BMW Guggenheim Lab Opens in Mumbai on December 9, 2012


WEBWIRE – Friday, December 07, 2012

MUMBAI, – Opening in Mumbai from Sunday, December 9, 2012 through Sunday, January 20, 2013 and presented in collaboration with the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the BMW Guggenheim Lab will offer free public programs and projects throughout the city under the theme ME=WE. On the third stop of this mobile initiative, the Mumbai Lab will address challenges and opportunities related to public space and the choices Mumbaikars make to balance individual (“me”) and community (“we”) interests.

Part urban think tank, community center, and public gathering space, the BMW Guggenheim Lab is a global project aimed at raising awareness of important urban challenges and inspiring an ongoing conversation in cities around the world. The six-week program at the Mumbai Lab’s central site on the rear plaza of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum will be presented from 3 to 9 pm, Thursday through Monday. Activities also will be offered on dedicated dates from 5 to 9 pm at additional Labs in five communities throughout the city:

-Horniman Circle (Fort): December 13-17
-Sambhaji Park (Mulund East): December 20-24
-Priyadarshini Park (Malabar Hill): December 27-30
-Batliboy Compound (Mill Worker Colony): January 3-7
-Mahim Beach (Mahim): January 10-13

In addition to participating in free programs at the Lab sites, the public is invited to visit the project website, join the dedicated online social communities, and subscribe to the Lab’s e-newsletter for the latest news.

“The purpose of the BMW Guggenheim Lab is to explore urban life in the streets, and through the eyes of the people who live in cities,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “After launching the Lab in New York and taking it to Berlin, we are excited to bring this project to Mumbai, one of the most complex, populous, and culturally rich cities in the world.”

Mr. Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, “There is no better place to host the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Mumbai than the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum – and there is no better partner for this project than the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. We fully realize that the Lab, after New York and Berlin, has already come a long way to connect the people of the world to jointly take on the challenges that lie ahead for all of us in the megacities of today and tomorrow. With this realization comes the knowledge that the reason for the Lab’s success is each and every one who actively participates in this project, be it online or on site. In this regard, we are already convinced that Mumbai will once again prove to be a welcoming metropolis for new ideas and perpetual innovation.”

“We are pleased to collaborate with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the BMW Group to bring the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai to the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum,” said Tasneem Mehta, Managing Trustee and Honorary Director, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. “We hope that our series of interactive family programs and participatory activities will inspire Mumbai’s youth to consider the future of urban life and their role in shaping it.”

Mumbai Lab Programs

The Mumbai Lab’s programs will include design projects, participatory studies, tours, talks, workshops, film screenings, and cultural activities. Creative and hands-on activities will bring the public together with design professionals, city officials, and urban planners to address issues related to transportation, housing, water, and governance. In addition, city tours will explore the psychological effects of public space. Design projects include an open competition to develop solutions for a heavily congested traffic junction in Mumbai and an exploration of ways to refit infrastructure with new public space and pedestrian functions. Please visit the Lab’s online calendar for more details on individual programs.

“Our hope for the programming of the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai is to continue to expand participation beyond the traditional museum audience,” said Mumbai Lab Curator David van der Leer. “Everyone who lives in a city has a stake in its future, and our programs are designed to bring people of all backgrounds and viewpoints together to address important issues related to urban life.”

Mumbai Lab Team

Programs have been developed by the Mumbai Lab Team (Aisha Dasgupta, Neville Mars, Trupti Amritwar Vaitla, and Héctor Zamora), an international, multidisciplinary group of innovators and experts, in coordination with Guggenheim curators David van der Leer and Stephanie Kwai, the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum team, and locally based program consultants Swati Abhijit, Sourav Biswas, Vikram Doctor, Naresh Fernandes, Aaron Pereira, Surabhi Sharma, and Pooja Warier.

Mumbai Lab Architecture

As in New York and Berlin, the physical structure of the Mumbai Lab is in character with its urban environment. Tokyo architects Atelier Bow-Wow, working with Mumbai architect Samir D’Monte, have designed an L-shaped structure made primarily of bamboo that is uniquely suited to the plaza site at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum and to the densely populated city, as well as a modified version of the Lab that will travel to the satellite sites throughout Mumbai.

Visitor Information

All BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai programs are free and open to the public during operational hours. Most of the Lab’s programs and events will take place in English, and most will be accessible on a first-come, first-served basis; programs to be delivered in Hindi and Marathi will be noted on the Lab’s calendar, as will programs with limited space that require an RSVP.

About the BMW Guggenheim Lab

The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a co-initiative of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the BMW Group. The BMW Guggenheim Lab is curated by David van der Leer and Maria Nicanor of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The project’s blog, Lab | Log, features interviews with BMW Guggenheim Lab contributors and includes coverage of the Lab’s activities. The public is invited to join the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s dedicated social communities on Twitter (@BMWGuggLab and #BGLab), Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Foursquare, and to subscribe to the Lab’s e-newsletter for the latest project updates.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The global network that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997), the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin (1997-2013), and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi currently under development. Looking to the future, the Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that take contemporary art, architecture, and design beyond the walls of the museum. More information about the foundation can be found at guggenheim.org.

About BMWʼs Cultural Commitment

For more than 40 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in more than 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on modern and contemporary art, jazz and classical music as well as architecture and design. The BMW Group has also been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last eight years. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group’s Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson, Jeff Koons, Zubin Metha, Daniel Barenboim and Anna Netrebko have cooperated with BMW. The company has also commissioned famous architects such as Karl Schwanzer, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au to design important corporate buildings and plants. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all the cultural activities it is involved in for granted – as this is just as essential for groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business. Further information: bmwgroup.com/culture and bmwgroup.com/culture/overview.

About the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum

The Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum is Mumbai’s oldest Museum, established in 1872 as the Victoria & Albert Museum, Bombay. The collection showcases the history and cultural development of Mumbai City. The Museum’s collection of fine and decorative arts features significant examples of the early modern art practice and craftsmanship. The Museum’s restoration project, supported by the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation and completed by INTACH, won UNESCO’s highest award of Excellence for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2005. The Museum has launched an extensive exhibition program that showcases major Indian artists and collaborates with international institutions to bring contemporary art into Mumbai’s public spaces. These exhibitions are part of the Museum’s initiative of creating a public forum for dialogue on contemporary urban issues. For more information, visit bdlmuseum.org.

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