Palladium, Mumbai launched Spirit of Bombay on Friday night, an exhibition of large scale sculptures by Valay Shende. The selection of artworks, inspired by the artist’s interpretation of motifs and anecdotes from the metropolis, were exhibited in the central atrium of the mall whilst the pièce de résistance , a colossal life-sized truck titled Transit (Truck) depicting migrant workers being brought into the city, was placed outside, along a walkway, for passersby to see.
On view to the public from 15 June - 31 August, Spirit of Bombay carries artworks that draw upon the city’s indomitable spirit; images such as those of commuters in the infamously busy Virar Fast local train and the iconic dabbawala - the tiffin delivery men who have been an integral part of Mumbai’s landscape. Made in Shende’s signature style of assembling stainless steel discs alongside other materials including the dials of wrist watches, the sculptures are intended to create a dialogue around ongoing social issues in Mumbai whilst bringing people together in a celebration of the cities history, culture and ethos.
Best known in Mumbai for his landmark dabbawala sculpture at Haji Ali, Shende’s work has continued to depict iconic images of Mumbai since he moved to the city to study at J.J. School of Art in the early 2000s. Having gone on to show work at museums and galleries around the world as well as India, Spirit of Bombay provides an opportunity for all Mumbaikers to see the artist’s distinct and recognisable works together in Mumbai.
Commenting on the launch of the exhibition Director of Palladium Mumbai, Gayatri Ruia said - “It’s been an absolute delight to be able to bring these incredible sculptures to Palladium Mumbai. We’ve taken on this ambitious exhibition because we believe in the power of public art in elevating the spirit of a city.
Valay Shende’s sculptures embody the spirit of Mumbai through their breathtaking scale and compelling social commentary. It’s heartwarming to see people across all walks of life enjoying the artworks, particularly the truck, which is an extraordinary work. We’re proud to be able to bring the artist’s unique imagining of the city to the people of Mumbai.”