Bengaluru to have South India’s first private museum

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Bengaluru is gearing up for introducing South India’s first major private art museum, which will be inaugurated digitally with a virtual festival lasting a week starting from December 5 to 11 for celebrating different art forms.

Scheduled for a December opening, the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), it was delayed further due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 5-storey museum building will be open for visitors in the following year, but, it will be available virtually, with the founders feeling hopeful that the art forms will be appreciated on a larger scale with online launch.

The trustee-founder Abhishek Poddar, emphasized on the inclusive nature of MAP, and how the lockdown played a pivotal role in helping him understand the utilization of online space.

Poddar said, “We began looking at how we could engage with our online communities… From interactive digital engagement pieces to taking our Art and Culture lecture series online and enhancing our website to feature more content, we experimented with different things in a bid to understand our audiences better. And in doing that we noticed a sharp increase in the number of people interacting with MAP online.”

Regarding the virtual launch of the museum, Poddar said, will extend the reach of art, “There is clearly a desire in people to learn more about art, even among those who might sometimes find a physical museum or gallery either intimidating or boring,” he said.

MAP Director, Kamini Sawhney revealed the virtual launch festival, ‘Art (is) Life’ commencing on December 5, is an opportunity to let art penetrate into the heart of the community. Kamini said, “The programming has been conceived around the interconnections between the arts and how each has enriched the other. Each day presents a range of perpsectives – from expert introductions to a tour of artworks – so everyone can find something to enjoy.” The opening night of the museum launch will have different forms of art expressions like poetry, art, dance, and music. The launch will be attended by eminent personalities like Javed Akhtar, Malavika Sarukkai, Arundhati Nag, Shabana Azmi, and Nandita Das.

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