Offbeat Delhi: Visiting the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art- Artreach India and Vivan Sundaram

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While exploring Delhi, I prefer focusing on the offbeat. Though I don’t write blog posts about everything happening around the city, you can follow me on Instagram to stay updated on what’s new. Over the weekend, I visited Artreach India’s “Geeli Mitti” exhibit at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, a collection of artworks made by underprivileged children. I also strolled through the “Vivan Sundaram Retropsective” on display there.


Artworks in the Geeli Mitti exhibit

The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA):

Established in 2010 by Kiran Nadar, this is India’s first private museum exhibiting modern and contemporary works of art. With two branches in Noida and Saket, its well-designed galleries are ideal to showcase innovative art.

The museum offers outreach programs for schools to engender a love of art at a young age. These include various kinds of craft and painting workshops. They also take a keen interest in the welfare of underprivileged children, funding programs like the Artreach India Teaching Fellowship.


People enjoying the Geeli Mitti exhibit

“Geeli Mitti” by Arteach India:

Artreach India is an NGO run by Charty Dugdale that promotes art as a form of therapy and expression for marginalized communities. Unfortunately, this section of society doesn’t have much exposure to art.


The talented children picked from the Salaam Balak Trust

Hoping to change the prevalent attitude, Artreach India instituted a Teaching Fellowship in 2015 as part of which a chosen artist works intensively with young people, teaching them different techniques and encouraging creativity.


This time the Fellowship was spearheaded by artist Sonam Chaturvedi. The Salaam Baalak Trust chose 19 children from four different institutions who showed talent and interest. Over 10 months, they attended weekend workshops and learnt drawing, cyano-type print making, clay work, plaster casting, collage, storytelling and book-binding, along with photography and claymation. They also went on various field trips and learnt pottery. The intensive program culminated in the “Geeli Mitti” exhibit at the KNMA where the best works are displayed for sale.


The enthusiastic children gave detailed information of their artwork on the opening day. Along with other keen attendees, I couldn’t resist picking up a few beautiful pieces. With nearly all proceeds going to the children (minus 10% for framing etc.), it’s certainly a worthy shopping expedition. There’s a live shadow-drawing exhibit which people are encouraged to be part of. The claymation film also makes for enjoyable viewing. It’s a nice one to visit with families and young children.


Live shadow-drawing 

“Vivan Sundaram Retrospective: Step Inside and You Are No Longer a Stranger”:

Apart from the “Geeli Mitti” exhibit, KNMA is currently hosting a “Vivan Sundaram Retrospective”. Most gallery space is dedicated to the life-work of this multifaceted artist. Sundaram’s most definitive work is his re-construction of waste material into objects of use, making a hard-hitting statement about the wasteful nature of humans.


He works across mediums such as charcoal drawing, pottery, installation work, collage-making and painting to poignantly explore dark periods of history and complex human emotion. I was particularly moved by his drawings inspired by the Auschwitz, as well as the repurposing of trash into high fashion pieces.


The Verdict:

I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon visit to the KNMA. It was thought-provoking, cheerful and a welcome escape from Delhi’s heat and dust. I urge everyone to check out the ongoing exhibits and continue to visit this wonderful space even afterward.


“Geeli Mitti” by Artreach India:

Days: On till June 28. Will move to Ojas India after that date.

Timings: 10:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Address: KNMA Saket, 145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket, New Delhi


Entry free

Contact Artreach India here:

Vivan Sundaram Retrospective:

Days: On till June 30

Timings: 10:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Address: KNMA Saket, 145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket, New Delhi


Entry Free

Phone: 011- 49160000

Here are links to other offbeat Delhi things, in case you’d like to explore!

ASEAN Music Festival

Dastangoi at Studio Safdar

Partition Survivor Stories

Sunday Market at Bikaner House

Art as Therapy

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Moonlit Walks Through Sanjay Van Forest

Cooking Chettinad Cuisine

Learning to Tango

Crystal Healing

The Oddbird Theatre

Live Performances at The Bar Cat


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