India’s Largest art museum

If anyone has been to Mumbai airport recently, you would know that it is definitely worth the trip to go see. The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, or the Mumbai International Airport as it is most commonly known, is an extensive airport full of high-end shops, addictive eateries and the most beautiful architecture and examples of art India has to offer. The Airport is ranked the 48th busiest airport in the world by Airports Council International, which also ranked it third best airport in the world in 2011. Currently, there is construction going on to make a new terminal 2. It is presently in use but is expected to be officially finished some time in 2015. An impressive addition to this terminal is the Jaya He Art Museum which portrays countless images on 18-foot walls telling the history of India. It is, in my opinion, a seamless modernization of India’s more traditional art and imagery. It has been referred to by BBC News as “India’s Largest Museum” and with 40 million passengers daily, is expected to have more guests than the Louvre Museum! This step toward culture and the modernization of our more traditional art shows that India is ready and able to delve more deeply into the art world.

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Jaya He GVK New Museum

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In 2009, Mr. Sanjay Reddy, Vice-Chairman of GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited, articulated his vision for Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (GVK CSIA): an airport that can compete with any global equivalent but retains a distinct sense of place and identity, an airport that celebrates India. ‘Jaya He, GVK New Museum’ at Terminal 2 (T2) was born of this vision.

GVK CSIA T2 inaugurated in January 2014, is India’s first and most advanced vertical passenger terminal that integrates world class design, architecture, infrastructure and operational efficiency, with a rich infusion of Indian heritage & cultural character. The T2 is home to India’s largest public art programme, titled ‘Jaya He’. In the form of a multi-story Art Wall, illuminated by skylights, that has over 7000 pieces of artwork & artefacts from every region & corner of India, Jaya He has emerged as a landmark corporate initiative to safeguard an immense cultural resource from being lost for posterity.

The name ‘Jaya He’ is part of the National anthem and encapsulates the Glory of the Nation, a distinctive narrative of a country of incredible diversity, living in multiple centuries simultaneously. The Jaya He GVK New Museum at T2 is an unprecedented design-led art program attempting to reposition the Arts and Crafts of India in the public domain. It consists of ritual artefacts, architectural features, paintings, sculptures, textiles etc. of varied antiquity and provenance integrated into more than a hundred art installations as part of its permanent exhibit. Jaya He is a beautiful amalgamation showcasing together the contemporary fine arts and the traditional skills of art and artisans from across the country. It defied conventional notions of art- craft or traditional-modern as binaries where designers, artists, artisans, architects, art historians, anthropologists and conservators all worked together on curatorial concepts, put forth by Mr. Rajeev Sethi (one of the leading curators and scenographers of South Asia), that distil and interpret India.

Jaya He provides the passengers with a unique opportunity for experiencing the diversity of Indian arts and crafts under one roof. The installations are planned in a way that all passengers can have a glimpse of it while arriving or departing through T2. The whole idea of the museum revolves around the projection of the country’s rich culture and practices in many different ways. The central curvilinear wall of T2 spanning about 3.2 km reflects country’s arts and crafts through 6 thematic compositions spread across different levels viz. India Greets, India Global, India Elemental, India Silent Sentinels, India Moves and India Seamless. Each of the themes has a unique story to tell.

While walking through the art program at T2 Departures level, one is exposed to a variety of different objects ranging from doorways, façades, antique boats, bullock carts, porches, temple chariots, lotuses, angels, ancestral figures, and celestial guardian figures to name a few; the Arrivals corridor is a home to a series of commissioned artworks by folk, tribal and contemporary artists that maps the Mumbai city. Baggage carousels are flanked by installations that celebrate the textile traditions of India conceived by well known designers, including Manish Arora and Ritu Kumar.

In nutshell, Jaya He captures the essence of the country to present a story of the past, present and future of arts and crafts of India. The museum’s attempt to amaze the passengers doesn’t end here. It stretches beyond the installations in the form of Jaya He Stores and Exhibition Space that offers the passengers the take home element of the Art Program.

About GVK: GVK is a leading Indian conglomerate with diversified interests across various sectors of economic significance such as Infrastructure, Hospitality, Energy, Transportation and Airports. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (GVK CSIA) is the 2nd largest airport in India and handled 41.67 Million passengers in 2015-16.

Jaya He GVK New Museum – must visit place in Mumbai Maharashtra

JayaHe GVK New Museum – A must visit place in Mumbai, Maharashtra – India

JayaHe GVK New Museum inside the Mumbai CSIA(Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) narrates the story of India to its visitors through art and colours. The museum beautifully essays how Indians live and experience multiple eras at once through this country’s diversity and legacy.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are solely my own. I have not be compensated either in kind or cash to write this article. All the photographs have been clicked by me and cannot be used in any form on other platforms by the readers.

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Readers of my blog would know that I have a penchant for art, architecture, culture and heritage. So, when I read about the ‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’ for the first time on social media, it immediately struck a chord with me.

Subsequently, when a social media group called ‘Mumbai Instagrammers’ gave us a glimpse of the very same JayaHe Museum of Mumbai airport through their media posts, I was intrigued and it became the topmost priority on my wish-list when visiting Mumbai. I wondered, how the Mumbai Airport Museum would look like in reality!

JayaHe GVK New Museum

First tryst with JayaHe GVK New Museum

My recent visit to Mumbai for an event helped me to work on this dream come true – of visiting the ‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’.And, I guess, I also need to thank the very punctual ‘JetAirways’ whose fleet of aircraft religiously get delayed! Sometimes, these delays prove a boon especially when you are on a Solo trip.

JayaHe GVK Museum

So, my flight was to fly out from Gate 45 of the Mumbai CSI airport at around 10 pm and it got delayed by over an hour leading to a change in boarding gate.

Passing the security check at CSIA is indeed a breeze, the staff is usually very cordial, the airport is less crowded unlike the Delhi airport and the amenities are top-notch. I realised that effectively I had 3 hours on hand until the boarding time to explore the Mumbai Airport Museum.

I enquired at the information centre about the Jayahe museum guided tours and was informed that tours happen only during the day. Unfair, isn’t it? Feeling dejected, I slowly slogged through the shopping arena of the CSIA that is filled with the mundane lacklustre super expensive gadgets and whatever junk one can possibly buy with those bucks!

JayaHe Museum
However, as I entered the alley that leads to Gate 87, I found vibrant wall art that seemed to stretch endlessly and instantly uplifted the sombreness associated with airports. That is when it stuck that I can actually do an un-guided solo tour of whatever JayaHe GVK New museum could offer to its visitors at the Departure level. I already had a glimpse of a few exhibits upon my Arrival at the Mumbai airport, the previous day.

What ‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’ is all about

‘JayaHe GVK New Museum’ inside the Mumbai CSIA(Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport) is a treasure trove of more than 5000 exhibits that showcase the rich culture, art and heritage of both ancient and contemporary India. The museum effortlessly forms a component of the Mumbai CSIA showcasing the rich heritage, vibrancy, diversity and traditions of India through its exhibits. The visitors and passengers are sure to be enthralled by this public canvas of colours on their way to the departure gates, baggage claim area and exit gates.

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The three exhibitions at JayaHe GVK New Museum

The JayaHe GVK Museum is spread across three levels:

  1. Departures Lounge/Level – showcases the sculptural artwork that presents the rich Indian cultural legacy encompassing traditional crafts, art forms, festivals, living traditions as well as contemporary artistic expressions. All this under the theme of ‘Thresholds of India’ across levels 1,3 and 4 of the departure lounge.
  2. Arrivals Lounge/Level – has exhibits that represent contemporary art in a story format.
  3. Baggage Lounge/Level – displays the richness of Indian textiles through miniatures and exhibits.

Every section has a kiosk with information loaded on Jaya He museum and the prominent piece of art has details of the artist and philosophy behind making these pieces of art.

JayaHe Museum

Photo tour of JayaHe GVK New Museum

I could cover just the tip of the iceberg of the 3.2 long stretches of the Mumbai Airport museum collection that has three sections of exhibits. So, here is a virtual tour of JayaHe GVK New Museum through my words and captures.

JayaHe Museum Exhibits in the Departures Lounge

The exhibits of the Departure lounge are themed under ‘Threshold of India’ with sub-themes of India Greets, India Moves, India Silent Sentinels, et al.

India Greets Series

A series of doors, facades and gateways sourced from various parts of India symbolise the concept of atithi devo bhava’ at the JayaHe GVK Museum under the India Greets Series. This is my most favourite series in the museum.

JayaHe Museum

In fact, when Divyakshi of Quirkywanderer posted photographs of doors from JayaHe museum, I secretly nurtured a desire to transit through Mumbai for no reason just to have a glimpse of the JayaHe museum that seemed to be replete with artefacts and varied doors. Oh, ya…I can actually resort to unharmed violence in my quest for doors, art, heritage and architecture!

JayaHe GVK Museum

An intricately carved wooden ‘dwaar’/gateway greets visitors of the Mumbai Airport inside while the artistically carved ‘dwarapalak/prathira’ (gatekeepers) on elephants accord a royal welcome to art enthusiasts!

JayaHe GVK Museum

A series of doors from Gujarat with minute wood and metal work represent a street from Western India. Following the traditional Indian custom of community service, earthen pots filled with water are placed on stands in front of these doors symbolising homes so that the weary passersby can quench their thirst.

JayaHe GVK Museum

GVK MUseum

Each of the intricately carved doors seem to be narrating stories of a bygone era. One cannot but be ecstatic seeing the display of Indian craftsmanship of the highest level at this Mumbai airport museum.

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Mumbai Airport Museum

India Seamless at JayaHe museum, CSIA

A blend of everyday life with contemporary elements representing the four regions of India is what India Seamless all about.

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A slice of Eastern India with a glimpse of Durga Pooja
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A slice of Kashmir with pinjrakari wood carving

India Global series at Jaya He museum, CSIA

In this section, you will find a perfect blend of contemporary art and best of old world charm imparting an underlying message to the visitors. Some of the displays have been made with recycled wastes!

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An art-work with waste bottle caps

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India Silent Sentinels at JayaHe GVK Museum

The series of India Silent Sentinels weaves together the architectural and sculptural importance of varied components in the lives of India from time immemorial. It compasses the Yalis to the Aiyannars to the gables or kodis of Kerala homes to the wooden deities revered by the tribals of various states.

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Kerala Mural Painting
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Wooden Gable
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Mythological Yali

India Moves  at JayaHe Museum

This has to be one of the eye-catching series next to the ‘India Greets’ series at the Mumbai Airport’s JayaHE Museum. India moves is a scenographic tribute to the various voyages undertaken by Indians both physically and philosophically that transcends time.

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Various modes of transportation
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Marble Paadhuka
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Aerial vehicles

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The collection ranges from the carved facades of mansions to toy cars, temple chariots that carried processions of idols to bullock carts, the collection at JayaHe Museum spans the affluent, opulent and earthy everyday objects.

I loved the series of Tanjore paintings in which celestial beings and Gods and Goddesses adorn their ‘vaahanas’/vehicles and are gilt embossing. The whole tableau is a visual treat and a must-visit exhibit of the museum.

JayaHe Museum

JayaHe Museum

Tanjore Paintings

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India Elemental series

This series brings together the five elements of nature – Space, Air, Water, Fire and Earth through various interpretations and installations. Let me tell you that some of the artworks are wonderfully quirky, like the Hawa Mahal in the form of a Rajasthani turban symbolising the element ‘Air’.

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Another interesting exhibit was one on Panchabhootha which was under maintenance at that time.

Arrival Level exhibits of GVK Museum

On the day of my arrival at Mumbai CSIA, much of the passways were cordoned off. So, I could just click a few snaps from the travellator as I slugged my trolley along, towards the exit. This series of art is themed under Layered Narratives.

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A colourful bas-relief

Baggage Claim Area at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport

Gape in awe at the exhibits in the baggage claim lounge as you wait for your luggage to be belted out, as I did… From an intricately chiselled and carved wooden temple chariot to the textiles of India, the Baggage Acclaim Series of JayaHe museum is sure to enthrall its visitors. I was mesmerized by the beautiful carvings of the chariot!

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Textiles of India
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Wooden Temple Chariot

Read about the Maargazhi festival here, when the temple chariots come out all decked on the streets of TamilNadu.

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How to tour the JayaHe GVK New Museum

A free tour of the museum can be pre-booked online at jayahe.in or one can contact the ‘JayaHe Helpdesk’ just after the Security check. The tours are usually conducted during the day.

If you are flying out at night then the best would be to explore the museum on your own as I did.

Parting Words

What I loved about the JayaHe Museum is that it instantly uplifts the sombreness that is invariably associated with airports. As travellers, we often spend many hours at the airport waiting for our flights or transiting from one place to another. It would be wonderful if every airport has a mini-museum like this- showcasing local traditions, folklore, art and architecture on a public canvas reachable to all. At least, an art lover and someone who hates shopping like me would be happy.

This said I wish to explore the exhibits of JayaHE GVK New Museum spread across the other levels of Mumbai CSIA, soon.

Hope you are inspired to take a tour of the JayaHe museum when inside the Mumbai International Airport after taking this virtual tour with me, through this post. Do not miss indulging in this artistic endeavour that is a must visit place when in Mumbai!

Also, do share with me your thoughts on the post and also of the JayaHe Museum if you have already toured it.

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Terminal 2 Jaya He Museum Part 1

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

Last month (April 2018) I and my family travelled to Europe to visit Barcelona, Milan and Istanbul. The first leg of the journey was from Mangalore Airport to Mumbai Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminus International Airport. Jaya He Museum at the Mumbai International Airport spans across Terminal 2. It is a must-see landmark initiative to provides the artisans with a unique platform to showcase their arts and crafts, many of which are dwindling due to a lack of opportunities. I will be covering half of the exhibits I was able to photograph on this blog. Next part will be published in the future.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

Envisioned in 2009 by Sanjay Reddy, Vice-Chairman of GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited, who wished to create an airport that celebrates India. Rajeev Sethi, one of South Asia’s leading curators and scenographers, translated this vision into an unprecedented interdisciplinary platform of original art treasures from various regions of the country, commissioned works by master-craftspeople as well as artists and designers exploring contemporary visual language.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

Jaya He is conceived as three distinct sections – Thresholds of India, Layered Narratives and Baggage Acclaimed. Approximately 3000 ethnographic objects were sourced exclusively for the Art Program. The interesting thing about the Jaya He museum is that it thoughtfully reflects “the many-layered narrative that is India while intentionally defying conventional notions of art-craft or traditional-modern as binaries”. This massive multi-disciplinary endeavour brought together designers, artists, artisans, architects, art historians, anthropologists and conservators with the best technicians “all working together on curatorial concepts that distil and interpret India”.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

The first section – Thresholds of India consists of 6 thematic collections showcasing India of today in all its complexity where “each artefact is an alphabet, which once placed with others, began composing themselves into sentences and eventually into stories”.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

India Elemental is based on the concept of the panch maha bhuta, linked to the Hindu creation myth as well as the foundation of Ayurvedic science. Using the five elements to bring together artefacts from across the country – an installation of antique stone spouts represents Water; bronze and stone lamps represent Fire; cosmological diagrams made using lamp holders represent Space; mud architecture & shrines represent Earth; and canopies, flying locomotives & filigreed screens represent Air.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

India Silent Sentinels is composed of various architectural and sculptural elements traditionally featured in thresholds of homes, step wells and religious architecture. Thoranas, arches, pillars mark the entrance, creating a space of transition and preparation for those entering or exiting. Totems, brackets, deities, guardian figures and angels carved on the façade or placed near the doorway serve as declarations of identity and belonging, as well as symbolically guard the entrance.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

India Global represents “an India in the making, where new forms, materials and ways of coalescing in novel ways, the old and new coexisting side by side, spar with one another and more often than not, erupting into fantastic hybrids, at once global and local”.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

India Greets is a larger than life “tableau of doorways, façades, and porches” carefully sourced from various parts of the country replete with symbols of welcome and protection such as lotuses, sacred geometries, apsaras, ancestral figures, and more.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

India Seamless consists of four installations, each from one corner of the country -Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Bengal. Depicting the myths, histories and popular culture of these regions, the installations are creative collaborations between contemporary artists and artisans from these States.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

India Moves is a homage to journeys of the body and the soul, which find diverse articulations in India’s material culture and represent a larger philosophy where one’s location is in constant flux, subject to the cyclical motions of kala (time). Real antique boats, bullock carts, elephant howdahs, wedding litters and palanquins that speak of modes of transport both mundane and festive, while temple chariots and padukas evoke living traditions of deities who travel the earth, bestowing devotees with a glimpse of the divine.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

In the Arrivals corridor, flanking the moving walkways that lead the disembarking travellers towards the baggage claim area is the second section called Layered Narratives. Here one can see the story of Mumbai and urban India explored through 32 specially commissioned artworks by some of the leading artists in the country.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

The third section titled Baggage Acclaimed is made of four sculptural installations on the baggage carousels showcasing the diversity of textiles and costumes of India engaging arriving visitors while they wait for their luggage.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

T2 terminal caters to 40 million passengers per year which are more footfalls than that of any museum in the world. Rajeev Sethi highlights how “encased in the midst of high traffic and high security, these priceless treasures will reach more viewers each day than many museums could hope to do in a month”.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

Jaya He enlivens the kilometres of walls and huge spatial volumes of the Mumbai International Airport with meaning. Mumbai has produced one iconic public building that has symbolized entrance into the city whether by land, as in VT Station (1887), or by sea, as in the Gateway of India (1921). Following this tradition, T2 is envisaged as a 21st-century counterpart to these illustrious forerunners – a gateway to the subcontinent for the millions who now travel by air.

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

For details check my blog - https://drkrishi.com/terminal-2-jaya-he-museum-part-1/

These collections are carefully planned while keeping human interaction angle in mind. There are information kiosks near each installation and Jaya He Museum invites you to share your experience via photographs. You can learn more about crafts from India and the 100 artists who have contributed to this collaboration on Jaya Hes website (which unfortunately is not updated since 2016). You can also plan your visit, for no matter how many times you transit through the airport, Domestic or International, it been created in a way that you will see a new detail in these exquisite narrative trails rich in ethnographic stories every time you are at the Airport.

Things to do at Mumbai Airport to Make your Layover Less Boring

Handling more than 45 million passengers in 2016-17, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai is the second-busiest air transit hub in the country. People use it daily in humongous numbers to fly in, fly out or as an intermediate stop or layover. You might be having a layover at the airport sometime in the near future, and layovers can be excruciatingly boring, if long. So, what to do? But, worry not. There is lot that can be done at the airport itself that would make your layover less boring and much more productive. Read ahead for ways to utilise your free time at the Mumbai Airport: Roam Around (the Museum)

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If you are thinking, “It’s just an airport. What good is roaming around going to do?”, then you are in for a surprise. The swanky Terminal 2, which primarily handles international flights, is also a museum, named Jaya He. It features an almost 3.2-km long wall along the travellators that contains over 5000 artworks and artefacts, depicting the life and culture from all parts of India. All you have to do is stand on a travellator with your hands firmly holding the railing, and the moving walkway will take you on a memorable journey. Make Good Use of Lounges

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The best way perhaps to make the most of a long layover in Mumbai is heading to the lounges here. Whether you are travelling in First, Business or Economy Class on an international or domestic flight, the Mumbai Airport has a lounge for you. There are seven lounges in total where you can relax:

  • GVK Lounge (T2-Internationl): Accessible to First and Business Class flyers, it has a smoking zone, Wi-Fi connectivity, spa and shower area, library, business centre, reposing section, and food and beverages
  • GVK Lounge (T2-Domestic): Accessible to people flying on domestic routes, this lounge offers the same facilities as the one in the International area of T2
  • Loyalty Lounge (T2-International Departures): Offering unlimited alcoholic drinks and snacks, lavish buffet, newspapers and magazines, plush seats, charging points and Wi-Fi, it is open to walk-in passengers (payable) as well as holders of certain credit cards
  • Loyalty Lounge (T2-Domestic Departures): Just like the one in the international departure area of T2, it offers facilities like Wi-Fi, magazines and newspapers, scrumptious buffet and mobile/laptop charging points along with spa therapies
  • Loyalty Lounge (T1):
    Open to paying passengers and those, holding certain access passes, the Loyalty Lounge inside domestic Terminal 1 provides unlimited food and beverages, magazines and newspapers, flight information, television, Wi-Fi, and power points for laptops and mobiles.
  • >Pranaam Lounge (T2-International): Accessible to all international flyers, it offers comfortable seating, luggage storage, work station with wireless internet, cabanas, baby care room, non-alcoholic hot and cold beverages, snacks buffet and personal boarding alerts.
  • Aviserv Lounge (T2): Designed especially for Economy Class flyers, it features sleeping pods, shower, breakfast (a la carte and buffet), dress steam and luggage storage.

Go on a Shopping Spree

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If you are a shopaholic, then you would only wish that your layover in Mumbai was a bit longer because there are hordes of retail stores spread throughout both the terminals. You can purchase accessories like belts and scarves, Indian and Western clothing, footwear, cosmetics, toys, gifting items, gold and precious stone jewellery, books and electronics. There are duty-free stores as well, where you can buy tobacco products, Indian and international liquors, and food items at a much lower price than in the market. Eat like a Maniac

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Just like shopping, there are hordes of options for dining at the Mumbai Airport. Be it cafes, family restaurants, fast food joints or take-away venues, the air transit hub has them all. You get an incredible variety of cuisines to choose from, including North Indian, Gujarati, Maharashtrian, Chinese, Italian and American. Outlets of all popular culinary chains like Café Coffee Day, Starbucks, Subway, Domino’s, KFC, Faaso’s, Haldiram’s, Burger King, Baker Street, Pizza Hut, Punjab Grill, Chai Point, Costa Coffee and Irani Café exist inside the two terminals. Get Some Much-deserved Pampering

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Long flights can be tiring and also uncomfortable sometimes. So, treat yourself to some much-needed pampering at the spas here. There are spas in certain lounges, and also stand-alone ones like O2 in the Domestic Departures area of Terminal 2 and Heaven on Earth (Terminal 1-Departure and Terminal 2-International Departures), where you can get a range of massages and relaxing therapies. What’s more? You can get a number of beautifying procedures done as well! Take Care of Pending Work

BC-Business-Traveller

Let not the fact that you are at an airport keep you from completing your pending work, as Terminal 2 houses a full-fledged business centre, Regus. It features a shower area, café, co-working spaces, business lounge, private workspaces, conference facilities and meeting rooms. After a long and exhausting flight, you can come here to get refreshed, have breakfast and get started with work before you have to board another flight. Now, you know that the Mumbai Airport is so much more than just an airport. It’s a museum, shopping mall, food court, hotel, business hub and spa all in one. So, don’t be afraid to book flights with long layovers because with all these options at your disposal of keeping yourself engaged, such periods will never be boring again.

What You Can Do In CSIA Mumbai Airport: Visit The Jaya He GVK Museum

It was another rushed day at the Chatrapatri Shivaji International Airport (CSIA)  in Mumbai. 

I was running late, as usual. Sprinting past those plush eateries and the super tempting shopping arena. I noticed a burst of colours as I rushed towards my boarding gate. 

The blurry memory of colours stayed on for a long time.

 

Two months later, as I embarked upon my Doors of India journey, I got a longer glimpse of the artefacts near my boarding gate. I saw intricate doors exhibited in the lower level lobby, their story unknown. 

On my return from Sharjah, at the arrivals, I was delighted to  come across an array of arty installations panelled across the walkators , making me gaze at them infinitely almost forgetting about getting off the walkator in time. 

 

But today was different. I walked into the CSIA not as a passenger but as a visitor. 

It was a very special visit. A privileged one. Was invited to visit the Jaya He GVK museum, through a guided walk organised by the Jaya He team and Mumbai Instagrammers, 

A celebration of the gorgeous artefacts, showcasing the culture, art and vibrance of India as a nation to the millions of travellers who enter and exit this airport. 

Ashwini from the Jaya He GVK team greeted us and explained about the guided tour that can be availed by passengers who depart from the CSIA. 

This Jaya He Museum Safari can be pre booked on their website and is a boon for transit passengers who are traveling from Mumbai and wish to see timeless India from the eyes of several artists across the country.

A vision of Mr. Sanjay Reddy and a confluence of artists, designers , painters, architects, conservators who worked under the guidance of Mr. Rajeev Sethi, a renowned scenographer.

 

India Greets: Doors, windows and more:

We walked past the thematic composition India Greets: where doorways , facades and arches greeted us. Some from Rajasthan, some from Gujarat. Each narrating a story of yesteryears, of the curators who seeked them, of the conservators who refurbished them and of the nation they represented. 

 

Thresholds of India: India silent sentinels 

This section had various architectural and sculptural elements that are traditionally features at the thresholds of India homes , like the montage Celestial Realm from Kerala: with traditional brass lamps, terracotta roof shingles and the Kodi ( Mughapu) , the gable that served as signboards. 

A unique canvas montage caught my eye: Theatrical screening from Maharashtra  that pays homage to he dying art of painting sceneries that were once used as backdrops in Maharasthrian theatres. There is also aFortress of Claywhich pays homage to the rural, rustic households of India made of mud , cow dung and with rice paste motifs. 

 

India Global: India from the eye of contemporary artists :

A recycled map of Mumbai made from e-waste, a large assemblage of run down houses evoking a sense of nostalgia and other such artworks made from acrylic, granite, wood and MS steel enthral the visitors with the immense thought behind the creations.

Every minute detail I missed as a passenger came to the fore when I saw it on the walk. The intricate Chikankari patterns were imprinted on the tall glass walls of the airport , glimmered as the sun rays passed through them.

The ornate chandeliers which always caught my attention , represented the Phulkari work of Punjab.

Furniture from Nagaland displayed majestically with stories of the Naga tribes and their traditions. 

There was a little bit of India present everywhere in a building that seemed so modern and state of the art. 

 

India Elemental:

 

The walk was getting more interesting by every installation we visited. Water, Air, Space, Fire, Earth all of these elements known as the Pancha Bhoota were creatively displayed at the India Elemental section. 

A musical fountain where visitors could pass every spout, yielding a unique sound. 

Right below it, earthy excavations with see through glass panels, representing the element Earth. 

A collection of brass Diyas to represent fire succeeeded it. 

A few steps ahead what looked like a white Rajasthani turban was actually a picturisation of the Iconic Hawa Mahal in Jaipur representing the element Air. Unbelievable but true, the montage is made of Bhutanese paper and Fibre glass.

Awestruck, I moved further to find panels with starry elements signifying space. 

What looked good to the eye certainly had a thought behind! 

 

The museum is spread over 3.2 kms and is seamlessly integrated within the airport premises so that the exhibits can be viewed by passengers on their way to the boarding and exit gates.

 

With over 7000 artefacts handpicked from various regions of India, some dating back to the 11th century, the Jaya He museum represents the cultural diversity of India and showcases the traditional skills of artisans and the contemporary thought of modern artists. Thus making it India’s largest public art initiative. 

 

India Moves: 

With vibrant hues , hanging artefacts, stylish bullock carts and an array of colours, the section India Moves caught my attention. 

What looked like a palatial Shekhawati haveli ( I was reminded of my recent visit to the region), was actually depicting the several ways India has been moving across centuries. Different forms of transport: from trains, to palanquins to hot air balloons have been painted onto the facade.

A little further are rustic bullock carts , wooden boats that pay tribute to India’s maritime history, flying locomotives and royal carriages.

 

The Jaya He Museum has initiated not just an exhibition of India’s rich cultural heritage but also showcased rural art and encouraged artists by giving them a platform to showcase their work to the lakhs of passengers passing through the CSIA. 

Like any project this one faced hurdles too.

The challenges were to procure and transport these artefacts to Mumbai, built them seamlessly in a way that it doesn’t obstruct passenger movement, some were extremely delicate like Charmi Shah’s installation. 

 

Artists worked on such a magnitude for the first time and here is where engineering met art.

 

Other exhibits at the CSIA Jaya He Museum:

The painting from Palitana: 

It came in pieces. Broken, in a way that it required immense restoration. A team worked on getting the painting together, fitting pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. When one looks closely , fine lines can be seen where the pieces were joined meticulously. The 1932 painting stands proudly making visitors awestruck. 

While the installation Moving constant transports you to Tanjore with it’s ornate paintings and vibrant figurines, the colourful Durga forms from the east are a treat to the eyes! 

 

Each exhibit here tells a story. We may not know their exact origin, we may not know the secrets they behold, we may not know how many hands have touched them before ours, we may not know their past owners, but we know they capture the essence of Indianess and are symbolic of the warm hospitality of India.

 

Things to know:

 

The Jaya He Safari can be pre booked by any passenger departing from T2 of CSIA. It is a free guided tourdepending on the time at hand and the area of boarding. Probably the best way to kill time at an airport! Free of Cost!

Most installations have placards describing the installation, the artist behind it, the region an artefact was procured from and how old the artefact is. 

There is also a Jaya He shop present in the airport, where art connoisseurs can pick up products make by local artists and help them earn while appreciating their skills!

 
The maintenance and upkeep of the museum is a very tough task in the busy CSIA. It is our duty to not unnecessarily touch the artworks and damage them.

 

 

 

Jaya He GVK New Museum & IndieFolio Celebrate International Museum Week

In the week of 15th – 19th May 2017, the Jaya He GVK New Museum at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport presented a treat for travellers. Every day of the week, there was an artist creating a piece of art inspired by the museum and the city of Mumbai.

For those how don’t know about the airport, here’s a fact for you: it is undoubtedly beautiful from the outside.

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But there are so many things to appreciate inside that it’s very possible to miss them on your way to your next flight.

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Something that a lot of people miss is the Jaya He GVK New Museum. In an earlier article, we talked about how vast the museum inside the airport is and how beautiful and interactive the exhibits are. With its mix of old and new artefacts, it proved to be a great source of inspiration for the artists that came. Speaking about the artists, let’s talk a little about them and their work.

Raisa D’Souza runs a page on Facebook and Instagram for her art called Charcoal Charades. If you want her to make a portrait for yourself or someone you know, you can contact her there.

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Saumya Shukla, our second artist is a student at NIFT, Mumbai. She’s into Graphic Design, Illustration and Photography. Below, you’ll see what she made and you can check out her Facebook page here or catch her work on Instagram here.

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Shubham Kesur is a student in L. S. Raheja School of Arts, Bandra. Defining himself as an upcoming artist, his advice to everyone is ‘Go out and paint. You will know yourself better.’

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Kanak Nanda is an artist and designer living in Mumbai. She works as a freelance graphic designer and a full-time artist creating original and commissioned artworks and murals. You can check her out on Facebook and Behance.

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Anant Nanvare is an artist on IndieFolio Proxy. He creates Art in Spaces. He is a graduate of Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art. He is skilled in making installations and using unconventional materials to make his art.

The time and effort that the artists put into their live art was part of the airport’s celebrations for International Museum Day on May 18th, an annual event organised by the International Council of Museums. The day before International Museum Day saw the Mumbai Instagrammers come by and take a tour of the museum.

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In addition to the art created, the airport also announced a new service inaugurated by Maharashtra Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal.

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Travellers can now say hello to the ‘Jaya He Museum Safari’, a tour of the museum to enlighten passengers about India’s rich cultural heritage. Next time you are planning a trip that will take you through T2, CSIA, plan it near May 18. You could be pleasantly surprised with art and music or something new next year.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration without music. Musicians in the airport added a new layer of charm to the inauguration of the service by treating the transiting crowds to traditional music from Kutch.

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The Jaya He GVK New Museum makes going early for your flight worth the time you spend in it. And there’s a case study to back that up, Alice Higgins (name changed) had to endure her fight being delayed for 3 hours. Normally, that would mean 3 hours of boredom but the museum provided her with a great way to pass her time. When she had to leave, it was with an enlightened mind and a newfound respect for Indian culture and art. We know about this experience because she wrote to the CSIA staff and told them about what happened.

This blog can be addictive. We know you must be craving more so here’s more:

In The Spotlight: Sakshi Jain

In The Spotlight: Gauraang Pant

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T2 LIMINUS…JAYA HE…a view from the inside…

Post by Tapan Mittal-Deshpande, Conservation Architect, TMD Mumbai
Local Team for Principal Artist & Scenographer,

Rajeev Sethi, Jaya He, GVK New Museum scenographer often said, ‘every design has three stages: imagination, execution and between them – hallucination’… This in-between phase of the Art program at Jaya He, GVK New Museum, Mumbai was like watching a time-lapse film, fading in and out of numerous scenes in varied locations, incredibly animated. Everyone involved in their own professional backgrounds portrayed their own imaginings inspiring arguably the country’s largest public art initiative and India’s largest Museum, encompassing a total area of more than one lakh sq ft.

View of  one section of the Museum
View of one section of the Museum

Envisioned as the ‘New Museum of the 21st century’, Jaye He was conceived as a ‘New Gateway’ to Mumbai and to India as a whole. It has three distinct parts . the first is in the arrivals corridor, consisting of a series of commissioned artworks along the travellators that map the city as ‘Layered Narratives’. The second section ‘Thresholds of India’ is a wall running like a central curvilinear spine, sky-lit and designed to direct and control circulation of passengers through the terminal, with a third in the baggage claim area named ‘Baggage Acclaimed’

Suresh Muthukulam, Kerala Mural style painting, with authentic artefacts
Suresh Muthukulam, Kerala Mural style painting, with authentic artefacts

The underlying theme, not only marks and celebrates every rite of passage in travel  but is a journey bringing together art, architecture and science in its most imaginative forms extending into the public realm. An exhaustive expedition throughout the country for procuring artefacts captured multiple forms symbolic of ancient mythology, historic architecture, community based life styles, performing arts and derived cultural practices not restricted to material or scale. Approximately 5000 historic systems illustrated as sentinels of architectural spaces like facades, mandapas, jharokhas, arches, canopies, pillars, gables, totems, ceilings, doorways, windows, shrines, vaahanas, dwarpalas, god figures,  santhal panels,yali figures, toranas, masks, khadaus, wheels, trunks,  lamps, chariots and other sculptural motifs became the context of the Museum around which the creative narrative is woven.

Selection process
Selection process

These artefacts were positioned and juxtaposed with each other to create a representative and meaningful story line. Reassembly of certain ensembles involved more than 100 parts numbered and re assembled with efficient joinery systems by the craftsmen from their specific region of origin. The collection offered a complete range of materials never to be seen collectively in one location before, nor conserved by any art conservator alone.
Designed as a site specific creative intervention, with no artefacts set within niches nor ready made paintings bought to hang on the wall, this led to innovation and application of new details for fixing, finishing, surface textures,  and pre-fabrication technologies within restricted zones of construction. Every artefact was studied to develop contextual settings, and inter-woven with narratives through different schools of art spread across the country to create a seamless narrative merging the foreground with the background.

A Temple Ratha being assembled
A Temple Ratha being assembled

With only 200 days for site execution with a team of varied skilled workforce, Jaya He is a first of its  kind installation with layers of adaptations to cater to stringent safety rules, limited budgetary resources, first experience to handle
traditional artefacts and large-scale art works. Very close coordination was required between the artists and site contractors to create precise frameworks for holding the structure of the particular artwork. Bringing together a set
of core disciplines, reinforced that this art program was only a beginning towards setting the arena for interdisciplinary dialogue away from individual zones of comfort. The art program has eventually moved into a zone
beyond just forms of expression, it has become the means of expression and the reason for collective ownership constantly merging identities and cultures.

Bus Lounge Area
Bus Lounge Area

Jaya He Museum : A Review

Jaya_He_5

Possibly India’s largest public artwork project to date, Jaya He Museum at the Mumbai International Airport, spans across Terminal 2 and is a landmark corporate initiative to safeguard an immense cultural resource. Jaya He Museum provides the artisans with a unique platform to showcase their arts and crafts, many of which are dwindling due to a lack of opportunities.

Jaya_He_10

Envisioned in 2009 by Sanjay Reddy, Vice-Chairman of GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited, who wished to create an airport that “can compete with any global equivalent but retains a distinct sense of place and identity, an airport that celebrates India”. Rajeev Sethi, one of South Asia’s leading curators and scenographers, translated this vision “into an unprecedented interdisciplinary platform of original art treasures from various regions of the country, commissioned works by master-craftspeople as well as artists and designers exploring contemporary visual language”.

Jaya He is conceived as three distinct sections – Thresholds of India, Layered Narratives and Baggage Acclaimed. Approximately 3000 ethnographic objects were sourced exclusively for the Art Program. The interesting thing about the Jaya He museum is that it thoughtfully reflects “the many-layered narrative that is India… [intentionally] defying conventional notions of art- craft or traditional-modern as binaries”. This massive multi-disciplinary endeavour brought together designers, artists, artisans, architects, art historians, anthropologists and conservators with the best technicians “all working together on curatorial concepts that distil and interpret India”.

Jaya_He_4

Thresholds of India
The first section -‘Thresholds of India’ consists of 6 thematic collections showcasing the India of today in all its complexity where “each artefact is an alphabet, which once placed with others, began composing themselves into sentences and eventually into stories”.

  1. ‘India Elemental’ is based on the concept of the ‘panchmahabhuta’, linked to the Hindu creation myth as well as the foundation of Ayurvedic science. Using the 5 elements to bring together artefacts from across the country – an installation of antique stone spouts represents Water; bronze and stone lamps represent Fire; cosmological diagrams made using lamp holders represent Space; mud architecture & shrines represent Earth; and canopies, flying locomotives & filigreed screens represent Air.
  2. ‘India Silent Sentinels’ is composed of various architectural and sculptural elements traditionally featured in thresholds of homes, step wells and religious architecture. Toranas, arches, pillars mark the entrance, creating a space of transition and preparation for those entering or exiting. Totems, brackets, deities, guardian figures and angels carved on the façade or placed near the doorway serve as declarations of identity and belonging, as well as symbolically guard the entrance.
  3. Jaya_He_11

  4. ‘India Global’ represents “an India in the making, where new forms, materials and ways of being coalesce in novel ways, the old and new coexisting side by side, spar with one another and more often than not, erupting into fantastic hybrids, at once global and local”.
  5. ‘India Greets’ is is a larger than life “tableau of doorways, façades, and porches” carefully sourced from various parts of the country replete with symbols of welcome and protection such as lotuses, sacred geometries, apsaras, ancestral figures, and more.
  6. ‘India Seamless’ consists of four installations, each from one corner of the country –Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Bengal. Depicting the myths, histories and popular culture of these regions, the installations are creative collaborations between contemporary artists and artisans from these States.
  7. Jaya_He_6

Layered Narratives

In the Arrivals corridor, flanking the moving walkways that lead the disembarking travelers towards the baggage claim area is the second section called ‘Layered Narratives’. Here one can see the story of Mumbai and urban India explored through 32 especially commissioned artworks by some of the leading artists in the country.

Jaya_He_8

Baggage Acclaimed

The third section titled ‘Baggage Acclaimed’ is made of four sculptural installations on the baggage carousels showcasing the diversity of textiles and costumes of India engaging arriving visitors while they wait for their luggage.

T2 is slated to cater to 40 million passengers per year which is more footfalls than that of any museum in the world. Rajeev highlights how “encased in the midst of high traffic and high security, these priceless treasures will reach more viewers each day than many museums could hope to do in a month”.

Jaya He “enlivens the kilometres of walls and huge spatial volumes of the Mumbai International Airport with meaning. Mumbai has produced one iconic public building that has symbolized entrance into the city whether by land, as in VT Station (1887), or by sea, as in the Gateway of India (1921). Following this tradition, T2 is envisaged as a 21st century counterpart to these illustrious forerunners – a gateway to the subcontinent for the millions who now travel by air”.

These collections are carefully planned while keeping human interaction angle in mind. There are information kiosks near each installation and Jaya He Museum invites you to share your experience via photographs. You can learn more about crafts from India and the 100 artists who have contributed to this collaboration on Jaya He’s website. You can also plan your visit, for no matter how many times you transit through the airport, Domestic or International, it been created in a way that you will be see a new detail in these exquisite “narrative trails” rich in ethnographic stories every time you are at the Airport.

Spaces: Jaya He GVK New Museum: Mumbai Airport Terminal 2

Possibly India’s largest public artwork project to date, Jaya He Museum at the Mumbai International Airport, spans across Terminal 2 and is a landmark corporate initiative to safeguard an immense cultural resource. Jaya He Museum provides the artisans with a unique platform to showcase their arts and crafts, many of which are dwindling due to a lack of opportunities.

Jaya_He_10

Envisioned in 2009 by Sanjay Reddy, Vice-Chairman of GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited, who wished to create an airport that “can compete with any global equivalent but retains a distinct sense of place and identity, an airport that celebrates India”. Rajeev Sethi, one of South Asia’s leading curators and scenographers, translated this vision “into an unprecedented interdisciplinary platform of original art treasures from various regions of the country, commissioned works by master-craftspeople as well as artists and designers exploring contemporary visual language”.

Jaya_He_4

Initially Rajeev titled this Art Program ‘Liminus 2’ derived from the Latin word liminalis referring to a threshold, aptly “populated by [a] myriad [of] symbols of departure and arrival, separation and assimilation, navigated anew each time…[thus] in its most tangible physical sense, the airport serves as an interstitial passage – located in a specific fixed site yet almost a world unto itself. Airports today [are like a] virtual metropolis [simultaneously] global and local, [falling] between public use and private experience, between work and home, commerce and culture…The Mumbai International Airport straddles the three worlds of imagination, ambition and reality”.

Jaya He is conceived as three distinct sections – Thresholds of India, Layered Narratives and Baggage Acclaimed. Approximately 3000 ethnographic objects were sourced exclusively for the Art Program. The interesting thing about the Jaya He museum is that it thoughtfully reflects “the many-layered narrative that is India… [intentionally] defying conventional notions of art- craft or traditional-modern as binaries”. This massive multi-disciplinary endeavour brought together designers, artists, artisans, architects, art historians, anthropologists and conservators with the best technicians “all working together on curatorial concepts that distil and interpret India”.

Jaya_He_7

The first section -‘Thresholds of India’ consists of 6 thematic collections showcasing the India of today in all its complexity where “each artefact is an alphabet, which once placed with others, began composing themselves into sentences and eventually into stories”.

Jaya_He_8

‘India Elemental’ is based on the concept of the ‘panchmahabhuta’, linked to the Hindu creation myth as well as the foundation of Ayurvedic science. Using the 5 elements to bring together artefacts from across the country – an installation of antique stone spouts represents Water; bronze and stone lamps represent Fire; cosmological diagrams made using lamp holders represent Space; mud architecture & shrines represent Earth; and canopies, flying locomotives & filigreed screens represent Air.

‘India Silent Sentinels’ is composed of various architectural and sculptural elements traditionally featured in thresholds of homes, step wells and religious architecture. Toranas, arches, pillars mark the entrance, creating a space of transition and preparation for those entering or exiting. Totems, brackets, deities, guardian figures and angels carved on the façade or placed near the doorway serve as declarations of identity and belonging, as well as symbolically guard the entrance.

‘India Global’ represents “an India in the making, where new forms, materials and ways of being coalesce in novel ways, the old and new coexisting side by side, spar with one another and more often than not, erupting into fantastic hybrids, at once global and local”.

Jaya_He_1

‘India Greets’ is is a larger than life “tableau of doorways, façades, and porches” carefully sourced from various parts of the country replete with symbols of welcome and protection such as lotuses, sacred geometries, apsaras, ancestral figures, and more.

‘India Seamless’ consists of four installations, each from one corner of the country –Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Bengal. Depicting the myths, histories and popular culture of these regions, the installations are creative collaborations between contemporary artists and artisans from these States.

‘India Moves’ is a “homage to journeys of the body and the soul, which find diverse articulations in India’s material culture and represent a larger philosophy where one’s location is in constant flux, subject to the cyclical motions of kala or time”. Real “antique boats, bullock carts, elephant howdahs, wedding litters and palanquins that speak of modes of transport both mundane and festive, while temple chariots and padukas evoke living traditions of deities who travel the earth, bestowing devotees with a glimpse of the divine”.

Jaya_He_5

Jaya_He_6

In the Arrivals corridor, flanking the moving walkways that lead the disembarking travelers towards the baggage claim area is the second section called ‘Layered Narratives’. Here one can see the story of Mumbai and urban India explored through 32 especially commissioned artworks by some of the leading artists in the country.

The third section titled ‘Baggage Acclaimed’ is made of four sculptural installations on the baggage carousels showcasing the diversity of textiles and costumes of India engaging arriving visitors while they wait for their luggage.

T2 is slated to cater to 40 million passengers per year which is more footfalls than that of any museum in the world. Rajeev highlights how “encased in the midst of high traffic and high security, these priceless treasures will reach more viewers each day than many museums could hope to do in a month”.

Jaya_He_11

Jaya He “enlivens the kilometres of walls and huge spatial volumes of the Mumbai International Airport with meaning. Mumbai has produced one iconic public building that has symbolized entrance into the city whether by land, as in VT Station (1887), or by sea, as in the Gateway of India (1921). Following this tradition, T2 is envisaged as a 21st century counterpart to these illustrious forerunners – a gateway to the subcontinent for the millions who now travel by air”.

These collections are carefully planned while keeping human interaction angle in mind. There are information kiosks near each installation and Jaya He Museuminvites you to share your experience via photographs. You can learn more about crafts from India and the 100 artists who have contributed to this collaboration on Jaya He’s website. You can also plan your visit, for no matter how many times you transit through the airport, Domestic or International, it been created in a way that you will be see a new detail in these exquisite “narrative trails” rich in ethnographic stories every time you are at the Airport.