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Ranjit Dahiya

डर के आगे भीत है

Mumbai –they don't call it the city of dreams for nothing. From the moment you step in, it binds you into a magical spell as you are taken in by its many quirks. The Vada pav and the local trains, the endless rains and the cats, the high rises and the gliterrati, it's so easy to fall in love with Mumbai. And in the background of this tiny bustling island, there is always the larger than life silver screen, Bollywood. The home of Manto and Madhubala. The city is a heady mix of romance, dreams and destiny. 

 

It was this romantic wistfulness of Mumbai that drew Ranjit Dahiya to the city of his dreams and Bollywood. Who's own life story is nothing short of a blockbuster. From whitewashing walls, to painting larger than life murals of Bollywood’s beloved stars, all that’s ever separated Ranjit from his paintings, is a ladder. 

 

Growing up in Sonipat, Haryana, Ranjit had an average Indian childhood, replete with a healthy obsession with cinema. When academics didn't work out for him, he chose to whitewash walls for a living. It is during this time that he chanced upon the idea of wall art. His first mural being that of Goddess Saraswati. Since then, there’s been no looking back, it has been art all the way–on trucks, buses and autos. His next stop was the Chandigarh College of Fine Arts, followed by the nerve centre of design, NID. 

 

Ranjit finally landed in Mumbai in 2009, only to realise quickly that his UI-UX job was not his calling. So, in 2012, he founded The Bollywood Art Project, to bring the magic of Bollywood on to the streets of Mumbai. Because, as Ranjit says, “It (Mumbai) is a Bollywood city and my mission is to immortalise it” 

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The Bollywood Art Project

रिश्ते में तो हम तुम्हारे BAP लगते हैं !

A particular kind of audience will go to a gallery but on the street, a millionaire can also see the art and so can a beggar. There are no boundaries. – Ranjit Dahiya

 

Art in public spaces has the power to bring people together. It's truly democratic in the sense that it brings all kind of people together and gives them a chance to participate in the process, whether as a viewer or as an artist themselves. In the same vein, Bollywood is that key link that connects people from all walks of life. It’s literally an emotion, one that Mumbai’s fast-paced life captures ever so beautifully. The Bollywood Art Project (BAP) combines these two aspects. It is an urban art project that aims to transform the streets of Mumbai into a living memorial to Bollywood. 

 

Founded by Ranjit Dahiya in 2012, (coincidently a year before Indian cinema turned a glorious 100), BAP has brought Bollywood’s legends like Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman, Dharmendra, Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor and Irfan Khan on to the streets of Mumbai. In our murals of these greats, reside nostalgia and history. BAP is an ode to this sentiment. Our mission is to beautify Mumbai’s skyline by encapsulating Bollywood’s rich cinematic history. 

 

BAP started off from Bandra’s Chapel Road and since then, we’ve painted almost every prominent building in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. We’ve also painted murals in France and the US, which brings our tally up to 70 Bollywood murals painted, across 3 countries.

Image by Chris Karidis

La Rochelle
2010

To celebrate the 32nd international film festival, the exhibition travelled to the city of La-Rochelle in association with the city council. 

Image by Hassan Amra

Durban
2011

In association with Alliance France, BAP paintings by Ranjit Dahiya were exhibited in three locations in the city of Durban

Image by Brijesh Anand

New Delhi
2013

Our very first exhibition in India came only in 2013, in association with Indian International Center at Delhi. 

Exhibitions

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Hindustan Times

Painted in bright colours and very retro styles are murals of old Hindi films and the stars that inhabit the cineverse.

The Times of India

A mesmerising ode in black, white, and yellow hues, standing tall and bright on a wall of a quaint street of Bandra, Mumbai.

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Firstpost
 

Mumbai’s Bollywood Art Project (BAP) recently created a beautiful mural featuring yesteryear film actors Asha Parekh, Waheeda Rehman, and Helen in Bandra’s Chapel Road.

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