On 16 March, Chivas, for the third consecutive year, hosted an exhibition in Delhi that featured installation pieces created by five experts from the fields of fashion, art and design. The event was held at The Pavilion, DLF Emporio in New Delhi, and was attended by the city’s elite.
The theme of the exhibition, titled Chivas 18 Alchemy, was centred on “sixth sense. Many different interpretations of this idea were presented through installations works designed by actress Malaika Arora, artist Sudarshan Shetty, jeweller Siddharth Kasliwal and fashion designers Manish Malhotra and Rahul Mishra.
For the show, Malaika Arora created an installation piece titled Fantasy: Wonderland Inside a Drop. This was an immersive, honeycombed kaleidoscopic world of the real and the imagined. “I chose fantasy because that is the most basic and carnal sixth sense that every person has,” she told Guardian 20. “I think we have beautifully woven it with the Chivas 18 thought process. Fantasy is your deepest, darkest thought—somethign that you want to play out. Some of it can be a realit, a dream and some can be beyond reality. It’s pretty amazing. The whole concept really excites me.”
She added, “My installation at Chivas 18 Alchemy is about what it would be like to be in a Chivas 18 bottle, what it would feel, taste, smell like, and that’s what I have tried to create in my installation. It gives you a very fantastic kaleidoscopic view of fantasy with Chivas 18.”
Designer Manish Malhotra’s piece was called Intuition: A Play of Perceptions, an installation work that created a mirage of visions with mirrors and reflections. “Mirrors for me are something that multiply the vision, making it multi-facete,” Malhotra said. “The installation also almost makes you want to look into yourself.”
He further added, “My installation is all about mirrors and their amalgamation, what you sense and what you feel and all about your intuition.”
Jeweller Siddharth Kasliwal contributed an installation work entitled Déjà Vu: Precious Gems of Inspiration, a bejewelled masterpiece that brings to mind the lost art of craftsmanship handed down across generations.
On his collaboration with Chivas, Kasliwal said, “The collaboration to me is all about sustaining craftsmanship and its legacy. The idea behind creating this bottle was to showcase the labour of love and passion. The whole idea of this collaboration was to bring India on the global platform and to show what our craftsmanship is about.”
Kasliwal’s installation piece has been completely handcrafted and embodies the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. “In the creation of this bottle, no machines or modern technology has been used. It has been handcrafted like things were made 200 years ago. Since we are from Rajasthan we have a great heritage and history. So the design includes some jali work and we have used precious and semi-precious stones in it as well,” he said.
For this show, artist Sudarshan Shetty created a mosaic on the themes of love, loss, mortality and infinity using voices, ragas, videos and installation art. “My theme is love,” Shetty told Guardian 20. “This is something that I worked on a decade ago for a huge show and this is a sort of extension to that. Also, it is very different from what I did 10 years ago. It shows how love gets represented in different ways from being a basic human emotion to a marketable phenomenon… Here I asked six musicians to come and sing on camera six different love songs, six different bandishes… The thing about Hindustani music is that, you may be singing a bandish that is 100 years old but it won’t have value unless you make it your own in some ways. Through this, I am trying to pose questions about the idea of love, about the notion of history, tradition, about what is contemporary.”
Designer Rahul Mishra created Memory: Elliptical Rings of Then and Now for the event. For his piece, he used tambour frame hoops to create a chandelier of memories for a play of light and shadows that blends layers of time.