Museum of Goa (MOG) – Harmony in the middle of chaos

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We love experiencing great art, witnessing enigmatic collections and some of us love reading about out of the world stories about the artists. Museum of Goa – MOG is different! The Konkani word mog meaning love, is an apt acronym for Museum of Goa. This place is busted with love spirit. An unlikely location for Museum of Art, a 1500 square meters of space centrally located in Pilerne Industrial Estate (the big Industry Zone), appx 5 kms from Candolim Beach area, a three storey structure designed by the well-known architect Dean D’Cruz, stands between industries on one side and the forest on the other. The museum has no permanent collections except few. Funded and founded by sculpture and installation artist Dr. Subodh Kerkar. MOG opened its door on November 2015 and till date it is one of the most visited place in Goa. The inclusive space for Arts that successfully have bringing together different artists, curators and art lovers from all around the world together under one roof. A magnificent display of art which have break all the social barriers. Undoubtedly the most mesmerizing art display I have seen so far. An Art venue that goes beyond art. MOG, you have my heart ❤

How does it started?

Dr. Subodh Kerkar bought this land 25 years ago when the area was being developed by the government to attract industry. Later, when he was sent a notice by the government for keeping the land unutilised, he set up a terracotta kiln for his own needs. He started making sculptures there and then built MOG with Rs 3.5 crore he got from selling a piece of land.

To Kerkar, MOG is more than a gallery. “It is a hybrid between a gallery and an institution. Our mission is to take art to the masses and create a platform for good artists. We want to demystify contemporary art for people,” he says.

MOG Exhibitions – GROUND FLOOR.

KARIMEEN – The green chromide fish also known as Pearl Spot. A fresh water fish but also found in salty water. It is another authentic Goan Fish Curry. However it is known as Kalundar in Goa and Karimeen in Kerala. This sculpture is made up of recycled rubber tyres by Dr. Subodh Kerkar. You will find this at the parking space of MOG beside aunty Maria. 

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GAUR – the Indian Bison which is the state animal of Goa and is found in the Western Ghats. You will find this sculpture made up of welded steel at the entrance gate of MOG.

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THE OLD MAN AND THE FISH – The twin sculptures, one created with laterite stone and the other with iron nuts welded together. It celebrates Goa’s love for fish and has reference to Ernest Hemingway’s celebrated novel – The old man and the sea. Nearly two third of the area of Goa is covered by a mantle of laterite ranging in thickness from a couple of meters to over 25 mts.

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THE MOON AND THE TIDES – The town of Goa Velha stands on the site of the ancient port of “Govapuri” or “Gopakapattana”, which was founded by the Kadamba Dynasty in the 11th century on the banks of the Zuari River. Govapuri was the capital of the Kadambas from 1310 until 1341. The frequent floods had destroyed the major area of Gopakapattana port, the port later moved to Ela (Old Goa), but the wall of the docks of Gopakapattana can still be seen. 

This creation by Dr. Subodh Kerkar is quite interesting and amazing!! He explain the relation of the moon and the tide. Around each new moon and full moon, the sun, Earth, and moon arrange themselves more or less along a line in space. Then the pull on the tides increases, because the gravity of the sun reinforces the moon’s gravity. He collected all the shells from the ocean during the low tide and made this on bronze. This sculpture also add comment as “the rise and fall of civilization.”  

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Dr. Subodh Kerkar’s shell works celebrates the ocean. His poem on the beach. He named this MUSSEL SHELL OCEAN. This is my one of the favorite art work at MOG. For memories, I got a cross made up of shell ocean fridge magnet. Everyday it reminds me I should pay a visit to MOG one more time. Oh! Goa, I miss you!! 

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GOA’S ARK – Did you know that Goa offers one of the most visually appealing Hindu temples in the world? In 1565, the Portuguese went on a spree to demolish Hindu temples. However, during the persecution, Hindus managed to rescue the deity’s idol. They carried their deities to safety in small canoes to places like Ponda, which were not under Portuguese control. The reason Ponda is called the Hindu nerve of Goa. You will find most astonishing Hindu temples here.

