The city’s newest art gallery is a well-kept secret. And if Netherlands native Emmelie Koster has her way, only a handful of people will ever know where it exists. The globetrotting law student has pioneered the concept of the travelling pop-up art gallery, a three-day-only exhibition of upcoming photographers and artistes from around the world.
“Keeping the venue a secret creates curiosity for such art,” Koster explains. Available for viewing by selection only, she has made it a point to take her project from country to country. She’s been living Mumbai since April this year.
“We organise a pop-up art gallery once every three months in a different city in a different country. We organised two in the Netherlands, the third in Germany, and now we will have one in Mumbai,” she reveals.
Her nomadic lifestyle is attributed to the fact that she travels to a different country every three months as part of the Erasmus Mundus programme for law and economics.
Ask her why she picked India and she responds, “The only other countries outside of Europe that were part of this programme were Israel and India. So I just picked the farthest option.”
Koster also carries her exhibits with her, and when the participating photographer can afford to, they travel to the country to personally witness the exhibition.
“We also invite local artistes to be part of the programme. This time, we organised a photography competition in Dharavi because the basic point of the pop-up gallery is to give young artistes a chance. I wanted to find someone here who was a really good artiste and realised the best way to do that would be to have a competition,” she explains.
To finance the competition, Koster spread the word among family and friends, collecting 45 cameras for the young lensmen. The cameras will remain with participating NGOs, so that the campaign can continue. The winning photo will be declared next week. “All the artworks are for sale. In Hamburg, we had tremendous response. And being an affordable art gallery, I don’t think anything will cost more than 700 euros, though that’s not a promise,” she grins.
We organised a photography competition in Dharavi to give young artistes a chance.