A Mumbai Design Show Celebrating Art & Architecture Through A Distinctly Indian Lens

L: Exhibit by India Circus, a Godrej Venture R: Exhibit by Quattrefoil,
a metalware manufacturing studio by Oliver McInroy & Co, Quattrefoil
L: Exhibit by India Circus, a Godrej Venture R: Exhibit by Quattrefoil, a metalware manufacturing studio by Oliver McInroy & Co, QuattrefoilArchitectural Digest

Over the course of the weekend, the city of Mumbai was treated to a 3-day experience filled with exhibits of the finest luxury brands from the world of furniture, lighting, and antique decor. Sponsored by Asian Paints, the Architectural Digest Design Show 2022 featured some of the best exhibitors in India from the field of art and design. The first AD Design Show First Luxury Art and Design Fair was held in Mumbai in 2018, with much fanfare, and an excellent mix of respected industrialists, architects, interior designers, corporate head honchos, Bollywood celebrities, and socialites and this year’s edition was no different.

L: Exhibit by artisanal craft brand, Casegoods R: Exhibit by Rezon Silverware, a luxury home decor brand
L: Exhibit by artisanal craft brand, Casegoods R: Exhibit by Rezon Silverware, a luxury home decor brand Architectural Digest
L: Exhibit by premium home furnishings brand, Nesterra R: Exhibit by Gulmohar Lane, a premium home furnishing brand
L: Exhibit by premium home furnishings brand, Nesterra R: Exhibit by Gulmohar Lane, a premium home furnishing brandArchitectural Digest

The central theme of this year's show was celebrating 75 years of India’s independence symbolised through the AD Museum. The museum was converted to resemble a sanctum, exhibiting a collection of 75 photographs and objects curated to showcase India’s history since 1947. From architectural landmarks to objects of importance, the museum threw a spotlight on the ‘India Gaze’ and gave an anecdotal tour of India’s history through textiles, photos, architecture, and more.

The magnum opus of the show was The Birth of a Star by renowned artist Subodh Gupta. The installation featured two astronomical stainless steel pots transformed into what appears to be a collision between two celestial bodies, resulting in a blinding white light emerging from the mirrored void between them. Through this installation art, Gupta seeks out the universal and explores the existence of the cosmic in everyday objects. The idea is to witness the divine in the most humble of means.

'The Birth Of a Star' by Subodh Gupta
'The Birth Of a Star' by Subodh GuptaArchitectural Digest

Other installations included Alex Davis’s iconic piece Champa Vatika, which is five petal champa flowers made out of steel, from his collection of Hyper Blooms. Also, fashion design studio Istituto Marangoni showcased the winning design collection of their lockdown project for students in association with Cocoon Fine Rugs named Brutal Utopia.

L: 'Champa Vatika' by Alex Davis R: 'Brutal Utopia' by Istituto Marangoni
L: 'Champa Vatika' by Alex Davis R: 'Brutal Utopia' by Istituto MarangoniArchitectural Digest

There were thought-provoking talks on each of the days. The first day included:

Pinakin Patel in conversation with popular journalist & columnist — Gayatri Rangachari Shah.

Vikram Goyal in conversation with Mortimer Chatterjee on ‘creating value in Indian art traditions and contemporary design’.

Monika Correa in conversation with Mayank Mansingh Kaul.

The day ended with London-based designer Michael Anastassiades and Indian architect Bijoy Jain moderated by AD’s Komal Sharma.

The second day of the Power Talks included:

Channa Daswatte in conversation with Jay Mehta and Deepthi Sasidharan on ‘The making of a museum’

Naman Ahuja on the modern designers’ search for classical inspiration.

Ritu Sethi on continuing modernities: The cultural afterlives of Pupul Jayakar & Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay.

The day ended with Dayanita Singh in conversation with Komal Sharma on being awarded the Hasselblad Laureate 2022 and the associative book Sea of Files.

The third day included:

Amit Syngle, Payal Khandwala, and Sarah Sham’s talk titled Who’s afraid of color? moderated by Manju Sarah Rajan.

The highlight of the day was famous Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor Ahuja in conversation with her aunt, Kavita Singh.

Bollywood actress, Sonam Kapoor at the show
Bollywood actress, Sonam Kapoor at the showArchitectural Digest

"Bringing The AD Design Show back after three years has been a mad, crazy ride. The momentum that an event like this brings, it really cannot be compared to anything else. It’s a journey from ideas to a real physical show with collaboration at every level; from brands, from speakers, production, sales, marketing, editorial – it’s really a stupendous team effort and quite remarkable to witness and be a part of."

Komal Sharma, Head of Editorial Content, AD India

The AD Design show 2022 celebrated India’s rich and diverse design at the Jio World Convention Center this December. Be sure to attend such a visual treat in its next edition if you happen to be in the city.

You can find out more about Architectural Digest here.

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