By MOA Correspondent
As part of its public art initiative, RPG Art Foundation in partnership with Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) unveiled a400 kg, eight-feet tall bronze installation of the Cameraman in Bandra West, near Mehboob Studio on April 12, 2017.
Conceptualised by Mumbai-based sculptor Suryakant Lokhande, the Cameraman is a tribute to India’s visionary film makers for their contribution to the field of cinema. This work of public art in bronze was inaugurated by distinguished film director Ashutosh Govarikar in presence of Member of Legislative Council Ashish Shelar and Harsh Goenka, Chairman, RPG Enterprises.
Indian cinema is an integral part of our daily lives, shaping thousands of dreams, lives and destinies. Within its diverse framework of Bollywood versus regional cinema, art house versus blockbuster, it continues to be the thread that binds thousands of countrymen. In its glorious 100-years history, it has produced some of the finest directors, path-breaking films and exceptionally talented actors. With over 1,500-2,000 films being made annuallyinvolving 400 production houses, the Indian film industry is the largest producer of films globally.
About his work, Suryakant Lokhande, said, "The Cameraman is intrinsic to Bollywood and Mumbai. Also, we all have a cameraman within us as we collect memories frof Sir JJ School of Arts, Mumbai. Working across a variety of media including painting, sculpture, videography and installation, his work reflects a deep involvement with ambivalent meanings, oscillating between tradition and modernity. Lokhande thrives on creating art depicting misinterpretation, misconceptions, conflict, philosophy, and contradiction, thus exploring human drama and contemporary life.
One of the brightest young painters working in modern day Maharashtra, he has won awards at the State Art Exhibition, the Camlin Competition and the Bombay Art Society Award. Selected as an Emerging Artist for the Dutch documentary film on India Contemporary Artists, he also featured in the ‘Hiroshima – Nagasaki Never Again’ exhibition held in Japan. He has received the Vijay Pokharnas Award and the prize for the most outstanding work in the 105th Annual Art Exhibition of the Bombay Art Society.
In 2014 distinguished industrialist and art aficionado Harsh Goenka entrusted RPG Art Foundation to come up with a plan to beautify public spaces in Mumbai. After much deliberation with stakeholders involving the civic authorities and the artist community at large, the idea of city beautification through public art was signed off.
“We want to create works that would be iconic and represent Mumbai in different ways. Suryakant’s Cameraman is a tribute to every person who is associated with the Indian Media and Entertainment industry. I would wholeheartedly like to thank MCGM for supporting us and giving us the necessary permissions for making Mumbai more beautiful. An initiative of this mammoth proportion can only be accomplished with the unflinching support of the civic body,” said Harsh Goenka, Chairman, RPG Art Foundation.
On March 31, Mumbai-based sculptor Valay Shende’s sculpture Dabbawala was unveiled at Haji Ali in Mumbai as part of the same initiative. Conceptualized by Mumbai-based sculptor Valay Shende, the Dabbawala has been a recurrent motif in the artist’s work. Mumbai’s Dabbawalas are an unusual network of lunch-delivery men who ferry lunch boxes from homes to offices and back with the precision and efficiency that is the hallmark of global courier companies. Their on-time delivery and service excellence generated the curiosity of Harvard Business School professors who studied their unique model and today the business school has a case study on Mumbai’s famous Dabbawalas. The association has also been honoured by the British royal family at more than few occasions.
Other prominent installations by RPG Art Foundation are: Arzan Khambatta’s Rhino that was an integral part of CEAT’s brand identity; The Baby Head by Chintan Upadhayay depicts the impression a city makes on the personality of a child; Jaideep Mehrotra’s ‘Sachin’ is a visual tribute to the iconic cricketer whose home is Mumbai and Sunil Padwal’s Tetrapod installed at Worli Seaface is a reminder of the reclaimed land of the seven islands that forms the Mumbai of today.