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‘Matka chowk installation symbolises liberty, adds to beauty of City Beautiful’

Dr Sandeep Goyal, 58, is a Mumbai-based philanthropist who presented the idea of the artwork ‘Murmurations’ no less than twelve times to the Chandigarh Heritage Committee over a span of two years.

Written by Varun Das | Chandigarh |
March 21, 2021 8:50:04 am
‘Matka chowk installation symbolises liberty, adds to beauty of City Beautiful’At Matka Chowk. (Express photo)

Dr Sandeep Goyal, the man behind the newly-inaugurated installation at Matka Chowk, opens up to The Indian Express about his Chandigarh connect.

Dr Goyal, 58, is a Mumbai-based philanthropist who presented the idea of the artwork ‘Murmurations’ no less than twelve times to the Chandigarh Heritage Committee over a span of two years. An alumni of St John’s School in Chandigarh, Goyal did his honours in English Literature from DAV College here. He later ventured into the field of advertising in Mumbai, leading ad agencies like Rediffusion and Dentsu. He also took over the reins of Zee TV as the Group CEO for a few years.

How did the idea for the installation crop up?

I grew up in this city. Yes, I had to relocate to New Delhi around four decades ago, and later I shifted to Mumbai. But this city has always been close to my heart. Upon my return to Chandigarh, I noticed how little the city has evolved over the years. I felt that there was lack of proactive efforts to embellish or beautify the city. The whole idea of the artwork was to add something to the beauty of the City Beautiful. That is how I came to dream about the installation, ‘Murmurations’.

Kindly highlight the significance of installation?

The installation is called ‘Murmurations’. As the name suggests, it is an artistic depiction of a large flock of birds flying in formation. A murmuration, in my opinion is a mesmerising sight. We see birds dart overhead and seamlessly change the direction, defying the laws of nature. That is where I drew my inspiration from. A murmuration represents harmony and rhythm. Besides, birds stand for freedom. This artwork symbolises liberty. It has been painted with powder coating on metal, so it stands the test of time. With proper maintenance, it would last 10 years. It sits on an area of 200 sq ft. About 5.5 tonnes of steel were used in the making of this artwork. There are perforations in the birds, which cut off the pressure of the wind. Besides, it also casts different patterns of shadows on the chowk, lending it a scenic look. It is distinctive.

Could you reflect on the road to realisation of the installation?

I had presented over a dozen designs to the Chandigarh Heritage Committee. Eventually, the committee winnowed down the list of suggestions to the one design for the ‘Murmurations’. We eventually got the greenlight from the UT Adviser. The process of approval took two years. I am glad that the artwork could finally see the light of day. It has been inaugurated. The occasion of the inauguration was graced by the presence of UT Adviser Manoj Parida and his wife. Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta was also in attendance. I am overwhelmed by the realisation of this project. It feels great to give something back to the city I love.

Any future plans for the city?

The island in the Sukhna Lake is the signature of the lake. I am in talks with UT Adviser Manoj Parida, to see if I can add some value to the isle. Besides, I am also launching the ‘Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret Forum’, a forum especially for those who admire the architectural and aesthetic beauty of Chandigarh.

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