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Accent on aesthetics

4th Dimension, a new lifestyle store, gives Chennai-ites a chance to dabble in the exotic


ONE ARTIST. One art dealer. One furniture collector. The result is inevitable. An eclectic lifestyle store with an accent on taste. The surprise, however, in this newly-opened furniture-paintings-curios boutique, is the fact that it hasn't gone to town with the price tags either.

So, while the newly opened 4th Dimension on TTK Road (28114963) is indeed a store where you have to watch any dangerously swingy bags and keep all hand gestures controlled since a small accident could set you back on a decade of hard-earned salaries, if you shop here sensibly you can pick up some very pretty art for a song. (Don't actually sing though. Especially, if you're tone deaf. You don't want to be charged for broken glass on top of everything else, do you?)

Sheetal Parekh (artist), Amar Parekh (art dealer) and Ameen Navaz (furniture collector) put together their expertise in three different fields for a reason - to give Chennai a chance to dabble in the exotic.

"We showcase handcrafted, individual products from all around the world," says Amar, "And we've chosen to set this store in Chennai because the city doesn't have anything like this yet. We believe there is a huge customer base here for these products," he adds.

Aimed primarily at the city's young upwardly mobile professionals, the products include collector's pieces such as a beautifully crafted bar trolley, gleaming Egyptian artefacts and an array of startlingly realistic prints done on canvas.

"The furniture is from Taiwan, Spain and South East Asia. The Egyptian artefacts are from Cambodia and the other pieces are from dealers in the Far East - Vietnam, Thailand...," says Amar who lived abroad for more than ten years, making the contacts necessary to start 4th Dimension.

Sheetal, an artist from Pondicherry, says that the store has an extensive collection of prints, and more pictures on a set of CDs so that it can provide customers with practically anything they want. "Nobody wants blank walls," she says. "The days when walls were hung with just family photographs are over. The photos are now in albums... the walls are for art."

Why the 4th Dimension? The three main considerations that motivate you to buy something, they say, are usually necessity, utility and affordability. But, besides these, they've realised there's one factor that overrides all else. The fourth dimension - beauty.

SHONALI MUTHALALY

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