This is the second exhibition i will be having, but the first in India. The previous one was in Paris in 2010. This will also be my first solo exhibit. I would like to invite all of you reading this post to come and visit it.
In 1988, the building project of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra state commissioned the office of Raj Rewal to design 1048 housing units. Despite a very low budget Rewal set out to develop a home environment that was simple and of high quality.
The site of the project is hilly, and unlike most other developments in New Mumbai, it has been designed embracing the terrain rather than trying to defeat it. For this reason it has been considered an important architectural example in a city where the design of public housing is driven solely by the ability to accommodate density.
23 years later, many of the units remain vacant. Most are facing practical problems of leakages, inadequate light and ventilation in houses, unused open spaces, lack of transportation, lack of medical facilities, etc. Since the Income Tax department bought most of the buildings, this colony was nicknamed the Income Tax Colony.
These pictures are not the entire story, they are just a part to create awareness and re-tell a forgotten tale. Abandoned spaces are a postlude to a life once lived and therefore make for good stories. There is no intention to document this structure. This on the contrary is the photographer’s own artistic expression.
Abandoned, whilst capturing the mood of the space raises the inevitable question about why such a well-intentioned and designed project has come to be largely unoccupied and fallen to disrepair, in a city severely lacking in low cost housing.