In one of Amsterdam’s most famous squares, the Museumplein, is a large sign in front of the Rijksmuseum that says I amsterdam. And while the capital of the Netherlands is famous for a great many things, this art installation has, over the last few years, made it even more of a talking point. On one hand, the installation is just a simple sign, but on the other, it’s (as its website puts it) ‘An introduction, a slogan, a statement of inclusion and a physical icon - I amsterdam is the city’s and its residents’ collective catch phrase.’ And that couldn’t be truer—it’s become a high talking point and features in as many Instagrams as do the city’s famous waterways and its famous floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt.
Now, it seems as though Mumbai is about to get its own installation embodying the spirit of the city. Called Love Mumbai, the installation was earlier part of 2016’s Kala Ghoda Festival, but will now have a permanent spot at the promenade at Bandra Reclamation. It was designed by Hitesh Malaviya (Rocky) and Hanif Kureshi for an initiative by St+art India and Asian Paints, and the half-and-half typographic sculpture is an accurate embodiment of the cultural melting pot that is Mumbai.
Humans of Bombay had earlier petitioned to have this artwork publicly displayed once the festival came to an end, and even St+art India had put in a request with the BMC for the same. Then, that’s all we heard about it for a while.
Yesterday, Aditya Thackeray, the leader of Shiv Sena’s Youth Wing announced on Facebook that Asian Paints and St+art had been successful in getting the BMC to allocate space for Love Mumbai as a permanent installation at Bandra Reclamation. “Been wanting such an installation for our city for years now, fell in love with this when I saw it on FB from Kala Ghoda. Couldn’t let it be dismantled. Had to be placed again!” said Thackeray in his Facebook post.
Moreover, Thackeray claims that design for another installation is underway. Maybe in time, the entire promenade will become a permanent art exhibit—a talking point of its own against the backdrop of the city’s skyline—with outdoor installations dotting the pavement.