A space in Kala Ghoda plays host to unique up and coming artists and performers.
In the midst of the towering heritage structures, just minutes away from the Bombay Stock Exchange building, is an intimate, charming space which takes on the shape of an art studio, a theatre or a workshop space, according to need. Si Bambai of Kala Ghoda is a space created specifically for new and experimental forms of art of both installations and performance varieties.
“What matters to us is the uniqueness of each performer or artiste who wants to showcase their work. We’ve had the Darkroom Project do their performance, which is a theatre performance where everyone is blindfolded. We’re going to start live art installations for artists, wherein they’ll use a studio space to paint, while their art is displayed around the gallery. We also had Mumbai’s first Gujarati stand-up comedy show. We’re even a part of the iconic Kala Ghoda festival this time round,” says the enthusiastic founder and owner of Si Bambai Rajesh Krishna.
One of the upcoming performances that the host is looking forward to is that of The Autorickshaw — a Canadian Indo-Fusion band. “They are a really talented bunch and their lead singer is a Canadian-based woman, who has Carnatic roots. Their music is quite an innovative mix of different flavours. They were looking for a venue to perform at and I reached out to them,” explains Rajesh, adding that he also got the group in touch with Harkat Studios in Andheri. “We’re happy to collaborate with other experimental spaces and Autorickshaw have such a fresh sound that I wanted to help them out beyond just hosting them for a night,” he adds.
The space Rajesh wants to create is one where people from nearby offices can drop in, relax and catch a show before heading home. However, the journey promises to be a challenging one, especially since the studio, placed on the second story of a heritage structure is not the most visible of spaces. “Those who have come here have fallen in love with the space. There’s a narrow terrace area from where you can see all of the Kala Ghoda area. You need years of waiting to get your artwork displayed at Jehangir Art Gallery. Here there’s no waiting time at all as of now. The same goes for theatre and performing arts,” he grins.
The real challenge as of now, says Rajesh, is to ensure that his venture remains above water in terms of funds. “As of now, I handle the whole operation mostly by myself. I’m trying to get a team together and I’m also approaching a few corporates to help out with funding. Experimental artforms need to be given platforms as well, and I hope that we can continue to do so,” he signs off.