Breath of an Architect exhibition, Bijoy Jain - Studio Mumbai: between architecture, nature and humanity

Studio Mumbai,



Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain presents an exhibition combining art and architecture in a unique blend of materials, space and human sensitivity. From 9 December 2023 until 21 April 2024, "Breath of an Architect" presents the visionary work of architect Bijoy Jain, founder of Studio Mumbai in India, establishing a dialogue with the emblematic building designed by Jean Nouvel that houses the French foundation.

Breath of an Architect exhibition, Bijoy Jain - Studio Mumbai: between architecture, nature and humanity

Born in Mumbai in 1965, Bijoy Jain studied architecture in the United States, at Washington University in St. Louis. After gaining experience working in Los Angeles and London, he returned to India in 1995 and founded Studio Mumbai: an architectural practice and research space bringing together creative minds from a variety of disciplines, including architects, engineers, master builders, craftspeople and artists from all over the world. This collaborative environment encourages an iterative creative process in which the idea of creation takes form through production of scale models and objects and in-depth study of materials and designs.

Bijoy Jain and Studio Mumbai’s architecture stands out for its deep concern for the relationship between humanity and nature, with a particular awareness of the spirit of a place, its genius loci. All the studio’s projects, whether for furnishings or architecture, are rooted in water, air and light. The best location for an architectural project, mindful of the climate and seasons, is an essential element of all the studio’s projects, along with use of traditional and ancestral skills, materials and building techniques.

The exhibition "Breath of an Architect" immerses visitors in Bijoy Jain’s creative universe, exploring the bonds between art and architecture, materials and space. The works on display represent a sensorial symphony, combining lightness and gravity, light and shadow, wood, bricks, earth, stone and water. The installation, moulded by the architect’s breath and hand, presents fragments of architecture, stone and terra cotta sculptures, façades of traditional Indian homes and bamboo structures inspired by “tazias” (funerary monuments carried on the shoulders in memory of a saint during Sciite Muslim processions commemorating the saints).

The exhibition goes beyond architecture, involving two important artists: a Chinese painter from Beijing, Hu Liu, and a Danish ceramist of Turkish origin who lives in Paris, Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye. Both of them share Bijoy Jain’s emphasis on the importance of the masterful ritual of gesture, resonance and the relationship with materials. Hu Liu’s monochromatic black drawings, created using graphite, reveal the essence of the natural elements, while Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye’s weightless ceramics are the result of the artist’s ability to establish an intense dialogue with clay.

A film by directors Bêka & Lemoine takes visitors behind the scenes, from Bijoy Jain’s Mumbai studio to the exhibition installation in Paris, to offer the public intimate glimpses of everyday life in Mumbai and draw a portrait of the architect, the places he loves and the people who have moulded his unique identity.

With "Breath of an Architect", Fondation Cartier offers the public an opportunity to immerse themselves in the essence of a form of architecture that goes beyond physical constructions to embrace the breath of life, the eternal bond between humanity, nature and space.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain and Studio Mumbai

Bijoy Jain Studio Mumbai
Breath of an Architect
with the artists Alev Ebüzziya Siesbye and Hu Liu

Date: 12.9.2023 – 4.21.2024
General Exhibition Curator: Hervé Chandès, Fondation Cartier’s artistic managing director
Associate Curator: Juliette Lecorne, curator at the Fondation Cartier
Location: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris https://www.fondationcartier.com/


01 Makaloo’s Dome, made from a bamboo structure, covered with cowhide and lime / Mandala Study, 2023, bird shaped geometric frame of bamboo tied with nistari silk / Lime and red cinnabar/cochineal pigment drawn with silk on granite bench. Photo @ Ashish Shah
02 View from the Studio Mumbai, Saat Rasta Houses, Mumbai, India Photo © Iwan Baan
03 Sculptural elements made of stone, cow dung and lime. Photo © Neville Sukhia
04-06 Ganga Maki Textile Studio-Punniwala-Inde-2017 ph Srijaya Anumolu
07-08 Domaine de Beaucastel Vaucluse decembre 2024 (07) ph Louis Antoine Grego, (08) ph Giacomo Monari
09-11 Ahmedabad House Ahmedabad Inde 2014 ph Srijaya Anumolu
12-13 Tara House Kashid Inde 2005 high water B+W horiz ph Studio Mumbai Architects
14-16 Carrimjee House Satirje Inde 2014 ph Studio Mumbai Architects
17-19 Palmyra House-Nandgaon Inde 2007 (17-18) ph Hélène Binet, (19) ph Studio Mumbai Architects
20 Copper House II Chondi India 2014 © ph Mitul Desai


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