Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Learning Adventures- Art Galleries and Museums

Kiran Rao, the film maker, in a panel discussion at the Think Festival (Tehelka) in Goa discussed how creating more spaces for art and culture could help strengthen the cultural creation and appreciation process of a nation.

Growing I was always intrigued by the world of art. Mumbai has vibrant art community. When I first came to Mumbai, I made it a point to visit every art gallery and cultural space in the city. At bookstores I would read books about the evolution of man and how art has evolved parallel to man’s thinking. I found so many!

Events at these Spaces

I would read the events section of the daily newspaper and take a note of any exhibition openings happening around the city. I attended such opening of the works of painters, photgraphers, cartoonists and graphic artists.

The Jehangir Art Gallery in South Mumbai always had a calendar full of such events. I got to attend some very insightful talks by creative people from different professions here. The Museum in South Mumbai was another place I liked visiting often. The museum would organize talks inviting guest speakers like professors, p.h.d scholars, collectors and artists. The talks would be about subject as varied as language, culture, city planning, poetry readings and more. The Asiatic Society Library also held some public lectures in South Mumbai.

Meeting a Hero at an Art Gallery in Mumbai

One event that remains fresh in my memory was an art exhibition opening of Raghava KK, an Indian cartoonist and artist. The news network CNN, described Raghava as one of the ten most creative people in the world. Raghava was born and brought up in Bangalore and started his career with freelance work for local papers. He has never looked back since and is now a world renowned artist.

I was inspired by how Raghava created a career in a field he was passionate about even after within a system that was designed to encourage youngsters to choose what is safe.

Why I loved Raghava's Work

I often saw the TED Talks online (TED short for technology, entertainment and design). It is a world conference where people are given eighteen minutes to share their life changing ideas. Raghava’s Talk was one of the most popular ones on the TED Website. I saw the talk and hoped I got to meet him someday.

I had gone to an earlier exhibition of his, but could not meet him there. I got to the Gallery twenty minutes early. I approached Raghava and spoke to him about his work for a while. I also gifted him a copy of my second book 101 Habits to Greatness. 

I shared the story of the campaign and the book with him after that.
He congratulated me and told me to keep doing what I did. Raghava KK also introduced me to Anand Gandhi, the indian film maker and director of the movie, ‘Ship of Theseus’. I also got to meet Laxmi Pratury, the lady that brought TED Talks and the popular Innovation and Knowledge Talks to India.

People you Meet at Art Galleries

I also got to speak to a popular VJ from MTV, a renowned fiction writer, and an employee from Walt Disney. It was extra-ordinary that I had the opportunity to network with such creative people. Such a wonderful creative community at these spaces. Everyone was so nice and so open to share ideas.

It was such a great learning experience for me. This would not have happened had I not developed the curiosity to meet and learn from the people and environment around me. Lifeschool was doing me good.

Let us Learn Together
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