An Unexpected Art-Rendezvous

Akanksha Maker | July 31, 2022 | Art

Being a bustling business hotel in the heart of Mumbai, one could never imagine the extent of the art which can be found at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel & Residences. I paid a visit to the hotel to have a look at its art, as I was curious to know more about the collection I had heard so much about. Crowded with locals and tourists alike, this hotel instantly gives you a feeling of activity as you walk in. People trying to find their way around while others engrossed in meetings can be found.

It was interesting to learn that the hotel showcases over 100 commissioned artworks by prominent as well as upcoming artists like Rajiv Sethi, Laxman Shreshtha, Jitesh Kallat, Hema Upadhyay, Chintan Upadhyay, Nalini Malani, Atul & Anju Dodiya, Tanuja Rane, Krishnamachari Bose, Sudarshan Shetty – and more

The essence of all the artworks stems from archeological sites of Mumbai and are dedicated to Lord Shiva – known as “The Destroyer” within the Hindu trinity featuring Brahma and Vishnu.

I was told that the isle of Elephanta and the cave temple of Jogeshwar too play an important role in inspiring the artworks that one can find at the property.

Walking through the hotel teeming with people and buzzing with events, I felt I was strolling through a museum of sorts, with mesmerising art all around me. While a number of works caught my eye and attention, here are a few worth mentioning.

Nrittamurti by Jitesh Kallat

In an evocative artwork by Kallat, Lord Shiva – plays the role of Nrittamurti – performing the dance of havoc. Inspired by the Mandapeshwar cave sanctuary, Kallat’s painting portrays a humble water-carrier who incarnates into Dhanantari or Shiva himself – as amrita-dhari: the bearer of the nectar jar. An hour-glass symbol imprinted onto the matka reminds us of the unending march of the Maha-kala (Shiva as ‘Great Time’). The water flowing out like sparkling electricity symbolises the holy river of Ganga that is seen nourishing a foetus. Another element that adds to the storyline is the swishing leopard that stands as the representation of urban folklore – as settlements have conquered the wild-cat’s habitat in the metropolis of Mumbai.

Bollywood: City of Dreams by Riyas Komu

Riyas Komu collaborated with a wood-carver from Kerala called Raju for a uniquely profane work. A dystopian reflection of Bollywood, Mumbai’s film industry, the artwork embodies the image of broken dreams and questionable realities. Raju has carpeted in mahogany, a 12-foot long image of a reclining actress who appears dismembered as a hand and leg appear from beyond the screen – trying to make contact with an imagined body. A first-day-first-show depiction of the male glare finishes the piece. ‘Fantasy meets frustration’ in this suggestive work that definitely made me stop and stare.

Basti: An Urbanscape by Hema Upadhyay

A beautiful piece of work that brings to life the reality of the city, Basti reminds me of the aerial view of Mumbai that follows every arrival and departure from the airport. A harsh reality that hits us every time we make contact with the air, the slums of Mumbai form an integral part of the geography of the metropolis. This make-shift shanty town settlement is depicted through scrap-metal-made houses in this piece. The aerial map of sorts also represents the patterns of the settlement and a secret order to what would come across as complete chaos to most. Below the metal-scrap assemblage is a pool containing undelivered postcards and letters from migrant labourers.

Words by Akanksha Maker.

Images via Akanksha Maker and Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel & Residences.

One thought on “An Unexpected Art-Rendezvous

  1. Wonderful article,so beautifully explained, living in Mumbai we were not even aware of this amazing art within our city,thanks Akanksha for the brilliant coverage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like