Shri Shantadurga Temple is a large temple located at the foothill of Kavlem village in Ponda Taluka. This temple is considered as one of the most important and the biggest temple in Goa. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Shantadurga the Goddess of Peace.

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DORMANT STAR – Dr. Subodh Kerkar found a laterite stone in the process of metamorphosis. He did a minimal carvings on it and hence here it is the dormant star.

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TRIUMPHANT TRIO – This pastel work stretches across 7 X 5 meter canvas by Viraj Naik, Vasco based artist. This painting symbolically depicts the fateful 1510 encounter between Afonso de Albuquerque and the two Goan collaborators, Sadashivgad Thimmaya and Mhalpai Vernekar who schemed to replace the Adil Shah with the Portuguese.

[Naik was born in Goa in 1975. His works involve enchanting figures, which reflect his fascination with Greek mythology, and at the same time possess a distinct Goan feel – an influence of his strong roots].

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JACKFRUIT – Dr. Subodh Kerkar encountered a massive jackfruit trunk which was cut and set on fire. The fire had consumed the interior of the trunk, but the crust remained intact. He covered the interior of the trunk with thorns from a trifala tree. 

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THE PEPPER CROSS – If India did not have pepper, perhaps we would never have been colonized. Goa was the important trading port for spices during Portuguese era. Dr. Subodh Kerkar made up this Pepper Cross as a symbolic representation of the trade, the import of Christianity in exchange for pepper. It is made up of oars and hull of a boat. 

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This is a MEMORY OF A BOAT. The (vintage) old wooden fishing boats of Goa. I feel that a Boat and Fisherman relationship is like a mother and a child.  

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If you have recently visited Goa airport, you might have find FISHERMEN AND THE SEA collections at the arrival hall. I would say this is the another my favorite masterpiece by Dr. Subodh Kerkar. How finely he have described the relation of a fishermen and the sea in each photograph. The inseparability. The harmony. The ritual. 

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ZHENG HE – Oh! this is just another crazy piece by Dr. Subodh Kerkar. In the early 1400s, Zheng He led the largest ships in the world on seven voyages of exploration to the lands around the Indian Ocean, demonstrating Chinese excellence at shipbuilding and navigation. On his seventh and final voyage, from 1431 to 1433, Zheng He apparently died at sea and was likely buried off the coast of India, although some of his descendants believe that he made it back to China and died soon after his return. This work created with antique Chinese spoons mounted on a wooden balance of a boat called “Ulandi”. It is a homage to Zheng He.

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Note: There are many other installations at each floors, I have selected some of the interesting part only.

MOG Exhibitions – LEVEL ONE

POSTH – A portrait of a Kingfisher fillet to justify the Goans undying love for fish. 

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MAZE OF THE MAIZE – Maize, also known as corn, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The term maize seems to be derived from the word mahiz of Taino language of Caribbean islands, which became maiz in Spanish. In India, maize was introduced during the seventeenth century by Portuguese. Later it went to China from India and was introduced in Philippines and the East Indies. 

Dr. Subodh Kerkar’s this sculpture depicts Alfonso de Albuquerque (he was the Portuguese General, a “great conqueror”, a statesman, and an empire builder) wearing armour inspired by maize. It is made up of wood. Interesting piece, right? 🙂  

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KEEL – This is made up of wood and whale rib. 

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THE ANCHOR – Iron anchor covered with oyster shells founded by one of Dr. Subodh Kerkar’s friends from Keri Village. 

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TURROM – a log of a wood which is used to push to boat into the ocean. He have 4 Turroms on display. The material used are woods, shells and coir rope.

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OYSTERS ON THE PLATE – Dr. Subodh Kerkar is a sea artist. He have this undying love for ocean and definitely have showcase a brilliant art work that connects to the ocean. He brought a large number of old ceramics plates from an antique dealer. And guess what he did with it? he put it in an iron cage and kept them on the ocean for six months where the ocean covered them with oysters. 

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CHANDRAKANT SHANKAR KERKAR – Father of Dr. Subodh Kerkar.

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MOG Exhibitions – LEVEL TWO

This space is huge! here you will find pictures and more pictures. Stand still, be wild with your imagination and feel that you are lost in a art space craft.

