A huge 15 X10 feet, three-dimensional installation, titled Shangrila Screen greets you at the entrance of the art gallery at Bikaner House. The black and white checkered floors of the art gallery serve as the perfect base to set off the gold-hued brass artwork. Small soldered 2 x2 pieces of brass have been welded together to make a messy three-dimensional screen, which stands tall on textured brass rods. Pieces of square malachite break the golden monotony. Shangrila Screen is a reference to all the glorious and lost mythical cities and is part of the mammoth showcase of ‘15 years of Vikram Goyal for Viya’.
The show, which is replete with more than 20 works, is the debut exhibit of the furniture designer who specialises in the gold-hued medium. “I have always been fascinated with this metal — and the idea was to make functional things with it,” says Goyal, whose furniture house Viya had made wall mirrors, tables, wall sconces, screens and wall panels.
Lost and mythical cities is a recurring theme, as we see an El Dorado console, which weighs 20kgs, a Persepolis floor lamp and a Persepolis wall sconce (pictured) and sculpture. “I see them as a metaphor of how we wish to live. And we have lost it all. I’m just trying to resurrect that idea,” adds Goyal.
There are old and new works and combine a design language which has an international outlook, but Indian approach. One sees a lot of Mughal motifs, cranes, spirals and spires, and floral interpretations as well. There is a liberal use of precious stones such as blue lapis lazuli and the green malachite. Goyal wishes to resurrect the medium. Also, he wishes to change the perception around the medium, which till now was dictated by the ‘cheap and cheerful’ brass industry of Moradabad. “There is a certain glamour to brass. From bright to subdued, we can produce the desired effects we wish. Also it’s super sturdy as compared to glass and other materials,” says Goyal, 53, whose works with about 100 artisans in Noida.