The Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), in Bengaluru, is making its digital debut on December 5, with the week-long programme, Art (is) Life and inaugurating their Museums Without Borders initiative.

MAP’s building is still under construction owing to the delay caused by the pandemic. This will be south India’s first major private art museum.

MAP’s digital initiative will offer curated experiences, allowing participants to soak in Indian culture from the comfort of their home.

MAP has a growing collection of over 18,000 artworks, primarily from the subcontinent and dating from the tenth century to the present, with concentrations in pre-modern art, modern and contemporary art, photography, folk and tribal art, popular culture, textiles, craft and design.

The opening session on December 5 will showcase innovative performances in music, dance, poetry and technology, by leading Indian professionals including lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor Shabana Azmi, classical dancer Malavika Sarukkai, film and theatre professional Arundhati Nag, art historian Dr B N Goswamy, filmmaker Nandita Das, visual artist Jitish Kallat and singer Kavita Seth.

There will also be a virtual tour through the MAP building and collection.

Actor and theatre director Lillete Dubey, author Devdutt Pattanaik, historian William Dalrymple, designer Ritu Kumar, artist Rekha Rodwittiya and photographer Raghu Rai will also be presenting at the event.

Event details can be viewed here.

Each day’s programmes will air twice, making them convenient for all time zones at 1900 hours (IST) and again at 1700 hours (EST).

Founder-Trustee of MAP, Abhishek Poddar said:

“Our vision at MAP is to reach out to people from all walks of life and make the collection available to the world. Then why should we wait for a physical museum to come up? Launching digitally is the organic next step for MAP, achieving our agenda of inclusion and accessibility.

“To be truly relevant museums and cultural institutions need to always rethink and reinvent themselves, even more so in challenging times like these. MAP’s digital launch marks the birth of a new museum for a new era.”

The programme will also launch the first five episodes of Museums Without Borders, video collaborations with 50 international institutions.

Participating institutions include the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Morgan Library and Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Vitra Design Museum, and the Rhode School of Design.

“Museums Without Borders allows audiences to discover new narratives and make comparisons without travel, an interesting alternative to gallery displays,” reads an official release by MAP.