Nita Ambani, the Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, is an ardent art admirer. The promotion of arts, culture, and heritage is one of the focus areas of her foundation for this very reason. With Reliance Foundation, Mrs. Ambani aims at creating an inclusive India and contributing to its collective aspirations.
Nita Ambani’s love for art
Nita Ambani is fond of collecting famous and unique artworks. She owns a number of works by Subodh Gupta, M. F. Hussain, and Anish Kapoor. In 2016, Mrs. Ambani became the first Indian to feature in the global list of top 10 art collectors. She, however, denies the sobriquet “collector,” preferring to call herself a beginner on the search for more. Her daughter, Isha, also an art lover, has introduced her to a number of new artists and artworks.
Nita Ambani strives to protect and promote India’s precious culture and heritage. She wishes to incite an inclination and connection towards the same among the youth of today. Due to her contribution to arts promotion and other fields, she became the first South Asian to be honored by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York in January 2017. The Met was greatly impressed by her work.
Promotion of Nasreen Mohamedi’s work
Nasreen Mohamedi was one of the most noted artists in India. Her work was very popular during the post-independence period. In March 2016, at the newly inaugurated space of The Met, Mrs. Nita Ambani displayed the artist’s rare collections for the world to see. Around 140 objects were showcased in the exhibition, and Nasreen Mohamedi’s minimalistic approach, visual subtlety, and conceptual complexity were brought to light. The exhibition became the largest display of Nasreen Mohamedi’s work in the United States (US). The Met said that Mrs. Ambani’s dedication and support made all of this possible.
Promotion of Pichvai work
Nita Ambani believes in spreading India’s tradition. In 2015, she organized and sponsored a four-month-long exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition introduced the religious community, Pushtimarg, to visitors. It beautifully illustrated how the people worshipped Lord Shrinathji (a divine image of Lord Krishna) during different seasons of the year. The exhibition had drawings, paintings, ancient photographs, and Pichvais (wall hangings used as a backdrop for Lord Shrinathji).
The exhibition strived to present the rich story of the Pushtimarg community. It aimed at spreading the enriching and traditional art and culture of India. Apart from this, the Reliance Family gifted Pichvai works during Diwali 2016 to support artists from Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Exhibition on Egyptian Mummy
Nita Ambani has led a lot of art promotional activities in India under the Reliance Foundation. In 2012, the foundation joined hands with BP to organize ‘Mummy: The Inside Story,’ the internationally famous exhibition, in Mumbai. The exhibition witnessed more than 2.6 lakh visitors, including a huge number of students in its three months. It was a high-tech expo on Egyptian mummies and also had 100 artifacts from the pyramid. The expo uniquely portrayed the mummification process using 3D, X-ray, and CT scan technologies. It displayed the 3,000-year old coffin of a priest. Besides, it also showed the history and life of Egypt.
The Elephanta Festival
Reliance Foundation was the lead sponsor of The Elephanta Festival. The event celebrates India’s various art forms like dance, music, and sculpture. It is an annual event held at the Elephanta Island. Many renowned classical artists from all over India gathered for the event that was attended by over 2000 people.
Reliance Foundation supports Abbaji that is an annual concert. This is Ustad Zakir Hussain’s concert and is dedicated to the memory of his father, Ustad Allah Rakha Khan. It is a tribute to the legendary maestro.
Reliance Foundation has also joined hands with Academy Award winning musician, A. R. Rahman. They together created the musical album, ‘Infinite Love.’ It is a unique global music initiative aimed at popularizing the message of love and brotherhood and the spirit of a borderless world.
Through all of these initiatives, Nita Ambani aims to cultivate a love for art among the people. The two exhibitions sponsored by Reliance Foundation in the US were hugely successful in spreading India’s artwork overseas.
Apart from all these, Mrs. Ambani has planned to set up a 19-acre museum at Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai. The museum will have exhibition spaces for traveling art shows, a theater with a capacity of 2000, residential areas, offices, and retail spaces. The museum is expected to become operational by 2019.