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Art Walk in Mumbai: Discovering the connection between art and luxury


"To be able to do art, it was a luxury to me." – Anchee Min (Chinese-American author)

Batch 10 of the Master in Global Luxury Goods & Services Management (MGLuxM) program at SP Jain School of Global Management got to experience an incredible day on Friday, April 8, 2022.

"To be able to do art, it was a luxury to me." – Anchee Min (Chinese-American author)

Batch 10 of the Master in Global Luxury Goods & Services Management (MGLuxM) program at SP Jain School of Global Management got to experience an incredible day on Friday, April 8, 2022. The students went on their first-ever industrial visit for an art walk through the art galleries of South Mumbai.

The art walk was conducted by Hansika Jethnani. Ms Jethnani (she/her) is a poet, visual artist, educator, and co-founder of Funky Maharani, an eclectic Indian jewellery line. She graduated from the University of the Arts London with a BA (Hons) in Photography in 2016. Her work focuses on identity, colonialism, migration, sexuality, and body positivity, among other things. She is 27 years old and has spent the last three years in Mumbai. Art, design, sustainable fashion, and political activism are some of her passions. She founded Funky Maharani in October 2020 to merge tradition and contemporary design to offer quirky, elegant, and enjoyable everyday pieces of jewellery. It was ideal that she gave the students a tour of the current Indian art and artists.


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The day began with an interactive session by Ms Jethnani on what art meant to everyone. She helped the students realise that art is a subjective topic, much like the concept of luxury. To demonstrate her point, she showed the students a few artworks and encouraged them to explain what it meant to them. This session helped the students prepare for all the diverse art they would come across that day.

After a short break, they headed to the first gallery of the day – Galerie Isa. Here they discovered the artworks of three talented artists: Daniel Crews-Chubb, Conrad Shawcross and Michaela Yearwood-Dan. The exhibition was curated by Jane Neal and titled Super Nature, a play on the words: nature, supernatural and the magical, extraordinary aspects associated with the adjective ‘super’. ‘Super Nature’ was an exhibition about talent, perspicacious thinking, thoughtful reflections, rich histories and the wonders of a world endowed with its own amazing ‘super nature’ – one that continues to inspire, excite and enthral.


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Next was a visit to TARQ Gallery, where Philippe Calia’s show Lēthē was displayed. In this show, the artist employs photochemigrams, cyanotypes, and video to explore the materiality of our digital memory. Lēthē is a nod to the mythical River of Lethe, where all those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness. Reappraising this myth, Calia evokes the fluidity of memory and its possible residues, notably through the repeated gesture of diluting through chemicals various types of photographic prints. He had structured the exhibition around his childhood memories while taking the beholder on the ride down the memory lane.


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The students then visited Shifting Waters, a two-person exhibition at Mumbai’s Jhaveri Contemporary. It featured photographs by the Ceylonese polymath Lionel Wendt (b. 1900) and a new suite of paintings and works on paper by London-based artist Jake Grewal (b. 1994). Tangled limbs, dark shadows, bark, and skin twist together throughout the exhibition, but the most beguiling element is light itself, which, for both artists, abstracts everything it hits. It’s the common substance – the binding agent – that bridges the century-long continuum of South Asian queer figuration, on either side of which these two artists practice. In their photos and paintings, Wendt and Grewal use the male figure as a template, reduced to the body’s gestural outlines, to explore questions of identity, imperial power, and aesthetic inheritance. Their direct juxtaposition puts the painterly effects of Wendt’s photographic experiments into relief alongside Grewal’s playful absorption of surrealist narrative and tonality.


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As the final stop for the day, the students visited Amshu Chukki’s second solo exhibition at Chatterjee & Lal - Different Danny and Other Stories. Here, Chukki foregrounds the skills, devices and conditions to conjure an atmosphere that complicates labour and its relationship to the architecture of cinema. He delves into cinematic time through film, installations, and paintings with these ‘background’ protagonists.

It was a day students would remember as they realised how close the connection between art and luxury was.





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