggled many roles as a storyteller, image-maker, disco dancer, poet, craftsman and artist. Santhakumar, aged 35, passed away in July 15 last year, and was a resident of Bandra for
16 years.

Shivraj Santhakumar

“The idea is to showcase his work, innovative ideas, cinematography, photographs, product designs and more,” said Amrit Kumar, co-founder of WETHEPPL, who are the co-organisers of the event along with groups like NorBlack NorWhite, Xtrathin, Bombay Underground and others. Santhakumar was a group member and conceptualised several products.

“He was loved by Bandraites. Everyone, from restaurant owners to chaiwallahs knew him. He loved Bandra and believed that Bandra should have been a country of its own. The idea and challenge of this event was to heal emotionally,” she reasons. On display at False Ceiling Gallery is a photography series that celebrates Bandra’s blue-collar royalty including mechanics and key makers who were captured on camera by Santhakumar.

An audio-visual presentation will take one through a day in the life of the Professor while a light-and-colour project will provide a peek into his mind.
Art and text from his Project-o-r or Project of Religion Art will also be showcased which was Santhakumar’s attempt to study different religions and apply its principles in the course of a year. He started on Sikhism and was planning to study Islam before his demise in July. There will also be a Tanagram installation, featuring pieces of the Chinese puzzle in thousands of shapes.

Photo art celebrating the common man

Also on display will be Postman conceptual products including a special envelope wallet (with wallets embroidered together, which people can also mail them), ties, seven-day pants and the bug bag. Explaining her association with Santhakumar, Kumar reveals, “WETHEPPL comprised of five members including Santhakumar, four of whom were from Toronto. He showed us the city and taught us to get things done, helped us find markets and gullies, and influenced us with his knowledge and energy. His energy is alive; we had organised We Love Bandra festival as a tribute.”The five-week pop-up festival had performances, workshops and pop-up shops, and the Bandradesh exhibition is the culmination of the event.

Till January 20, 5 pm to 9 pm and 12 pm to 9 pm (on weekends)
At False Ceiling Gallery, 111 Bungalow, opposite Imppa House, Near Pali Naka, Dr Ambedkar Road, Bandra (W).
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