Sassoon Dock Art Project comes to Mumbai

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Over the next two months, the 142-year-old space of Sassoon Dock will be transformed into a public art exhibition

St+art India Foundation has announced the launch of the Sassoon Dock Art Project as part of the St+art Mumbai 2017 Urban Art Festival. The Sassoon Dock Art Project is an experiential exhibition which will see the creation of site-specific installations, murals, audiovisual experiences, screenings, talks and curated tours in an unconventional space of one of the busiest docks of Mumbai, nestled at the tip of Colaba. Over the next two months, the 142-year-old space of Sassoon Dock will be transformed into a public art exhibition that will delve deeper into the various layers of the city, and the multilayered contexts of the dock. Sassoon Dock which has remained locked for Mumbaikars so far, will be unlocked and activated with artworks, performances and other active installations. With support from Asian Paints and associations with Mumbai Port Trust (MBPT), Singapore Tourism Board, Bonjour India, Institut Francais and JSW Group amongst a host of other partnerships with cultural institutions and embassies, St+art Mumbai 2017 will bring to Sassoon Dock 30 Indian and international artists between November 11 and December 30.

The aim is to create a temporary cultural hub and a provide a stimulating experience, open to everyone while working alongside the community of locals and economies that are thriving in the area.

Giulia Ambrogi, co-founder and festival curator, St+art India Foundation said, “Expanding at a very fast pace the city that never sleeps has spots lost in time. Everyone in Mumbai knows of Sassoon Dock but very few have ever stepped in. The aim of the Sassoon Dock Art Project is to unlock an area which is ready to be discovered, enlightening its narratives through art interventions of international and unique Indian artists. The Sassoon Dock Art Project is an ecosystem of its own to experience in an overall dialogue between the finest contemporary global urban art and the deepest local traditions.”

Amit Syngle, president – sales, marketing, technology and home improvement, Asian Paints, said, “Like every year, we yet again hope to add a bit of vibrance to the city and uplift the moods, spirits and lives of Mumbaikars. We want to take art to the masses and make it accessible to a wider range of spectators. The idea is to open spaces to dialogues, conversations and culture creation through the lens of the city.”

Hanif Kureshi, co-founder and creative director, St+art India Foundation, commented, “Sassoon Dock is surrounded by many established art galleries, but most of the local community is not aware of it. Same way people outside the docks have only heard of Sassoon Dock, but not many people have ventured inside. With this project, we invite all Mumbaikars to come and discover the new side of the city and experience art at this unexpected place.”

There will be special schedules across weekends in November where the exhibition will transform into a pop-up cultural hub for various creative communities to come together. These weekends will see special programming with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Institut Francais and Bonjour India.

With the intent of creative and cultural exchange between India and Singapore, Sassoon Dock Art Project will see the Singapore Weekender with several Singaporean artists in association with Singapore Tourism Board’s new brand ‘Passion Made Possible’.

G B Srithar, regional director, South Asia Middle East and Africa, Singapore Tourism Board, said, “Singapore is popular as a family friendly destination. We are happy to partner with St+art India Foundation and Impresario Group, both players known to break boundaries in their own fields. Through this collaboration, we seek to present Singapore in a different light to the young adults and working millennial segments who travel for various pursuits. In showcasing Singaporean artistes’ work in line with our brand, we hope to entrench Singapore as an exciting lifestyle hot spot. Many travel interest triggers, like music, art and dining can be satiated in Singapore.”

“Institut francais India has a long-standing relationship with St+art India Foundation. With Bonjour India it has developed into an even stronger partnership. St+art Urban Art Festival will animate Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chandigarh with social innovation and urban art. Local and international artists will create works on site inspired by local stories and materials. Together these will tell each city their own stories. With murals, graffiti, audio-visual experiences, this tale of two countries will come together in one Indo-French moment,” said Dr Bertrand de Hartingh, director, Institut francais.

Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, Mumbai Port Trust said, “With its historic legacy, Mumbai Port is pleased to be a part of the art exhibition at Sassoon Dock, which is the oldest dock from where the port has evolved over the past 150 years. The port has been a standing testimony of Mumbai’s evolution and this initiative of wall painting and its exhibition is a step further in this direction. We welcome the artists, both international and Indian in their journey to revamp the Sassoon Dock with their murals and take it to global limelight.”