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Jewellery by Artists: From Picasso to Koons, an exhibition organised by the culture and art portal

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Hayatt Regency Chennai

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Hayatt Regency Chennai

In the last few years, contemporary Indian art has become quite trendy, garnering respectable selling-prices at international auctions, exhibitions at prestigious European and American art institutions, and showing off at the Indian Contemporary Art Biennial, which took place in Delhi for the fourth time this year. However, the contemporary art scene is probably not what most travelers to the sub-continent have in mind when planning their trip. But stereotypes were made to be broken, and India is slowly, but surely, making headway not only into the international art market, but also into the niche of art tourism. In December 2012, in the Indian state of Kerala, the Kochi-Muziris Contemporary Art Biennial will make its debut, featuring the works of more than 80 artists from India and elsewhere. And in 2015, the contemporary art museum designed by the renown architecture firm Herzog&deMeuron is planned to open in Calcutta.

Foto: Hayatt Regency ChennaiFoto: Hayatt Regency Chennai

But just this month, one of the most ambitious hotel/art projects of the last few years opened its doors in the Indian industrial metropolis of Chennai - the Hyatt Regency Chennai. The hotel boasts one of the largest contemporary art collections put together specially for an establishment such as this - the interior will be decorated with more than 50 works of art, created both by local and foreign artists. Rajeev Sethi, one of the most well-known Indian professionals in the field, is the curator of the exposition. The new hotel has a very interesting background story - when the current owners purchased the long-abandoned building, they were surprised to discover that the concrete ledges were chock full of beehives. It was simply incredible that the bees had actually made themselves a home in this man-made, concrete jungle. The bees, along with this symbolic story about the connections, reciprocity and dependency that all living creatures have with one another, became the basis for the custom-made Hyatt Regency art collection. Flying from flower to flower, a bee not only gets the nectar that it needs for survival, but it pollinates the flowers as well, fulfilling an essential part in the ever-continuing chain of life. Both the bees and the flowers need each other, creating a perfect natural balance.
Along with such well-known Indian artists such as Anjolie Ela Menon and Anjum Sing, the Hyatt Regency collection also contains a piece by the extravagant British artist and jewelry designer Andrew Logan. His installation is displayed in the hotel's atrium - "beehives" encrusted in broken mirror shards (his signature style) wind down along the balconies like dragons in flight, connected to one another with unbreakable bonds. When taking a closer look at the work from any of the floors opening onto the atrium, you see a reflection of yourself amongst the microcosm of flowers and bees - an "extra" in this universe of images and color galaxies. Like many of his works, the artist says that this one is also about the most important thing that there is - the celebration of life, in all of its diversity - and never losing the sense of joy and humour. A film dedicated to the artist came out in 2011 - The British Guide to Showing Off (directed by Jes Benstock); it's an autobiographical tale about Logan and his most extravagant project of all - Alternative Miss World. Begun in 1972, Alternative Miss World has become one of London's most colorful spectacles, featuring all sorts of strange and alternative people; it is at once both a costume party and an ironic take on classic beauty pageants. Unlike the latter, Alternative Miss World is a show in which the main thing is participating, not winning. In the film, Logan himself describes the pageant as his greatest work of art - a living sculpture that embodies four decades of the most irrational trends and ideas in British art. Although the artist's studio - the legendary "Glass House" - is in London, for quite some time now he leaves the cold European winters behind every year and goes off to his place of inspiration - India. Logan's second home is a 250 year-old building in Goa, and every year he leads master classes at the Jaipur Festival.

365, Anna Salai
Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Photos - artwork by Andrew Logan



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