How Art Deco nurtured an enduring love affair with India

A few days before the show opened, photographer Akshay Mahajan visited the Sea Green Hotel on Marine Drive, where he observed and documented its anachronistic vibe – from the architecture to the guestbook to the keys to staff interaction. “There is a certain sense of stillness and a way of life that he is able to capture in his photographsShah reflects.

A notable addition to the program is jewelry designer Hanut Singh, who brings specially commissioned pieces crafted through an inimitable play of precious, semi-precious and less precious stones. “He’s a bit irreverent of these forms,” ​​Shah expresses. “They’re incredibly playful, almost like scaled-down pieces of architecture that you can wear. To get the essence of Art Deco into something about two inches, it takes a lot Arts and crafts– which makes it very interesting for me to have Hanut on the show.

Suite 213 – Untitled 1 by Akshay Mahajan

The work of photographer Hashim Badani brings a powerful political layer to the exhibition. His photographs of the Art Deco architecture of the Mohammed Ali Road and Byculla districts of Mumbai, taken from JJ Flyover, are a commentary on the inequalities of urban development. “You would never build such a flyover on Marine DriveShah says, “but somewhere you think it’s okay for progress to compromise on certain neighborhoods and buildings. Badani also photographed one of the city’s last remaining Urdu schools, highlighting how declining architecture can impact entire communities and cultures.

Christopher S. Washington