Young at art
A new property in a Khar pub aims to inculcate an artistic bent of mind among the youth
You step into a gallery. Let's say it's Jehangir Art Gallery in Kala Ghoda. There is an exhibition going on. The different works of an artist are hung up in rows on the walls. You stand in front of each piece, soaking in the brush strokes and the colours. There might be a person standing next to you. It's highly likely that he or she isn't a youngster. The two of you may even exchange notes. And once you've gone through all the artworks on display, you choose to buy one if you want to, or you leave empty-handed, but with a head full of cultural stimuli that leaves you more enriched than before.
That is the usual template for most art exhibitions in the city. But things are gradually changing. These days, there are workshops that are sometimes part of an exhibition. There might also be a curatorial walkthrough of the space. Things get more hands-on if live installations are part of the show. But the demographic of the attendees remains skewed towards middle-aged and older people than the youth, feels Romario Rodrigues, founder of Kranti Art Theory, a city-based organisa tion that promotes various art forms, including music.
One by Yash Pradhan
That's why he's now organising Optikal Asylum, an art event geared specifically towards young viewers. Even the place where it will be held, a pub in Khar, is a hotspot for the youth since it regularly hosts electronic music gigs and things like skateboarding competitions. This show, too, will have a DJ, Yung Raj, playing an eclectic three-hour set even as the attendees take in the artworks on display. Plus, there's a doodling workshop that Shantanu Hazarika will host. So, it's going to be a multi-disciplinary exhibition that is meant to be a day-long affair for youngsters.
Rodrigues tells us, "There's so much information out there on the Internet for the newer generation that for them to really start liking something, it has to be built over time. From what I've seen, most youngsters are fans of art that's online. You look at something on Instagram and go, 'Wow, that's great.' But when it comes down to stepping out and actually supporting your local artists, I feel that's something that has to be developed in the long run. So, our agenda is to build a new target audience that is constantly supporting artists their age."
He adds that the 16 artists whose works will be displayed include Mehek Malhotra, Shreya Arora, Yash Pradhan and Karan Kumar. Most of them hail from this city, though there are a few people from elsewhere as well. The list of people who'll be selected to display their works will change with every edition, with the plan being to make this a monthly affair. Mumbai, like Delhi, has a thriving arts scene that mainly involves shows in galleries. But now, Optikal Asylum promises to change the scene's colours.
On August 4, 12 pm to 9 pm
At Khar Social, Rohan Plaza, 5th Road, Ram Krishna Nagar, Khar West.
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