yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-street art festival mumbai

5 reasons to visit Sassoon Dock Art Project 2017

I have started making reason-lists because they compel me to summarize what I love the most about each experience. If you want to see my other reason-lists, do visit 5 reasons to visit Bhutan- The Kingdom of Happiness and 5 reasons to visit Kochi-Muziris Biennale

Reason to visit #1: Street Art- A different encounter with Art

Wikipedia says Street art is a form of artwork that is displayed in a community on its surrounding buildings, streets, and other publicly viewed surfaces. Many instances come in the form of guerrilla art, which is composed to make a public statement about the society that the artist lives within. The work has moved from the beginnings of graffiti and vandalism to new modes where artists work to bring messages, or just simple beauty, to an audience.

When I think of street art, images of graffiti on the walls of New York or other American cities pop up in my head. I rarely saw that sort of art in India until a few years ago. Somewhere our rich heritage for murals, indigenous wall art and many other forms of art used for public spaces, perished.

It is great to see the street art culture growing and I do hope more of our Indian ethos find its way into it rather than mirroring the western expression.

yellow periscope sassoon dock art project mumbai street art
Sassoon Dock, home to Mumbai’s indigenous Koli community gets a colourful makeover
Street art has moved from the beginnings of graffiti and vandalism to new modes where artists work to bring messages, or just simple beauty, to an audience.
INSIDE OUT PROJECT by Akshat Nauriyal and Pranav Gohil, India. Exhibit1. A global participatory project started by the renowned French artist JR, celebrates the identity and untold stories of the original inhabitants of any space with large scale paste up of monochromatic portraits. At Sassoon Dock the portraits feature more than 300 people of the local fishermen- the ‘Koli’ community.

Reason to visit #2: check out a St+art India Foundation festival

St+art India Foundation aims to make our streets more interactive through the medium of urban art festivals across India. The Sassoon Dock Art Project is the 2nd edition of the St+art Mumbai festival. It also has a few installations outside of Sassoon dock like Mahatma Gandhi’s giant artwork at Churchgate station, in south Mumbai. Over the past 3 years, the foundation has organized 6 St+art festivals and numerous public art projects in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. Each new edition of festivals and public art districts asks for us to reimagine our idea of public spaces and uses the streets as a canvas.

yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-mumbai 2017
With the Sassoon dock art project, the foundation invites Mumbaikars to come and discover a new side of the city and experience art at this unexpected place. There are curated tours, talks, film screenings and workshops being held over the weekends that will allow you a complete art experience.


Reason to visit #3: Our top picks from the Sassoon Dock Art Project

Sassoon Dock Art Project is an Urban Contemporary Art Exhibition featuring 30 Indian and International Artists for 50 days through site specific installations, murals and audio-visual experiences. Here are Yellow Periscopes top picks from the Sassoon Dock Art Show – the installations that held our attention, made us contemplate and left us impressed.

yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-plastic ocean Tan Zi Xi
PLASTIC OCEAN. Artist: Tan ZI Xi, Singapore. Exhibit: 5. Singaporean artist Tan Zi Xi in this large scale immersive installation invites the viewer into a room that creates a floating effect of an ocean with the aid of about 400 Kgs of plastic to reconnect with the ignored plight hidden inside Mumbai’s coasts. AT Sassoon docks installation she added site specific elements that were bought and recycled from Dharavi.


yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-Guido Van Helten- mural
UNTITLED by Guido Van Helten, Australia. Exhibit 14
Guido is known for his large scale monochromatic portraits. He spent three days taking portrait shots of the fisherfolk present at the dock. ‘I saw these women shelling prawns at the dock, they sat together and I talked with them briefly smiling, focused and strong. I choose to represent these three because of their close friendship’ explains Guido.


yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-Guido Van Helten- mural
UNTITLED by Guido Van Helten, Australia. Exhibit 14. Using the decadence to its advantage, Guido’s photorealistic murals seemingly weave out naturally through the walls. The piece will be a permanent trace and tribute to the dock even after the exhibition ends.


yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-street art mumbai hanif kureshi idea of smell
THE IDEA OF SMELL by Hanif Kureshi, India. Exhibit 2. Hanif worked with local materials which characterize Sassoon dock and opens the exhibition by creating a walkthrough of sensations that can only be thought of and not felt. In front of the viewer are huge nylon nets with hundreds of words floating in the room.
yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-street art mumbai hanif kureshi idea of smell
THE IDEA OF SMELL by Hanif Kureshi, India. Exhibit 2. The words express a smell that in turn brings back memories. You are standing there recollecting the sensory experiences of iodex, burning plastic, diwali firecrackers or freshly cut grass amongst many others.


yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-dead fish
DEAD FISH by Arthat Collective, India. Exhibit 16. The collective the primary imagery from Sassoon Dock, the fish. They create a huge fish skeleton using Mumbai’s skyline. It’s a comment on massive urban developments and traditions that are slowly disappearing as a result of it


yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-parfum sassoon showroom Sameer Kulavoor
PARFUM SASSOON SHOWROOM by Sameer Kulavoor, India. Exhibit 15.
The artist is making an ironical dialogue on consumerism. Taking on from his advertising background and the distinct smell of fishing dock, he has created an experience of being inside a upmarket perfume showroom selling the docks smell

yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-parfum sassoon showroom Sameer Kulavoor


Reason to visit #4: Art is for all. Observe how the familiar becomes outstanding

Art need not be only about visiting galleries or understanding the finer nuances of an artist’s creation. Street Art is out there, in your face, whether you like it or not. It grabs hold of a place and turns into something that suddenly claims your attention.

Street Art is an opportunity to pause and experience our public places instead of passing them unnoticed every day.


yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-the sassoon dog
SASSOON DOG by Faizan Khatri, India. Exhibit 29. The installation occurs at different areas of the venue. They are the stray dogs pissing at the corners or sidewalks that we see when we want to, and don’t when we don’t.

yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-the sassoon dog

yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-akash halankar
WHAT GOES UP COMES DOWN by Akash Halankar, India. Exhibit 23. The artist plays with typography on the stairs of the Sassoon Dock exhibition. He spells out ‘What goes up also come down’ in tints of neon, to critique the rapid urbanization in Mumbai.

yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project-akash halankar

yellow-periscope-sasoon-dock-art-project mumbai
Furqan Jawed uses the washrooms at the Sassoon Dock Project Exhibition space to question what is public and what is private, while also exploring gender and sexuality. It catches your attention and makes you think.


Reason to visit #5:  Sights, Sounds and Smells of a fishing village

Built in 1875 and situated off Cuffe Parade in South Mumbai, Sassoon Docks is one of the oldest docks in Mumbai. It was the first commercial wet dock in western India that helped establish the cotton trade. It played a prime role in encouraging the Bombay Presidency to promote the construction of the large Prince’s Dock during the dawn of the industrial revolution in the city.

The 142-year-old Sassoon Dock is one of the largest wholesale fish market in Mumbai. In the morning you can see boats arriving with their catch, fresh fish being auctioned at the wharf and fisherwomen shelling prawns.



The Sassoon Dock Art Project is on from 11.11.17 to 30.12.17.  Thursdays to Sundays from 12pm to 10pm. Entry is free.

To stay updated visit St+art India facebook page here. You can follow startindia on instagram here.

@startindia #sassoondockartproject  #artforall  #startmumbai



  1. Well written!

    1. Thank you Shruti! I am glad you liked it. Did you visit the Sassoon Dock Festival?

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