Imagine being surrounded by the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet or Gustav Klimt and yet not being able to appreciate them. “When you see a piece of art but do not understand the history behind it, you cannot completely comprehend or appreciate it. The history of any art piece—that of the social or political era and of the artist—is important,” says Yogeshwar Sharma, executive director of Select Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, which owns the Select Citywalk mall in Saket, Delhi.
The mall is playing host to a one-of-a-kind multimedia art exposition where digitized art by famous artists will be shown as part of a 2-hour show starting Saturday. The exhibition, The Drifting Canvas, will feature works by Edgar Degas, Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Gauguin, Van Gogh, Monet and Klimt, among others. The works will be showcased in “zones”. Having already travelled to countries such as Russia, Poland, Germany, China, Malaysia and Singapore, the exhibition is making its India debut in the Capital and will then move to Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.
The first zone—the Anteroom—will give the audience an idea of the changes that have happened in art over 100 years (1860-1960). The life stories of the artists, along with the way impressionism and the avant-garde era influenced their work, will be shown through multimedia presentations and voice-overs on a historical timeline. The audience will get to see the important events of the century, political coups, the industrial revolution, etc., and learn about the development of the genre of cinematography, which has resulted in the advent of the multimedia format.
The chronological arrangement of the videos will help viewers understand modern art as well as the way each artist’s personal style went through changes. Each zone has been created as a makeshift air-conditioned hall in the mall pavilion, with more than 800 sq. m of screen space. Imagine being in a movie theatre—only, in this case, you will be walking through it and the movie will be playing all around you.
From the Anteroom, visitors will move to the Multimedia Hall where 12 feature shorts, each 5-6 minutes in length, will be shown. The shorts will deal with the lives of the artists whose works are on display, along with their historical background. Digital screens will bring over 1,000 paintings to life as they move with music. And finally, the Interactive zone will include photo booths (visitors can choose any background or pattern for a photograph) and special 3D walls (visitors can be part of a painting by any of the artists and create interesting and unusual photographs).
“The idea behind the exhibition is to bring art to the public space. We are hoping this will sow the seeds of interest in common folk and that will have a viral effect in increasing awareness about art,” says N. Manikantan,…