about the artist
Sanjay Mhatre was born in 1967 in Mumbai and did his education there.
While studying Physics at Bhavan’s College, Andheri, Mumbai including prodding through Quantum Physics and Relativity, existential questions started clamouring his mind and he realised that his artistic soul had remained malnourished for too long. That is when he decided to switch over to Architecture at Sir J.J. College of Architecture to find solace by dwelling at the crossroads of Art and Science. Quantum Physics had intrigued him enough to contemplate on deep structures of the mind. In his second year of architecture studies, his classmate, Vinayak Chittar (now an established sitar player), mentioned to him about the Yoga Institute, Santacruz. Sanjay did the 21-days course and 7-day residential camp there. That was his first foray into Indian Spirituality. The Yoga Institute’s theoretical framework seemed fine – except for their belief in ‘some higher reality’ that controls everything happening in your life / universe. This tangential reference to ‘G-O-D’ left his rational, scientific mind dissatisfied and thus his search for the answers to existential questions continued. Vinayak also mentioned about the ‘Vipassana Meditation’ – and that proved to be a turning point in Sanjay’s life. He decided to take a sabbatical after 3rd year architecture to do a 10-days Vipassana course at DhammaGiri, Igatpuri. In this first course itself all his existential questions came to rest as he could see the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
His architecture design dissertation was a Vipassana Meditation Centre at the foothills of Himalayas. He displayed his graduation project at DhammaGiri and immediately got summoned to design centres around India. He did a round trip to Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, master-planning the vipassana centres there and finally at the end of the trip Guruji, S.N.Goenka-ji had announced the project for the Global Pagoda, near Esselworld, Borivli, Mumbai.
Later, Sanjay began a self-initiated venture called ‘WALK THRU’ that rendered service in the realms of architectural design and presentations, 3D modelling, perspectives, walkthrough animation and graphic design. He has been a visiting faculty member at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies, Sir JJ College of Architecture & several other architecture colleges from 1995 to 2017. In 2003 and 2006 he went to Dhamma Yatras to Myanmar (where he also took robes as monk, in a monastery) and Sri Lanka. There he did extensive architectural photography of Buddhas and pagodas as also meditating at various places of spiritual significance. He studied ‘Indian Aesthetics’, and ‘Art Criticism & Theory’ at Jnanapravaha, and took the ‘Ideas in Architecture Theory’ course at Arbour Initiatives, Mumbai.
Sanjay is based in Mumbai and continues to practice as a Visual Artist, while also being fascinated with Installation & New Media Art as future experimentation possibilities.