In January 2013, Mumbai’s gardens and beaches will become the source of inspiration for a group of Indian and international artists who will create artworks never seen in India before in spaces uncommon for the visual arts.

[en]counters-powerPLAY, curated and produced by Mumbai-based art organizations ArtOxygen and Asia Art Projects, in collaboration with C&G ArtPartment (Hong Kong), Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta (Italy), Satellite Art Projects (Australia), StudioX (India) and Celebrate Bandra Trust (India), will take place from the 11th to 20th January 2013. The artists’ performances and installations will take place along the city’s waterfronts and gardens. It is part of the series [en]counters, an annual artistic project that, since 2010, has explored the everyday life of the city. The theme under scrutiny is energy as power, light and connections between people. It will create new points of intersection in spaces still reserved for amusement amidst a constantly changing landscape. Its purpose is to highlight how our public spaces can be used as active areas which can positively affect our ways of living.

A wide network of art collaborations will take place: Simon Maidment, from Melbourne-based Satellite Art Projects is “very excited and thrilled with the idea of bringing Australian artists to such a diverse context as Mumbai city.” The Telepathy Project explores alternate ways of communicating as they will be singing to the sea about their dreams during their stay at Mumbai which will be performed as a series of short songs corresponding to each dream day, a unique way of mapping their time in India in a conscious and unconscious way.
Clara Cheung and Gum Cheng run C&G-Artpartment in Hong Kong, an art collective that is bringing 6 events to the city, encourage a participatory approach. Wai Ian Chung’s Ghost Stories will illuminate the Carter Road Promenade with luminous paintings of local stories she collects during her residency in Mumbai. Clara Cheung will create an installation depicting Mumbai’s skyline using recycled bottles and aluminum cans. People will be invited to pour seawater into the cans that will light up the work at night.
Martina Mazzotta from the Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta in Milan is keen to see how people will react to Italian artist Pietro Pirelli, whose Mumbai Traffic Flowers will transform city noises into visual melodies using light and water.
The subject of energy will be tackled from a very different perspective by the Indian artists. Vibha Galhotra will continue her exploration of Indian waterways by collecting sediments from the Mithi river that she will use to create sculptures from fishing nets. Sharmila Samant proposes to take advantage of the creative skills of a group of architecture students to create an open thinking space in the form of a library in Mankhurd. Reena Kallat plays with the idea of hierarchies and power relationships through a puzzle-like cube sculpture formed by 20 sports podiums with jumbled numbering and levels. Mansi Bhatt’s  NO Moral provokes passers-by as she investigates the meaning of energy as love walking through Bandra Carter Rd. Promenade disguised as an angel. The Red Swing Project will generate unexpected playgrounds in the city by inviting people to a do-it-yourself approach as he sets up his swing installations. Tobias Megerle of German origin, based in Mumbai, will create an ‘invisible’ seat where those who sit on it appear to levitate.

The artistic events will be held in Horniman Circle Garden, StudioX, Juhu Beach and Carter Road Promenade. Along with the artistic interventions, an outreach program will be incorporated into the project in collaboration with educational institutions and NGO’s.

The project will be organized with the support of the Australian Government, the Australia Council for the Arts, Exhibit 320, the Last Ship, the Goethe Institut – Max Mueller Bhavan, the University of Melbourne, the Victoria State Government, and the Victorian College for the Arts.

A special thanks to Bandra (W) Residents Association, Juhu Scheme Residents Association, and Mumbai Waterfronts Centre.