St+art India Foundation and Asian Paints came together on 21st December 2022 to launch the three-month-long Mumbai Urban Art Festival (MUAF).
MUAF took on a city-scale endeavour, including landmark murals, experiential exhibitions, immersive installations and public programming across key venues.
Since 2014, St+art India and Asian Paints have collaborated to make art accessible to diverse audiences while contributing to urban regeneration and the cultural landscape. This has included areas such as Mahim East, Sassoon Dock, and Bandra and iconic sites such as Churchgate Station and Jindal Mansion. MUAF continues to engage with Mumbai through a long-standing effort to contribute to the contemporary public art heritage.
The festival brings together many artists and diverse practitioners every two years to create interdisciplinary projects. As always, MUAF explores different city areas to offer opportunities to rediscover lesser-known paths and forgotten narratives.
“We will explore different areas of the city in an attempt to offer opportunities to rediscover lesser-known paths and forgotten narratives. We encourage everyone to immerse themselves in the endless potential of urban art. We aim to create an unmissable appointment to put Mumbai on the global map of leading urban art. Team St+Art looks forward to creating public art in Mumbai every two years, to embed it in everyday life as a critical element for the growth of our society and value for our cities.” St+art India Foundation
From the suburbs to the centre and marginalized neighbourhoods to heritage locations, MUAF aims to look at the city as an interconnected organism where inclusivity through creativity becomes a foundation for action in the public realm.
The festival’s first edition traverses the idea of a “city in flux”, where the city, like water, is porous, regenerating, and fluid. A city of contrasts and coexistence with room for imagination, beauty, darkness and, most of all – complexities.
A maximum city, which continues to embody versatility and mobility in its character of being a port city, where every inch of space and engagement is often seemingly transactional. Encouraging the public to engage and experience the art, MUAF brought together a wide range of audiences in unexpected spots thanks to the work of over sixty local and international artists.
After a successful run in 2017, St+art and Asian Paints were delighted to return to one of the oldest docks of Mumbai, Sassoon Docks, to collaborate again with MbPA, this time on the special occasion of its 150th anniversary. Sassoon Dock became an art hub open to all in the heart of South Mumbai in the spirit of celebration, reimagination, and development.
“Mumbai Port Authority (MbPA) is pleased to be a part of the art exhibition at Sassoon Dock, which is one of the oldest docks from where cotton trade evolved, and this dock subsequently became a fishing harbour. MbPA has always supported such initiatives and believes that art sensitizes the communities for better appreciation and understanding of the subject and brings different segments of our society to a common platform. After the successful Sassoon Dock Art Project 1.0, we look forward to celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Mumbai Port on a grand artistic scale by collaborating with St+art India Foundation. The port has been a standing testimony of Mumbai’s evolution, and this art initiative is a step further in this direction.” Mr. Rajiv Jalota, IAS, Chairman, Mumbai Port Authority (MbPA)
Permanent outdoor murals now enrich this hyper-characteristic site while leading to the indoor experiential exhibitions. Large-scale site-specific installations, new media, and light-based works immersed the viewer in reflections between the sea and the city. Over the weekends, a host of workshops, talks, art walks, performances, concerts, dance events, kids activities and more activated Sassoon Docks.
To make the event sustainable, special attention was given to accessibility, urban tactical interventions, and community-based projects while reflecting and utilizing sustainable or recyclable materials and working alongside the local and creative communities towards a common goal.
“Asian Paints and St+Art India Foundation have been driving this collective vision of democratizing art for almost a decade now. We are truly proud of the 6 art districts and over 400+ murals that have been meaningfully created. We are excited to bring you our most formidable project this year. We have the biggest intervention with Mumbai Urban Art Festival, which will accentuate the city’s art and culture via murals, art installations, experiential exhibitions and the Asian Paints Art House at Sassoon. I can assure you; MUAF is going to be grand – something Mumbai has never seen before.” Mr. Amit Syngle, Managing Director & CEO, Asian Paints Ltd.
Participating Artists included Aashti Miller, Aarti Sunder, Ad Minoliti, Afzan Pirzade, Amrit Pal Singh, Andha Ras, Aravani Art Project, Atia Sen, Ali Salmi, Ayaz Basrai (Busride Studio), Daku, Dennis Fabian Peter, Durga Shakti Gawde, Faizan Khatri, Filthy Luker, Fintan Magee, Gaysi Family, Graphic Surgery, Guido Van Helten, H11235, Johnson Singh, Khyati Trehan, Katre, Koshy Brahmatmaj, Lady Aiko, Luzinterruptus, Martand Khosla, Martha Cooper , Meera Devidayal, Mr. Poes, Mona Caron, Naman Saraiya and Nikita Rana, Neethi, Okuda, Osheen Siva, Paola Delfin, Parag Tandel, Philippe Calia, Pranav Gohil, Rero, Rithika Pandey, Robin Meier, Ronak Soni, Sadhna Prasad, Sajid Wajid Shaikh, Sakshi Gupta, Sameer Kulavoor & Sandeep Meher, Santanu Hazarika, Senkoe, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Sheena Maria Piedade, Shripad Sinnakaar, Sohrab Hura, Steve Messam, Sumit Roy, Tarini Sethi, Trespassers, Vayeda Brothers, ZERO. Festival Partners Maharashtra Port Authority (MbPA), Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterway Government of India, Incredible India, G20 Summit, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, MHADA, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), SRA, Govt. of Maharashtra, Pro Helvetia, Institut Francais, Australian Consulate-General, Ambassade de Franc en Inde, Embassy of Spain, Embassy of Mexico, Alliance Francais, Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Saffron Art Foundation, Indorama Ventures, India Climate Collaborative, Spectrum Impact, Avid Learning, Art & Wonderment, Funclub, MuSo, Living Waters Museum, Google Arts and Culture, Bira, Impresario, Access For All, Yoda, Samsung – The Frame TV, Faizan Khatri Design Workshop, Sameep Padora and Associates, The Busride, Chemould, TARQ, Experimenter, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Nature Morte, Devi Art Foundation, Simchowitz Paytm Insider, Art Fervour, Mumbai Gallery Weekend, Crest Ventures, Start Foundation for Art and Culture, Ugaoo, Milton. Founding Patrons Zia Mody, Anjali Mody, Minal Vazirani, Dinesh Vazirani, Vijay & Sunita Choraria. Young Patron Mirik Gogri, Priyanka Agarwal, Avinash Goyal, Mihir Lunia Advisory Board Minal Vazirani, Amit Syngle, Asad Laljee, Dinesh Vazirani, Neale Murray, Priya Paul, Riyaaz Amlani, Roshan Abbas. Working Committee Arjun Bahl, Aishwarya Nair, Anjali Modi, Faizan Khatri, Hena Kapadia, Poornima Sukumar, Sameep Padora, Sharad Singla, Siddhanth Shah