Bengaluru’s cultural scene is set to dazzle as the Museum of Art and Photography unveils two captivating exhibitions during its annual cultural festival, ‘Art is Life: Old Threads, New Stories,’ from December 1 to 3.
The first exhibition, ‘What The Camera Didn’t See,’ is a mesmerizing fusion of photography and miniature art. Developed through the collaboration of Pink City Studio, Riyaz Uddin, and Alexander Gorlizki, the exhibition transforms photographs of Indian royalty and common people into stunning miniature paintings and other art pieces. Gorlizki, working between Brooklyn and Jaipur, meticulously conceptualizes each composition, realized by Riyaz Uddin and his team using vibrant pigments, stone colors, and gold leaf. The intricate details, applied with a single hair-tipped brush, create a seamless blend of cultures and artistic techniques. The pieces traverse between Brooklyn and Jaipur’s Old City, evolving over the years as Gorlizki refines content, forms, and colors. The collaborative process adds layers to the art, with each artist contributing until the work reaches its final, breathtaking form.
The museum’s festival is an integral part of the Unboxing Bengaluru Habba initiative, fostering cultural inclusivity by waiving admission fees throughout the event. This gesture ensures that everyone has the opportunity to engage with and appreciate the diverse artistic expressions on display.
The second exhibition, ‘The Book of Gold,’ curated by Parul Singh and the late Kavita Singh, challenges historical perceptions about the decline of miniature painting in North India during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Displaying around 80 pages from the Kanchana Chitra Ramayana of Banaras, created between 1796 and 1814, the exhibition showcases the exceptional detail and vibrancy of these paintings. The depictions, intended to accompany verses from the Ramayana, depict scenes such as Jambavan striking Ravana and the vanaras scaling the walls of Lanka. An interactive display allows visitors to create their miniatures by manipulating physical tokens, adding an engaging and participatory element to the exhibit.
On December 2 and 3, Alexander Gorlizki will lead walkthroughs of ‘What The Camera Didn’t See,’ offering insights into the artistic process. The December 3 walkthrough will be accompanied by interpretations in Indian sign language, promoting accessibility for all. Additionally, film screenings by MAP and a miniature painting workshop conducted by Riyaz Uddin at 11 am on both days provide further opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in the world of art. The festivities continue with a performance by the Tulu band Alva Kuuto at 7 pm on December 2, adding a musical dimension to the cultural celebration.