A creative extravaganza

Food, friends and fun

Neha Jain
NSoJ Bureau

An artful setup of lush green spaces, vibrant decors, hand picked displays welcomed all to the recent edition of Kitsch Mandi. A festival which brings together innovative designers, visual artists, indie musicians truly represents the emerging art scene in Bengaluru.

A curated flea market selling everything from oxidised jewelry to dream catchers, clothing to accessories stocked all things quirky for the visitors. The Ikkat print in indigo and reds drew a lot of stall hoppers for that perfect Indo-western look.   

Ayush, vendor at Kingdom of Calm, was selling affordable art in the form of laptop sleeves, fridge magnets, coasters, desk/car accessories and many more similar products. As the store has an online presence and could easily ship it to the buyers he said, “The best part of Kitsch Mandi is that we get to meet people here, as we see lot of young people in Bengaluru because of the work culture, and affordable art is appreciated by all. We would like to spread the word of calm.”

Flea market saw a lot of handmade goodies, which gave a very exclusive feel unlike the things from the shelves of a branded store. Kusuma Y J, a flea market enthusiast said, “It is fabulous to be here as there is a positive vibe all around, my thoughts match with the people around me, we can relate well. Also, I don’t like things that come on a conveyor belt, these things feel like they have been made with more efforts and love, I want to buy more than half the things sold here.” With lot of vegan options available ranging from food to creams, Kusuma being a vegan herself said, “ I love the fact that more people are going vegan, the animals in India need more compassion, and people have to give up on animal products, we are the second highest exporter of beef, we need to move away from dairy.”

The month of November brings with it a lot of awareness on cancer. Many men were seen sporting a beard to contribute for the cause and to groom the same, beard oils were made available at the market. Hitesh Pathange, a business analyst at a corporate and a visitor said, “The offerings here are great even for men, I have brought some massage and beard oil for #NoShaveNovember and looking forward to more.” A photo booth and couch piled with bras set up by a lingerie brand Zivame drew lot  attention from photography lovers. The event attempted to raise awareness on how breasts are overrated, objectified and made obscene. The campaign named #GiveItAbREaST called the creative community to speak out through art, poetry or video. 

Kitsch Mandi hosted a number of workshops on leather puppetry, book binding and creative healing. The old and younger generations were seen playing board games and carrom. While the older lot were busy bonding over beer, the younger were seen munching on nachos and churros. 

Live Graffiti and art installations were a huge rage in the heady maze of sprawling green lawns. Although art of various forms contributed to the event, some felt there were not enough buyers. Veeral Parekh, a photographer selling photos printed on canvas said,” I have had many enquires but no sales as yet, perhaps photography is still not considered as much an art as paintings because people think photos can be printed again, there isn’t a very intimate touch.”

At dusk, many more people were seen queuing up to experience Indie musicians. Grape Guitar Box aka Teenasai Balamu with a refreshing new voice gave the crowd their dose of nirvana.

Kitsch Mandi which is usually held at Pebbles, moved into a new venue at Temple Tree in Sahakarnagar for its the recent edition. Daniel Selvaraj, Chef at Big J catering and grill and Opus out of the Box said, “As It is a different venue and not as packed as pebbles, we are expecting more people. We did exceptionally well last time and our stall Big J still is doing well.” While spending your weekend at home or a nearby mall could rejuvenate you, spending it at Kitsch Mandi would have surely left you spellbound.



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