Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 10:34 IST | Team mid-day |

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

The flag hoisting by Shetty
The flag hoisting by Shetty

Flagging it off
Once we had sized up Ales Steger's pyramid that has come up right outside Aspinwall House, we turned this diarist’s attention to the flag hoisting ceremony on the grounds. The Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016, this time curated by artist Sudarshan Shetty — his first curatorial role in his career — opened last afternoon with a stellar crowd of artists, gallerists, curators and art patrons that had flown in from many parts of the country to be a part of Day One. Shetty, in his characteristic bashful manner, introduced his vision for the biennale, themed “forming in the pupil of an eye”. Shetty, obviously the talk of the town now, brought up the fact that he has attempted to layer the works of the participating artists by drawing parallels between them. This time around, we’re sure that visitors will swear by Shetty’s unique curatorial vision, which has blurred the lines between art, performance and literature, while there might be others who will raise eyebrows.

Ales Steger's showpiece pyramid
Ales Steger's showpiece pyramid

Hello Manju
While this biennale has long been known as the brainchild of Riyas Komu and Bose Krishnamachari, Manju Sara Rajan, the newly appointed CEO of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, charmed us equally. Draped in a chirpy leaf green saree, Rajan, the 38-year-old who has earlier helmed a leading architecture magazine in the country, was the warm host for all the events at the Biennale and we are waiting to see more from her in the course of the days to come.

Raul Zurita
Raul Zurita

Not to be missed
From what we saw and heard, we believe Yuko Mohri will certainly floor visitors with her work at Aspinwall House. Mohri, based in Tokyo, specialises in kinetic installations that tinker with magnetism, gravity and light. For the KMB 2016, Mohri drew awe from visitors with her sound-based work, which uses electromagnets. Others, who you should definitely catch, are Raúl Zurita’s cavernous installation based on his verses and Aleš Šteger’s showpiece pyramid, made of cow dung and wood. We are also hearing great things about Abir Karmakar and Bharat Sikka’s works at the Biennale; more on that later. Today, we are going to catch Latvian artist Voldemars Johansons as he gives autowallahs in Kochi a “sound” treatment. Johansons tells us that he has used synthesized sounds of birds chirping in place of the blaring horns in the autos that zip across the quiet coastal town. Perhaps he should try this with Mumbai’s taxi drivers?

Sadhguru says
In the last century, Indian spiritual guides have increasingly fascinated the West. In fact, the term ‘guru’ has also gained international currency with so much as a Hollywood flick with the title.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

In recent times, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has been immensely popular with people both in India and the West. To reach out to more people who cannot always afford to get his guidance, he has come out with a book, Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy that is already on The New York Times bestseller list. In Mumbai, filmmaker Subhash Ghai will be in conversation with Sadhguru at the launch of the book on December 15.

Kala Ghoda chic
This iconic square and its sub-precinct, named after a long-gone bronze statue of a British royal, is slowly emerging as a SoBo fashion district. King of quirk and kitsch, Manish Arora’s Indian store, has added a few vibrant colour tones to the artsy, stylish neighbourhood. This will be Arora’s second store in the city.

Ashiesh Shah, Nimish Shah, Manish Arora and Greg Foster
Ashiesh Shah, Nimish Shah, Manish Arora and Greg Foster

The space is dressed up in Arora’s trademark pink hues, with India and Indo-western designs for his fans. With Gaurav Gupta, Masaba Gupta, Obataimu in this cluster, and Sabyasachi and Neerav Modi a little ahead, we can expect fashionistas to make a beeline for this quaint, hip quarter of SoBo.

Record run
It was an early and healthy Sunday morning for many of the residents of Vasai and Virar, who woke up to participate in the sixth edition of the mayor’s marathon. What made the day more exciting was the record that was created at the race.

Clocking 2:22.04, Rashpal Singh of the Army Sports Institute in Pune not only won the men’s full marathon title, but also beat Olympian Kheta Ram’s 2015 record. Singh’s next target is a world championship. Lalita Babar, the long-distance runner who participated in the Rio Olympics, is the event’s brand ambassador.

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