Arjan Garh Metro Station’s Artistic Makeover Underway with an Indo-Singapore Collaboration
|St+art in Collaboration with Asian Paints Delhi|
The Art Stations project is an endeavour by St+art India Foundation and Asian Paints to transform transit spaces into walk in galleries for the public. With the gracious support of DMRC, along with the Singapore High Commission and the Singapore Tourism Board, the Arjan Garh Metro station will transform into a work of art by two well renowned Singaporean artists Sam lo and Soph O. Along with Indian artist Nilesh and Mexican artist Senkoe, the project explores the vibrant Indian flora and fauna through the interpretation of the artists. The project aims to provide everyday hundreds of commuters with a sense of visual relief and become a catalyst for conversations, ideas and cultural exchanges.
Arty makeover of Delhi metro stations: The concept
Along with DMRC as St+art’s implementation partner, the project is an opportunity to offer road and metro commuters of Delhi, a cultural experience through murals in the most democratic and accessible way. Delhi Metro has been a pride for the capital since its inception. With a seamless flow of ideas, Delhi’s metro stations would soon be an example of art & cultural harmony worth reckoning the world over.
Placed on the Mehrauli highway, Arjan Garh metro station is an important connecting bridge between South Delhi and Gurugram. The curatorial approach brings together these artists with their distinctive styles to convey their interpretation of the local flora and fauna of Delhi.
New Delhi was carved out of green land and forested areas which is now faced with the prospect of dwindling greenery and growing cityscape of building upon building. To confront this visual and offer a refreshing change, the artists are invited to depict a celebration of nature.
Two Singaporean artists will be painting the Arjan Garh metro stations exterior facades with drawings of the Kingfisher and Myna birds, which are native to both India and Singapore. Stimulated by their observations while travelling within the city, they picked on the intriguing sights of various birds seen flying or squatting everywhere from tree branches to traffic signs. They will be teaming up with Mexican artist Senkoe and Indian artist Nilesh, making it a true blend of ideas and cultures. These murals will be created on the steps that take the commuters from the ground to the platform and vice versa, hence completing the visual thread from platform to the outside of the station.
With all their works completed, the Art Station will be one that provides a visual stimulus for the daily commuters. An Indo-Singapore collaboration of this kind will also bring out the deep significance of a cultural exchange between the two countries and the ability of art to unite hearts.
About the artists
Two Singaporean artists, SKL0 and Soph O, who usually work as individual artists, will be coming together in a special collaboration to paint the facades of the metro station.
SKL0 is an artist currently based in Singapore whose work is heavily inspired by daily observations and research on the socio-political climate which she executes through visual commentary comprising of text and imagery.
Soph O is a Singaporean visual artist who collects and draws imagery that borders between the mundane and extraordinary. Her practice revolves around the notion of repetition, reiteration and recurrence through drawing, painting, digital illustration, installation and mural.
Senkoe from Mexico City draws his inspiration from nature and likes to work on walls situated in contexts of wide avenues and textured or smooth surfaces. He is intrigued by aged and cracked walls that show traces of the passage of time. In the Arjan Garh St+art project, Senkoe, will also engage in the dialogue of birds with his own brilliant take on the species, flying in and out of each other, propped up against a background of Delhi’s historic architecture.
Nilesh is an artist from Pune whose art is very responsive to the historical and personal nature of the facade or structure he is working with. In his personal and distinctive style, Nilesh narrates the indigenous identity of spaces and the personal stories of the people, to the public.
A COLORFUL COLLABORATION
St+art India hopes to continually reinforce and nurture a network between cultural organisations and foundations operating in the same field, and under the same values of preserving, contemporising and spreading Indian culture along with cultivating cultural exchanges in an open, accessible way for the public. This time, the Arjan Garh Metro Station will come to life due to a special collaborative approach between St+art India Foundation, DMRC, Asian Paints, Singapore High Commission, Singapore Tourism Board and Sanskriti Foundation.
The Singapore High Commission is passionate about sharing Singaporean art and culture in India and St+art India Foundation believes in sharing a mutual vision of providing a public voice to the cultural spirits of various artists from different parts of the world.
Mr Lim Thuan Kuan, High Commissioner of Singapore to India, “As vibrant, ever growing cities, Delhi and Singapore face similar challenges of balancing between preserving nature and urbanisation. Singapore has adopted the concept of a ‘City in a Garden’ as we strive to introduce more greenery into our urban landscape. The Arjan Garh Metro Station project is exciting as it brings together Singapore and Indian artists to explore this theme from their unique artistic and cultural perspectives. We hope the completed work will bring more colour and life to the surrounding neighbourhoods!”
Asian Paints shares St+art India Foundation’s vision of making art accessible to everyone and believes in the power of transforming public spaces through street art. Taking the association with St+Art and DMRC to the next level, Mr. Amit Syngle, President – Sales, Marketing & Technology, Asian Paints said, “Indian cities are known for their rich history and heritage. Through Asian Paint’s and St+Art Foundation’s association we tend to reinvent public spaces by means of art and culture. Public art is for everyone to see and acknowledge. It’s wonderful to see how aesthetically it adds significance to our cities and creates uniqueness to our communities. It would be a great delight to help relieve people’s stress during their local travel through this awe-inspiring beautiful artwork. And that is what we intend to do through this DMRC project.”
Through this combined effort, the institutes bring together Singaporean and Indian artists to create a rich dialogue between the different expressions and narrative styles of the two countries.
Stressing upon the power of art, Ms. Giulia Ambrogi – Co-Founder & Curator, St+art India Foundation expressed, “Four different artists, four different styles, yet a common research on the topic of the nature, one of the favourite subjects of their own practice. This individual approach became here a common venture to create an immersive imagery and transform inside out the concrete surfaces of the Arjan Garh metro station into an archive of local flora and fauna. With this second St+art station, we hope to create a diffused museum for the city.”
Speaking about the project, Mr. Akshat Nauriyal, Co-Founder & Content Director, St+art India Foundation, shared, “Transit spaces in big cities like Delhi stand as modern structures but are also very inert and non-interactive for the people who use them the most. Through the ‘Art Stations’ project, we hope to add a bit of vibrance in everyday commuters’ lives. Also, since the footfall in these spaces is so high, the project will truly bring art to the masses.”
Anuj Dayal, Spokesperson on DMRC, emphasised the role art is playing in enhancing a commuter’s experience, “The Delhi Metro utilises its spaces for the promotion of art, culture and heritage. Apart from having a museum inside the Patel Chowk station, DMRC has installed decorative panels, art works at various stations such as Mandi House, Janpath, ITO, Udyog Bhawan, INA, Jor Bagh, Green Park etc. For this unique initiative at Arjan Garh Metro Station, Delhi Metro has tied up with St+art India, which is a non-profit organisation working for the promotion of street art. The Govindpuri Metro station on the violet line (ITO-Faridabad) was also given a new look with various artistic illustrations in tie up with the same organisation.”
Established in 1979, Sanskriti Foundation is dedicated to promoting, preserving and presenting the Indian traditional arts and culture through various programmes, such as residency of artists, hosting Indian and International artists thanks to which deep cultural exchanges can take place. Sanskriti Foundation is collaborating with St+art India in supporting the residency of artists for several projects by providing accommodation and studio spaces in the stunning venue of Sanskriti Kendra located in Aya Nagar.
GD Goenka University
To empower students and drive education about these art projects, St+Art has collaborated with GD Goenka University, located at Sohna Road in Gurugram, to provide internships for their students.
PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY
High commission of the Republic of Singapore
Singapore Tourism Board
GD Goenka University
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.