A multi-disciplinary interactive arts centre

 Emami Art, one of Kolkata’s largest art spaces, opened its doors at the Kolkata Centre for Creativity (KCC), a multi-disciplinary interactive arts centre. The new Centre, spread across around 70,000 sq. ft. that was also unveiled on the day, will champion the cultural landscape of contemporary India. Emami Art will dominate the Centre as the premier gallery space spread across 10,000 sq. ft. Emami Group Director, Richa Agarwal will lead Emami Art as its Chief Executive Officer.


The Centre is designed by the renowned architect and the ‘Indian Modern Crusader’, Mr Pinakin Patel who, as the Creative Director of KCC will play a leading role in developing the space as an important centre for art and creativity.


Emami Art, which occupies the ground floor of the centre and is the landmark destination of KCC, unveiled with School, Eastern India’s first-ever solo exhibition of celebrated Indian modernist, the late Dashrath Patel. Curated by Pinakin Patel, the exhibition will feature his line drawings, ceramics, collages and photography from 1930s – 2000s. Dashrath Patel, a contemporary of modern masters such as Tyeb Mehta, M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, and V.S. Gaitonde, collaborated with several well-known international figures, including legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, architects Louise Kahn and Frei Otto, and the engraver William Hayter.


Dashrath Patel became the first Director of Design & Education at India’s leading art and design school, the Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design. He was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian awards in 1981, followed by the Padma Bhushan, also given by the Government of India, posthumously in 2011. The inaugural exhibition, School, will be held till 6th January, 2019.


Emami Art also showcased the installation, “Disobedience”, by international artist Nassia Inglessis, a Design Engineer who operates out of London and Athens. After receiving rave reviews at the recently-held London Design Biennale-2018, this kinetic installation, which is a 17-metre-long wall, constructed from a steel spring skeleton built up with recycled plastic, morphs around the bodies of visitors passing through it and challenges the very static understanding of architecture. Emami Art is privileged to present this internationally acclaimed artwork for the first time in India.


Addressing the media at the inaugural Press Conference, Pinakin Patel, Creative Director of KCC, said, “We hope that the creative community moves inward from its safe stay on the peripheries of life to the very core of life. That instead of merely adding surplus products on earth, it rallies forth to save planet earth.”


Besides Emami Art, KCC features an Exhibition Space, that showcases art, craft, antiquity and product design by a range of artists and artisans. It also invites visitors to comment on contemporary culture through interactive screens. Elsewhere in the centre, audiences and the creative community can access a Conservation Studio, Skill Development Maker Section including artist studios and separate Libraries for books and materials.


The Centre also introduces Grace, a restaurant which highlights vegetarianism as an ecological need of consuming the lowest form of life, a gift shop and an upcoming Children’s Creativity Corner (Imagination Area) that will offer a state-of-the-art installation ideated by Devdutt Pattanaik and designed by Amruta Patil, depicting Indian mythology.


Speaking at the press conference, Richa Agarwal, Executive Director of KCC & CEO of Emami Art said, “We are extremely proud to formally open Emami Art at the Kolkata Centre for Creativity today. It is a dream project built with a lot of love and passion and we hope that it will become a creative destination for everyone – – artists, designers, craftsmen, collectors, teachers, critics, curators, students and the general public.


She further added, “As one of the finest galleries for contemporary art, Emami Art will hold four exhibitions in a year and we could not think of the works of a better artist to showcase at the inaugural exhibition other than Late Dashrath Patel, an artist who, like the Centre, explored a range of disciplines and found the common creative thread between all the work he produced.”


The Press Conference was also attended by Rajeev Sethi, noted Indian designer, scenographer and art curator, Devdutt Pattanaik, noted Indian author known for his fictional works in the field of Indian mythology and Nassia Inglessis.


The Centre is a result of the visionary patronage of R.S. Agarwal and R.S. Goenka, Founders & Joint Chairman of Emami Group of Companies, headquartered in Kolkata, India. It offers free entry and will be open between 11 am to 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday. KCC will be closed on Mondays.