May 22, 2024

Mumbai Urban Art Festival aims to become a biennale

4 min read


As the Mumbai City Artwork Competition, which closes on 22 February, enters its past several weeks, the organisers hope to make it a common function on the city’s calendar

It was in 2017 that Mumbai’s Sassoon Dock to start with caught attention for its edgy avenue art. About 30 global artists showcased their art at the docks that have been earlier applied only by the fishing communities and put Mumbai on the listing of cities known for road artwork. Considering the fact that then, community art has gone mainstream in Mumbai, from the murals of filmstars in Bandra to the quirky wall paintings on Chapel Highway that depict fantastical figures in human predicaments to the much larger-than-daily life determine of Gandhi alighting a coach at the historic Churchgate station.

Also read through: Artwork for those people by the sea

The ongoing Mumbai Urban Artwork Competition, organized by St+art India Basis and Asian Paints, has been trying to deepen the relationship between artwork and the city. “We have been functioning in Mumbai for 8 decades and have developed a serious entire body of artwork below,” states Arjun Bahl, co-founder of St+art India Basis. “The metropolis wants steady art interventions and we hope to carry the pageant again regularly in a biennale structure. The goal is to build the present-day heritage of Mumbai and keep on to cultivate the connection with the town by means of its art.”

Most of the art explores the concept of a ‘city in flux’, as movement is inherent to Mumbai and the artwork displays on the excesses of the city’s unprecedented expansion. The exhibitions include things like Mumbai’s record as a investing hub as well as the numerous narratives between the sea and the town.

The artists include things like local as effectively as international artists. “We have above 60 artists working throughout mediums such as digital works, new media expressions, sculptures, installations, and more,” claims Rhea Maheshwari, assistant curator at St+artwork India Basis. There are rising artists who may perhaps be displaying for the initially time along with senior artists who have engaged with the city for quite a few years. The notion, she says, is to generate an interdisciplinary, varied system to have interaction distinct methods.

The basis actively engages local communities too. “We often glance at how we can make community art more participatory and the locals can also be co-actors,” claims Maheshwari. And so, in sites like Dharavi, neighborhood citizens have collaborated on the artwork with non-gains like Aravani Arts Project, which will work with the transgender local community, and Dharavi Art Room, which employs art to empower kids and girls of marginalised communities. 

The foundation has also labored with Siddhant Shah of Accessibility For All, who specialises in bridging the gap concerning cultural heritage and disability. “From the commencing we have centered on creating artwork available and engaging people’s imaginations,” says Bahl. “Art after all, is about producing a democratic expertise for all.”

If you have not yet visited the Mumbai City Artwork Festival, here is a list of the exhibitions that are on until 22 February 2023:

Intuitions: In between the sea and the town

Where: Sassoon Docks

What: Substantial murals at the docks that poses questions about our intricate romantic relationship with the natural environment and the growing hypercity.

The Bandra Task

In which: Carter Road Skatepark

What: Two momentary installations and a long term artwork with a walk and speak.

AP Artwork Household

The place: Mahim East Arts District

What: 20 murals by global and Indian artists alongside with three large scale murals and urban tactical interventions these as edible gardens.

Also browse: Kala Ghoda returns right after a two-year split


Resource connection Mumbai Urban Art (MUA) Festival is planning an ambitious project to create a biennale in the vibrant city, bringing together some of the most exciting and established local and international urban artists.

The biennial would be an intensive, two-week extravaganza of traditional and new forms of street art, combining a celebration of contemporary visual arts with a vibrant, creative cultural life of public art interventions, public spaces and urban interventions. Utilizing the vast array of artistic talent and resources available in the city, the festival aims to create an experience for both artists and the public that will be engaging and interactive, providing a platform for both to thrive.

In its grand vision to become the prestigious biennale of contemporary urban art, the festival is encouraging artists from all over the world to participate in this event, in order to provide viewers with a sampling of the global trends in street art and urbanism.

Partnering with educational institutions, corporate offices and government initiatives, MUA Festival also aims to use this platform to further its aim of providing underprivileged youth with access to top-notch street art education and art-related projects. It will also include a series of workshops and master classes, featuring some of India’s finest street art stars.

MUA Festival is sure to transform Mumbai into a mecca of street art, while educating and empowering local youth along the way. Furthermore, its vision of becoming a biennale provides a unique opportunity for both national and international street artists to come together and engage with each other, creating an environment of cultural exchange, learning, and understanding in an urban professional space.

This is indeed an exciting move to further the development of street art in India. We can only eagerly await what MUA Festival has in store for us.