Madhu Neotia, founder of The India Story, reveals how the bi-annual event democratises art
Kolkata’s cultural melting pot
Over a period of five years, The India Story has grown to become one of the hippest cultural events in Kolkata. It gets together some of the best artists, interior decorators and fashion designers under one roof and the result is a new narrative formed for India by its creative community.
In an interview, The India Story’s founder, Madhu Neotia, tells how this mega-event has Kolkata’s artistic stamp and why it’s the best place to discover upcoming brands.
When and how did you start India Story?
I started The India Story in 2015 to create a platform that showcases the best of the country’s creative talent across the categories of art, design, fashion, food and music–all that is made in India.
The last edition staged a show by Payal Khandwala
How has this event evolved over time?
The India Story has made an identity of its own over time. Its various dimensions ranging from fashion to lifestyle, music and food have evolved in course of these years.
We have consciously sought to democratise art by promoting fresh and upcoming artists through the Art Exhibit. The lifestyle section began with a capsule representation and has now grown to bring in brands like This and That, Baarique, Dotto, Three Sixty, Loco, Tiipoi, Apical Reform, Mishcat Co. We have also brought in wonderful talents likes Raghu Dixit, Parekh and Singh, Prateek Kuhad, When Chai Met Toast and The Yellow Diary among others, from the music fraternity as well.
A band performing at India Story 5.0
How do you think The India Story reflects Kolkata’s artistic community?
I have, from the beginning, wished to give back to this city and have always sought to encourage and patronise artists from Kolkata. For instance, we had pioneering installations by artists like Susanta Paul, Narayan Sinha and Bobo. We also showcased artworks by several upcoming artists based out of Kolkata as a part of our art exhibit.
A collaged artwork on display at the event
Which are some of the labels you like to shop from?
I enjoy shopping from Raw Mango, Payal Khandwala, Shades of India, Tilla, Amrich and Urbania.
An art installation at the event in Kolkata
Describe your personal style.
Understated and elegant.