Bulgari should never have left India three years ago, so it’s coming back, the chief executive of the Italian luxury jewellery and accessories company said in an interview on Thursday. Jean-Christophe Babin was in New Delhi on Thursday to attend the opening of the company’s flagship store in India.
Bulgari first came to India in 2004. Earlier this year, the LVMH-owned company received approval to set up single-brand retail stores through a joint venture. With an ever-increasing number of shopping malls and the rising number of rich people, the growth outlook for India’s luxury brand market is positive. According to a survey, India’s luxury market is around $14 billion while the global luxury business stands more than $1.5 trillion. Experts say India is the fastest-growing market for luxury goods, expected to grow higher than China in the next four years.
For a country that associates art mostly with canvases, sculptures and installations, an exhibition showcasing 5,000 years of antique jewellery can be a novel experience.
Walk into the Alamkara gallery at Delhi’s National Museum and you will see more than 200 glittering ornaments placed in 25 dark brown cases. The dim yellow light creates an impression of objects locked in time, some from the Indus Valley Civilization.
Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him. If you’re in India, the chances are that there’s at least one of his novels on your bookshelf or one of his columns in the newspaper in front of you on the table. If you still haven’t escaped from him, there are tons of interviews lately like this one showing up in front of you.
Indian diplomat Navtej Sarna‘s latest book pieces together the history of an Indian “hospice” in Jerusalem. Spread over seven thousand square metres near the Dome of the Rock, the property has its origins in a visit by Sufi saint Baba Farid about 800 years ago.
Farid, a pioneer of the Punjabi literary tradition, supposedly meditated for 40 days in an underground chamber in Jerusalem. His presence brought followers to this site and it “expanded through the centuries as a place for Indian pilgrims to stay.”
“Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience” is a book-length attempt to record in pictures the history of an Islamic country’s Hindu past, especially as extremist activity mounts against Pakistan’s religious and ethnic minorities, including Ahmadis, Christians, Sikhs and Shia Muslims.
Reema Abbasi, the book’s author, travelled the country to write this narrative of about 40 old religious sites, including Hindu temples in the jagged terrain of the western state of Balochistan. She also visited the Thar desert and the Indus River valley in the state of Sindh, as well as Karachi, Lahore, Punjab and dangerous stretches of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, along the border with Afghanistan.
India’s stock market, like its peers across the world, is no stranger to sudden trading halts due to technical glitches. On Thursday, India’s second-biggest exchange operator BSE halted trading across all its segments due to a network outage. Trading on the NSE bourse was not affected.
The three-hour outage was the longest in recent memory and follows three earlier outages in a year that has seen stocks scale fresh peaks on expectations of economic revival from a new government.
‘The Body in Indian Art’, on exhibit at the National Museum in New Delhi, is a pan-India project showcasing over 300 artworks from 44 institutions. The show is an exhaustive study of the body’s myriad representations in Indian art, roughly covering a period of 4,000 years across regions, religion and culture.
The exhibition has been put up in eight adjoining galleries, each with a specific theme such as death, birth, divinity or rapture.
Dada (2010-13) (grandfather)
Artist Subodh Gupta’s exhibition in New Delhi features images from everyday Indian life on a grand and theatrical scale. The cycle rickshaw, the sewing machine, utensils and the Mumbai taxi are some of the motifs that dominate his work in ‘Everything is Inside’.
The show, on view at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, is an artist’s journey to the “inside” of his home and his roots. His preoccupation with utensils stems from his passion for cooking. And in ‘Bihari’, painted around the time he moved to Delhi in the 1990’s, the 50-year-old artist seeks to assert his regional identity.
Rana Dasgupta’s first non-fiction book is an investigation into what makes Delhi a city of unequal transformation, salted with ambition, aggression and misogyny. “Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi” takes its shape from an “outsider’s” anxiety about not being able to understand a city that is primarily the by-product of refugees from India’s partition in 1947.
Dasgupta, 42, was born and raised in England, and belongs to a family of migrants whose roots are in the Lahore of British India, now Pakistan. In 2000, he flew to Delhi after quitting a marketing job in New York and fell “into one of the great churns of the age”.
At the sixth edition of the India Art Fair, there were probably half as many photographers as there were makeshift art galleries from different parts of the world. For a photographer, a visit to an art fair of a global scale can be awe-inspiring, overwhelming and baffling at the same time.
As I walked through the many stalls in the sprawling grounds of a south Delhi suburb, I asked myself a question: how do I capture someone else’s story, one that is already etched on a canvas or an installation?