Art for the public eye

Feb 19, 2014, 09:26 IST | Soma Das

In its fifth edition, the public art festival (en)counters, will feature site-specific artworks by 11 artists from India, Singapore and Hong Kong. Based on the theme of air, these will be on display at Bandra’s Carter Road Promenade, Juhu beach and other city sites 

The annual public festival [en]counters, started by ArtOxygen, was envisioned as a platform for artists to establish a dialogue with urban spaces. In its fifth edition, it will feature site-specific works by 11 artists (four from India, six from Hong Kong, and one from Singapore). The line-up includes artists such as Jason Lee, Reena Kallat and Vibha Galhotra. Apart from being site-specific, the works will only last for the duration of the event. This year’s theme is, Is There Love in This Air? and the artists will try to define their vision of air.

Hong Kong-based artist Joel Lam has created a 15-minute documentary that explores the idea of love and how people in cities cherish or abuse their living spaces 

Leandre D’Souza, co-founder of ArtOxygen and curator of the event, tells us more, “There are sculptures, installations and paintings; artworks are allowed to be fluid, adapt to the site and engage with people. We want to highlight that art is interconnected with social issues and can address them.” For this event, D’Souza admits they had to approach citizen groups, maritime authorities and police stations. Everyone co-operated and encouraged the process.

As part of the event, there will be an open seminar at Max Mueller Bhavan on February 20 (6 pm) on redefining public spaces, art interventions on Juhu beach on February 21 and 22 (4.30 pm), a workshop for students and teachers at Wadala and Sewri municipal schools on February 24 and 25 (10 am onwards), and art interventions on the promenade from February 27 to March 2 (4.30 pm).

“We are exploring what public art can be. Art is unpredictable.

For example, you don’t expect to see it when you walk along Juhu Beach. We are creating encounters between the viewer and the artist,” she concludes.

On February 20 to March 2
At Juhu Beach, Carter Road Promenade and other sites.
log on to

Also attend
The portal Accessed has organised Timeless Radiance, a free event to help women pre-empt issues they will face as they grow older and to reduce signs of ageing. Four experts, including gynaecologist Dr Kiran Coelho, fitness expert Sunil Kudwa, skincare expert Dr Rashmi Shetty and nutritionist Suman Agarwal will talk on these issues.
On February 20, 4 pm to 6 pm
At Serafina, Lower Parel.
Call 9920636903

Big draws at the event
> Mee Ping Leung from Hong Kong has created a music box, which when opened, exudes a child-like melody. The work is inspired by an incident of a woman separated from her child and reunited after several years.

> Indian artist Pradeep L Mishra’s LoveInAir is an installation of a sea of incense sticks perched atop wet soil. The artist will invite passersby to light the aromatic sticks to exude a ritualistic feeling and create a sense of unity.

> Indian artist Reena Kallat will etch phrases into the sand using salt. As the work gets washed over and disappears, they become a reflection of the fragility of human memory and the unpredictability of existence.

> Hong Kong-based artist Sunday Lai is displaying Pop-up Space, a temporary portable hut that she will inhabit during the hours of the interventions. She will read, write, chat with people, eat and reveal unique and creative ways to use public and open spaces.

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