Uart © 2018
For over a century, the Taj is linked to preserving India's heritage, and consistently championing the cause of arts and artisans to remain committed to giving back to communities we exist in. We at Taj Dubai are privileged to be a part of the revival of the art of traditional weaving. The staff at our front desks adorns saris woven by these master craftsmen of Benares. For decades, the Taj Art Gallery at our flagship hotel The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai has been a coveted location in Mumbai for artists to display their work. Acclaimed artists (like S. H. Raza, Ram Kumar, V. S. Gaitonde, Jehangir Sabavala, and Laxman Shreshtha) have all graced this Gallery with their masterpieces. This prestigious Gallery was relaunched in January 2016, marking the celebration of great artistic activity in India, especially from a young generation of artists working with painting, sculpture and a range of experimental media, all of which have found home at the Taj.
At the Taj, viewing art is an experience, and we honour this tradition at Taj Dubai.
·Through the design and experiences at our hotel, we pay homage to the local culture as well as Indian heritage. The entire art experience at this hotel revolves around a landscape, the local knowledge and folklore. We weave those characteristics to make your stay unique and fostering a sense of belonging.
Taj Dubai - The Design Story:
The Taj Dubai officially opened its doors in Downtown Dubai in Spring 2015. Part of the iconic Taj brand, the hotel has been designed as a blend of sophisticated luxury, Indian heritage and contemporary style. It was important for the art and accessories placed through the rooms and public spaces in the hotel to be kept authentic, keeping with the historic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Bombay that opened at the turn of the 20th Century, in 1903.
·Capsule Arts was appointed for this project, and they provided artworks for several areas of the property. The team travelled to India to source accessories, visit antiques dealers, artisans and design companies in areas such as Udaipur and Jodhpur in the state of Rajasthan, an area steeped with a rich history and culture.
·A project highlight was The Eloquent Elephant gastropub, where a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ theme was developed; quirky objects such as vintage cameras, bowler hats and other curios were placed in the display cases overhead the bar as well as within a series of styled bell jars. All this added to the feel of a luxury residence of a well-travelled person who’d pick mementos from every place he/ she would visit. Artist Matthew Ryder was commissioned to create a series of original watercolour paintings of elephants in the style of old Victorian portraits. (You can see a video showing the making of one of these pieces on our blog, Where is my Shark?)
·Capsule Arts also curated a series of display cases in the lobby that tell the story of the UAE’s heritage. A number of hotels house an Arabic majlis to pay tribute to local traditions, however at Taj Dubai – we created a centre where we display traditional Arabic accessories and objects that straight away tell you the story of old Dubai. They instantly sweep you into a visual narrative.
·Capsule Arts was responsible for the sourcing of items from local artisans, as well as the copywriting and production of informative plaques in English and Arabic that highlight how the objects relate to different aspects of the UAE’s culture.
Dubai-based Artist Matthew Ryder is well-known for both his work as a caricaturist and as a painter of wildlife, two strands of his practice that were brought together in his pieces for the Eloquent Elephant.
A temporary exhibition of works was arranged in the hotel lobby by pioneering Emirati painter, Dr Najat Meky, which was on show during the grand opening of the Hotel.
Indian artist Yugal Kishor Sharma, who hails from Rajasthan was commissioned for 4 pieces of art work outside the Pre-function area of the hotel.
·A custodian of art, as the Taj is called, we at Taj Dubai follow through with this highly respected honour and pay tribute to the immense talent of acclaimed as well as emerging artists from all over the world.