• Vikram Divecha | Façade no.1 - detail
  • Vikram Divecha | Façade no.2 - detail
  • Vikram Divecha | Façade no.3 - detail
  • Vikram Divecha | Façade no.4 - detail

Urban Reflections | Vikram Divecha

April 29th 2014 to May 17th 2014


Vikram Divecha | Variable Memories

Vikram Divecha questions how the mushrooming of modern urban districts recontextualises our perspective of older quarters. These dramatic transformations draw a frontier between recent history and the modern day.

In Variable Memories, architectural façades from two different stages of development find themselves juxtaposed. Mirrored, glossy surfaces are ubiquitous in Dubai, yet reflections on these expansive panes are heavily distorted. The façades in Variable Memories are from Deira and Satwa, older sectors of this city that are more recently gilded with a layer of nostalgia. The architectural motifs within these areas suddenly stand in stark contrast to their modern counterparts. The exchange appears one-sided, as the older buildings are unable to reciprocate the gleaming reflective qualities of the new.

Vikram Divecha questions how this visual narrative will reside in the collective memory, highlighting the possibility of the older structures being romanticized relatively early. He asks whether they have attained the status of relics, thereby hinting at the prevalence of a disposable culture. Unknowingly, these façades reveal a distorted perspective through which we review our condition and times.

This project was realised with the support of Sedam Aluminium, Reprotronics, George Shahda Photography, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Campus Art Dubai, Tashkeel and Dubai Film and TV Commission.



Vikram Divecha was born in Beirut, grew up in Mumbai and has been living and working in Dubai since 2005. He studied Commercial Art in Mumbai after which he pursued a career in the advertising industry. His work has been exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions. The artist has received several commissions, including by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority’s SIKKA Art Fair in 2013 and 2014, as well as DUCTAC’s co.mission #1. He is the 2014 winner of the Middle East Emergent Art Prize.

Divecha’s practice investigates the permeation of urbanization and social constructs amidst cultural and economic shifts. He has witnessed fluctuating socio-economic climates which further inform his inquiry. The civil war in Lebanon, rapid globalization in India and the construction and financial wave in Dubai all lend a crucial subtext to his work. He relies on construction materials and industrial production methods to create his sculptural and installation works, allowing him to craft his architectural interventions, and decontextualize materials from the urban fabric.