Public is a multi-year series of commissions and residencies based on the principle of dialogue and exchange with emerging countries and their institutions; it is a program that sees contemporary art as a model of growth and development, capable of fostering dialogue and interaction between social and cultural contexts that are very different from each other. ZegnArt Public’s mission is to explore this spectrum of possibilities in a wide range of areas.
Public’s first country of action was India, and the chosen city was Mumbai: a deeply significant, complex, difficult and stimulating context.
The partner institution for Public India was the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the city’s oldest museum, whose collections focus on the applied arts and everyday life in nineteenth-century Mumbai.
Reena Kallat (b. 1973, Delhi), the winner of the commission, was selected by a jury made up of Gildo and Anna Zegna, representing Ermenegildo Zegna Group; Tasneem Mehta, Jyotindra Jain and Minal Baji, representing the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, and Andrea Zegna, the project coordinator.
The work conceived by Reena Kallat, Untitled (Cobweb/Crossing), is fully in keeping with the spirit of the project: it focuses on the relationship with public space from the standpoint of both form and content, taking as its theme the history of the city of Mumbai.
Like a mirror image of the commission for the public work in India, ZegnArt assigned a fellowship for a four-month residency in Italy to be carried out at MACRO, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, to young artist Sahej Rahal (b. 1988, Mumbai). At the end of the process, Sahej Rahal exhibited a series of works at MACRO which he had made during his stay in Rome.