Taking the cliche out of kitsch
From art and design to architecture and all the way to food, a panel discussion is set to bring the focus back to form
What sets kitsch apart from the classical? What constitutes kitsch in the first place? And how did a form with roots in Germany become so easily associated with Mumbai?
Multipolis Mumbai: Kitsch and the City, a panel discussion by the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Ministry of Culture and Avid Learning is set to decode kitsch in the city. Tracing its evolution in visual art, design, architecture and fashion all the way to food and the spoken word, panellists — Pavitra Rajaram, creative director, Pavitra Rajaram Design and former lead designer, Good Earth, Sneha Raisoni, co-founder, Plan B and founder, Tappu ki Dukaan and Pankil Shah, co-founder, Bombay Vintage — will also disband myths around it.
Sneha Raisoni; Pavitra Rajaram
"Kitsch has historically been seen as a low art form and doesn't find place in museums, but is as valuable as classical art," says Rajaram defining it as "an amalgamation of composite cultures." "And Mumbai is a microcosm of that. From its language to street art, the transport system and the street food," she adds. She sees it in the Chinese bhel, the cake-like façade of Saifee Hospital and the graffiti that once covered vast stretches of the walls on the Tulsi Pipe Road.
Raisoni sees it in autorickshaw meters, the BEST bus tickets and in the images of the Gateway of India on clothing. "Kitsch was born from the masses not being able to afford art and creating their own using everyday elements. And now people are owning it," she says.
Chinese Bhel lend itself to kitsch
Moderated by Latika Khosla, founder, Colours India and Freedom Tree Design, the discussion will also offer ruminations on the future of kitsch and its proliferation in the hospitality industry.
On November 20, 6 pm
At NGMA, Sir Cowasji Jehangir Public Hall, MG Road, Fort.
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe