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An architectural spectacle

Published : Feb 5, 2016, 9:55 pm IST
Updated : Feb 5, 2016, 9:55 pm IST

At first glance, these coin-shaped figures may seem like ambiguous designs.

The Global Vipassana Pagoda. Gorai
 The Global Vipassana Pagoda. Gorai

At first glance, these coin-shaped figures may seem like ambiguous designs. But look closer, and you will witness the ceiling architecture of Mumbai’s heritage and contemporary buildings such as Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Hotel, Afghan Church, CST station (formerly Victoria Terminus), and others. Titled Look Up Mumbai, media artists Sarah Kenderdine, Berndt Linterman and Jeffrey Shaw and Honk Kong-based photographer John Choy are presenting their work on the architectural diversity in the city at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya. The show offers a digital tour of the city’s churches, mosques, temples, government and industrial buildings.

Visitors need to view the 65 iconic domes by lying on custom-made couches. Shot over a period of three weeks, Sarah tells us that the process behind these photographs was “quite arduous”. She says, “The process of making these gigapixelfisheye photos is quite arduous and can only be done during times when there are no other people in the building. In each location, we shot about 200 separate pictures and each picture was bracketed over three exposures. So actually 600 images were recorded. Later in post-production, these 600 pictures are high dynamic range (HDR) processed and then stitched together to make the final spherical image that is projected into our dome.”

Sarah hopes the project sparks an association with the city’s architecture. She says, “Every culture depends for its vibrancy on the maintenance of its cultural memory, and India is a testament to the meaningfulness of such a legacy. And while contemporary art practice searches for ways to renew its cultural relevance, one way to do this is to reinterpret and refresh our vision of the cultural heritage that was its forbear.”

Till February 28, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya (CSMVS)