‘Art is the catalyst that can make alchemy happen in society’ – how Sonu Mulchandani of E-Studio promotes art consciousness in India
In Part II of this photo essay on E-Studio, we showcase more of its art works along with founder perspectives on the importance of creative careers in India.
PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 200 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Sonu Mulchandani studied science at Mount Carmel College and fashion from JD School of Fashion Design, Bengaluru. She launched art gallery and curation firm E-Studio International in 2003, entering the field of art (see Part I of our photo essay here).
“Ten years of retail and marketing experience with Big Kids Kemp gave me an opportunity to double business turnover for the company year after year by introducing new lines, assisting in expansion, and using marketing skills to accomplish set targets,” says Sonu. “Business is in my DNA,” she jokes.
Sonu worked on multiple portfolios and expansion of stores all over India, which included finding franchisees, inspecting locations, and negotiating agreements. “It feels like I did my MBA in marketing by direct practical work,” she explains, echoing the sentiments of many founders who say that entrepreneurship is the best education.
Sonu also studied tools for digital design and sculpting, and even has certificates on Japanese tea ceremonies. She finished a BA from IGNOU and is pursuing a masters in Art History. While many people went on holiday in summer, Sonu completed a curatorial foundation course with Southey's Institute of Art in the UK. “There is no age limit or ideal time for learning. Learning is a never-ending process, it has to persist in every human as it contributes to their evolution,” she adds.
“Earlier, we were particularly inclined to vintage and museum art concepts. The market then was new and we were ahead of the times,” she said. The new goal now is to take contemporary Indian art concepts out to the world. Sonu also curated the first-ever Art-Science Festival at Phoenix Market City (see Part I and Part II of our earlier coverage).
“The next ten years are particularly important for India to re-frame our image in the world, not just in technology and economics but also art and culture,” Sonu explains. This is important for the country’s progress as well, and will help realise its full potential.
Emerging trends to watch range from mixed media works to scholarly research on art. “Art is an inspiration. Business opportunities for an artist today are enormous – the only limit is what you can envisage or conceive of in every field,” she says. The growth of residential, commercial and public spaces opens up opportunities for art curators as well.
The art community needs to come together and promote “art consciousness” in society, urges Sonu. Many countries such as UK have established the economic importance of art. Any trip to Europe reveals the priority given to artistic preservation and promotion.
“We need a movement to ‘artify’ India. Let’s make the art presence felt in Bengaluru as the first step, beyond just IT,” says Sonu. She is beginning an art foundation in this regard, to build international partnerships for art.
“Let us add art as a social responsibility to decorate our cities. The great Picasso made 50,000 artworks in his lifetime, and his artworks are inspirations for so many architectural buildings around the world,” she explains.
“Art consciousness is a necessity for growth and development of a country. Art should be experienced not just in galleries but public places as well. We need more art festivals, shows and exhibitions,” advises Sonu.
“Art is the catalyst that can make alchemy happen in a society. It has the capacity to transform economic, political and social conditions and also can manifest inventions,” she explains. “While there is a lot of art in India, we need to learn from how well other countries have upscaled art consciousness,” Sonu advises.
“Believe in yourself and there is no limit to what nature can manifest for you. Anything with a pure intention becomes real. Even nature is partial to creative people,” Sonu signs off.
Now what have you done today to connect your passion to a larger picture and take steps towards that sense of purpose?
Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!