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No one would have thought to play art stuff with burnt paper, tobacco and tea bags except Sweety Joshi. I don’t really know her much but her work have already won my heart. 

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INDIGO WORKS – Indigo color dye is extracted from a plant called Indigofera Tinctoria and related spices. India has grown Indigo ever since Indus-Valley civilization. Indigo has a history in India as well with Gandhiji, the first Satyagraha he offered was in support of Indigo workers in Champaran in Bihar after he returned from South Africa in 1915.

Note: You will find some parts of Indigo works at Level One as well. 

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BUBBLEGUM GOD

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CHILIES –  No other commodity imported into India has affected the life of Indians as much as chilies have. Indian cuisine used pepper and other spices until chilies arrived in Goa on Portuguese caravel coming from South America sometimes in early 16th century. So if there is ever to be a monument in honor of chilies, it would have to be erected in Goa. This is another favorite installation at MOG. It is made up of fiber glass, rubber tyres/cotton fabrics.

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FOOD WHICH ARRIVED THROUGH THE PORTUGUESE by Manisha Agarwal

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The center of attractions are these cute sculptures.  

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An experiment with MANGOES.

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MOG Exhibitions – LEVEL THREE

This space keep changing!! When I visited in December 2018, MOG hosted Goa Affordable Art Fest here.

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A portrait made up of magazines cuttings.

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Who would even have ever thought that someday you will walk into a Museum of Arts and find that they have a collection of Gandhiji’s Cardiogram and have an installation where you can actually hear the heart beat of Gandhiji’s. Well, welcome to MOG!!

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SOUVENIR SHOP

Take back home memories to live it again 🙂 

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HOLD ON!! There is still more 🙂

The surprise still not yet over. At the ground level where the Goa’s Ark and other art sculptures are situated, there is an another pathway going towards the back side of the MOG. While walking towards the backyard you will notice some more sculptures like:

“THE BREAD” KATREACHO PAO – When it comes to culinary habits, Goa can quite simply be called ‘the land of bread eaters’. Mixed Bhaji Pao and Bread is the most popular breakfast in Goa (till now I only thought that Omelette Pao is the best one). Goa still has the largest variety of bread in every shape as compared to the rest of country. Thanks to Portuguese 🙂  they have baked the bread in the European way in Goa. 

Dr. Subodh Kerkar made two bread sculptures, ‘Katreacho Pao’ – the butterfly bread and ‘Kankan’ – the bangle bread. The sculptures are created using fibreglass and rubber tyres.  

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PURNA KUMBHA AND SHUNYA KUMBHA (the full pot and the empty pot) – A copper pot filled with water, adorned with a coconut and mango leaves. The symbol of wealth and prosperity in India. Copper has been surviving and thriving on earth since six thousand years. Even earlier. Also known as ‘The Jewellery of Kitchen’, the pinkish orange metal has adorned both the kitchenware, technological instruments as well as the decorative material for decades. There’s a lot that revolves around food in Indian culture, and these metals have a story to tell. Apart of science and ayurveda, the meals cooked in these pots have different taste and healthy. 

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SHELLS OCEAN –  I mean look at this!! It is so beautiful 🙂 The sea artist Dr. Subodh Kerkar have collected these shells and look how amazingly he have set this up. 

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And then here comes the surprise my friend!! THE CARPET OF JOY.

Look at that colorful walls, it has flowers made out of 1,50,000 discarded plastic bottles. The main aim of this installation is to raise awareness against littering and promote the idea of a litter-free Goa. You also will find the installations made up of ocean shells and coconut shells.

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Ta-da!! meet y’all until next time with more Travel Stories!! Till that, happy reading and keep exploring 🙂 

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Museum of Goa (MOG) is opened 7 days a week, between 10am and 6pm. Entrance fee for Indians: Rs 100. Foreign Nationals: Rs 300. Students and Children: Rs 50.
Address: Museum of Goa, Plot No. 79, Pilerne Industrial Estate, Pilerne, Bardez, Goa–403511.
Phone No.: +91-9326119324
(Please Note: Cafe is closed on Monday’s)

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