What once started as a community building exercise between a handful of galleries in the city is now one of the buzziest social events in Mumbai. Le Mill spoke to Atyaan Jungalwala, Co-founder of Chemould Colab, and the organiser for the 2024 edition of the Mumbai Gallery Weekend on what to expect this weekend.
What is the process of planning for Mumbai Gallery Weekend like?
Mumbai Gallery Weekend is an annual event where the galleries across the city come together with some of their best exhibitions as part of their programming, all previewing on the same day. This really creates a huge buzz around the art scene in the city. MGW originally began as an offsite venture where a few galleries from south Bombay came together, taking art to suburbs like Bandra. A few iterations later, the gallerists decided to bring the focus to the galleries. This event has exponentially grown in the last decade with the growing art community and introduction of a lot more galleries. The core team of Mumbai Gallery Weekend have been instrumental in shaping and organising this event every year. Recently it was structured to be under the ownership of a specific gallery for two years. This year is Chemould Prescott Road turn and it's been a very exciting build up behind planning this over the last few months. We've redesigned the brand identity this year which was something super fun to launch. Other than that the planning involves coordinating with all the galleries, reaching out to sponsors and partners and organising the offsite events taking place such as talks and parties as part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend to really bring the city alive centred around the art scene.
Chemould Prescott Road
Any shows you are looking forward to in particular?
I'm really looking forward to opening up our show at Chemould CoLab. Most of the works were made in the space during the residency the artist Kuldeep Singh had with us over the summer of 2023. It feels extra special to put up a show while we've been so involved in the artists process as he conceived and made these works. I'm really looking forward to seeing an old time favourite of mine, Nikhil Chopra's show at Chatterjee and Lal. I'm excited to see Anant Joshi after a long time at Chemould Prescott Road. Amongst other galleries I'm looking forward to are, Jhaveri Contemporary, Tarq, Isa, Mirchandani and Steinruecke, Project 88, Gallery experimenter.
1- Galerie ISA 9, Ricky Vasan, I Am Too Afraid To Let All Of This Fade Away, 2- Galerie Mirchandani+Steinruecke, Sangram Majumdar, 3- Experimenter, Sohrab Hura, Full moon night in Karaikal, 4- Jhaveri Contemporary, Muhanned Cader, 'Island in the sky #9', 5- Chemould CoLab, Kuldeep Singh 1, 6- Project 88, Ashwini Bhat, Self Portrait, Nagalinga Pushpa
Are there any walks or events for young visitors or those not from the art world?
We have speakers coming down from the UAE for the talks program supported by India Art Fair. The talk is about curatorial futures: Art foundations in the UAE, taking place in the amphitheatre of CSMVS on Saturday 13th Jan at noon. There are the curated route gallery hops taking place, hosted by Art and Wonderment which are freely accessible to anyone that would like to join. Through these hops either the team from art and wonderment will host the walkthrough or galleries will have their own unique experiences to offer. Apart from this, there is Soho House hosting a private hop between a few galleries to some of their members and young aspiring art collectors. All the galleries will be open from 10am to 8pm through the entire weekend expecting to welcome a large footfall of people at their galleries.
What can you tell us about Mumbai’s relationship with art–how has it evolved over time?
Amongst the usual art world circle of collectors, artists, gallerists, curators and writers there definitely has been a huge wave of people developing an interest in visiting galleries in the last few years, with each month art night Thursday being the thing to do. It might be a social event for many, but even through each if it manages to shift the mindset of a few to really begin to develop an appreciation and understanding of art - these events really do serve the purpose of these events being so widely demographic and welcoming anybody to visit what seems an intimidating space to visit. There has also been a huge increase in the number of galleries in the city which is great too.