Mumbai 400001

Site-specific mural commissioned by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai.

Date: August 2021

Medium: Original works were made with gouache and solid markers on paper.

Vinyl-printed mural pasted on glass + gesso, acrylic paints and solid markers.


This mural is a response to the constant back and forth between what was and what is, what exists in its natural state and also its variations ; the formations, structures and shapes that occur as a result of this tension over long periods of time. How does the ‘alternative’ become gentrified? How do materials and texture mark time – heritage, contemporary or a mash-up? What are the adjustments that are made in order to accommodate new inhabitants and users as per their current requirements?

Examples : Structures built more than a century ago are ‘adjusted’ in order to make space for Air Conditioners. ‘Updated’ service ducts (that contain electrical wiring, plumbing, etc) are built on/in old buildings and are usually hidden on the back side or carefully camouflaged with the colours so they don’t come in the way of pristine picturesque views of heritage areas. ‘Chajjas’ are introduced for structures that originally didn’t have them. Shop signages are accommodated in complex and dense spaces.

The colour swatch outside the canvas area is also a part of the work. These swatches are commonly seen on new or under ‘renovation’ housing societies or commercial complexes. They seem to be disappearing as more and more new buildings have replaced paint with aluminium composite panels and glass surfaces. These swatches are a symbol of ‘work in progress’; a symbol for a metropolis which is always a ‘work in progress’. Eventually the city leaves its mark on the surface of these buildings.

All Photos by: Anil Rane

Photo courtesy: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai



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