Established in 2006, Project 88, an art gallery in Colaba, Mumbai, occupies a 4,000-square-foot space housed within the historic confines of a century-old metal printing press. This venue is known for hosting a curated selection of some of the most innovative and thought-provoking artists currently active in the Indian subcontinent. If one seeks to gain insight into the future of contemporary art in South Asia, Project 88 serves as an ideal starting point.
Project 88 has cultivated an environment conducive to the exhibition of experimental and ambitious artworks across various media. The gallery focuses on artists whose creative practices are deeply rooted in robust conceptual frameworks. While dedicated to the discovery and nurturing of emerging talent, Project 88 also collaborates with established, globally recognized artists from South Asia and beyond, showcasing their cutting-edge and cerebrally stimulating creations. Additionally, the gallery regularly participates in diverse art fairs, and many of its affiliated artists have earned places in prestigious international collections, biennales, and museum exhibitions.
Recently, Project 88 has announced that their gallery will be the venue for the renowned painter, Shreyas Karle’s upcoming exhibition. As a precursor to the exhibition, there will be a series of engaging mentorship programs for students along with a few public events in the gallery space hosted by CONA Foundation. CONA, located in Borivali, Mumbai, stands on the border between civilization and wilderness, with its walls marking the boundary with the National Park territory. It was established in 2012 by Shreyas Karle and co-artist Hemali Bhuta, along with a group of friends who initially shared the studio. Over time, CONA has evolved with people coming and going, but Karle and Bhutia have remained as the enduring fixtures of the space.
In the beginning, the artists envisioned a setup reminiscent of the Bauhaus movement. After completing their master's degrees at M.S. University in Baroda and moving to Bombay in 2010, they strongly felt the need for shared working studios. They wanted a place where artists could be open about their practices, where the boundaries between individual and collective spaces could blur, and where knowledge could be freely exchanged, not hoarded for personal advancement but shared for collective learning, inquiry, and critique. This vision led to the establishment of CONA as a creative space. Over the years, CONA has transformed into a communal environment where artists come together to live, eat, work, and think collectively while preserving their individuality.
The first workshop/mentorship program is being conducted by talented singers and composers Vedanth Bharadwaj and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy. They will guide students during a two-day session focused on discovering unity within our collective voice through music. Trained under the illustrious Indian Carnatic vocalist Neyveli Santhanagopalan from the age of four, Vedanth Bharadwaj is a well-established vocalist and composer from Mumbai. He is a qualified guitarist from Trinity College London and is renowned for his work with songs and poems from the Bhakti Movement.
A recipient of the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer in 2018 for the film Nathicharam, Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy is a talented Chenna-born singer and composer. She has composed and recorded several songs for films and albums in Tamil, Hindi, and Kannada languages. From a tender age, she has been trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani music and her primary influences include the poems of saint Kabir and the songs of Kumar Gandharva.
This two-day mentorship program by Vedanth Bharadwaj and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy will be held on the 16th (Saturday) and 17th of September 2023 (Sunday). The Project 88 gallery space has has limited seating arrangement. Hence prior registration is compulsory. Register and confirm your seat by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While this workshop is limited to the registered participants, on Saturday, following their workshop session, the gallery space will be open to everyone for a special performance by Vedanth and Bindhumalini, starting at 6:30 PM. If you’re an Indian classical music enthusiast, you’re in for an enriching evening of music.
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