Celebrated works of 11 masters of the 19th and the 20th century, including Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin and Henri Rousseau, splashed across larger than life HD screens, came alive at a first of its kind multimedia art expositio
n in the national capital with a promise to transport viewers into a whirlpool of colour, sound and emotions.
The grand spectacle, titled ‘The Drifting Canvas’, was thrown open to art connoisseurs, enthusiasts and mainstream audiences by Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, who inaugurated the exposition at Delhi’s Select Citywalk Mall in Saket last evening.
The minister was accompanied by Nana M. Mgeladze, Counsellor (Culture), Embassy of the Russian Federation; Yasha Yavorskaya, curator of the show, N Manikantan, CEO of Esperienza Exhibitions that has brought the exhibition to India, and Arjun Sharma, Director, Select Citywalk.
Beginning with the anteroom, the exposition provides an electrifying and immersive experience to visitors keen on knowing the life stories of the artists featured in the exhibition and historical context of The Drifting Canvas, a joint initiative of Bengaluru-based art platform Esperienza and Russian art cluster ArtPlay.
“The world’s best art has been presented through multimedia at a highly-recognised venue and nearly 40,000 people are expected to visit it,” Mahesh Sharma said.
The minister observed how India’s identity is inextricably linked with its art and culture and commented on the apt timing of this exposition, given that India and Russia are celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties this year. “I am sure people will enjoy viewing works of artists around the world, especially those from Russia,” he said.
The exposition has come to Delhi after travelling to more than 12 countries, including China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and Poland.
Mgeladze said the aim of the exhibition is to bring classical western art closer to the Indian public. “In Moscow, ‘The Drifting Canvas’ was very popular among common people, who visited it and participated in all kinds of activities that happened during the course of the exhibition,” she added.
The scintillating exposition, which attracted celebrities from the world of sports, fashion, arts, business and beauty, showcases works of the masters through a two-hour show, featuring more than 1,000 animated paintings.
The cutting edge show, which marries technology and art in a new and original format, has been mounted with the help of 7000 sq ft of panoramic screens, state of the art laser projectors, 24 larger-than-life HD screens and neo-classical music that transport spectators into an interactive and emotional space. In addition, the exhibition, which continues till June 15, allows audiences to experience 3D art wearing special glasses.
Stressing on the need for innovation in the realm of art, and why The Drifting Canvas needs to be in India, Yavorskaya said: “Art in its present form is restricted to galleries in India. Masses don’t really go there. This exhibition helps bring art out of the galleries. The new and different format creates interest about art in youngsters and educates them about classical art as well,” she noted.
Visitors can also check out the giant 12,000 sq ft exhibition space in the sprawling mall, which complements the larger than life animated paintings and 3-dimensional art perfectly.
“With a promise to deliver outstanding entertainment capsules to our shoppers, we bring The Drifting Canvas, an exclusively curated exposition on multimedia art. The aim is to bring art and technology together for an unforgettable experience,” said Arjun Sharma, director of Select Citywalk mall.
The opening ceremony also saw guests doing the rounds of the Indian contemporary art show titled ‘Desi Canvas’, adjacent to the main media hall. Carrying forward the theme of demystification of art, these series of eight shows, spread over the coming eight weeks are being curated by Aakshat Sinha. The shows feature works by marquee artists such as Anupam Sud, Paramjeet Singh, Arpana Caur, Biman B Das, Kanchan Chander, Kalicharan Gupta, Ananda Moy Banerjee and Ram V Sutar.
“The Drifting Canvas is going to create a much bigger ecosystem, where art, the artist and entertainment can come together and open up a space for a large number of people to come and enjoy,” said N Manikantan.
Explaining how the exhibition’s high footfall can act as a springboard for other activities in future, including auctions, master classes by artists, art classes for children and retail, Manikantan said, “Today in the Indian contemporary section, we are selling art, although not directly. With this exhibition, the idea is to stay within art, popularise it, and then be able to look into the peripheral areas aro
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