St+Art India Foundation held its second international festival in Delhi – named WIP-The Street Art Show – from December 15 to February 16, at the ICD (Inland Container Depot), Tughlakabad, in collaboration with CONCOR (Container Corporation of India). This is Asia’s largest dry port where 10,000 employees are busy loading and unloading shipping containers daily.
Artists from all over the world have toiled for hours using over 1000 litres of paint (Asian Paints) to create larger than life installations; an unconventional art gallery which everyone could have access to, unlike exhibitions, which cater to the economic elite. Having been completed, over 100 shipping containers with art in the form of murals, stencil graffiti, sticker art, and wheat pasted posters would come alive across Indian highways, as they transported goods all across the nation. We let the visuals do the talking, introducing you to their hidden world of symbolism.
EXHIBITS AT THE WIP – STREET ART SHOW, NEW DELHI
Artist : NeverCrew (Switzerland)
Theme : See Through/See Beyond
As you enter, an Astronaut greets you. He is gazing across time and space connecting the present moment with eternity. He invites you to begin the exploration in your own way.
Artist : Reko Rennie (Australia)
Theme : Original Aboriginal
The maze of traditional geometric pattern used by the artist represents his community of the Kamilaroi People. His aim is to provoke people, creating awareness for preservation of indigenous culture and identity in a contemporary urban environment.
Artist : Niels Shoe Meulman (Netherland)
Theme : Abstract Vandalism
Niels Shoe Meulman, or ‘SHOE’, is an internationally renowned legend in street art. His work on site is a culmination of his 35 years of experience. He is well known for his ‘Calligraffiti’ style which infuses calligraphy and graffiti. He is a writer and has written his own poems as displayed on the containers. What is most interesting is the use of Indian brooms, a common sight in every household, to create one of his abstract layers of art.
Artist : InkbrushMe (India)
Theme : Matruka
‘Matruka’ is a Sanskrit word for Mother Goddess. For centuries the feminine has been overshadowed by masculine. InkbrushMe represents Brahmini,Vaishnavi and Shakti riding ‘Yali’, a mythical creature. Her supreme presence is overpowering for onlookers, who stand in complete awe of her.
Theme : Temple of Graffiti
When we talk about India, any ceremony is incomplete without blessings of a Sadhu Baba. As the Inland Container Depot is the temple for the Street Art and Graffiti, the Sadhu here has been created, in deep meditation and showering his love on the artists as they take on their new venture and challenges.
Theme : Breathe
The special black ink ( an innovation by the IIT students of Delhi ) used to create this graffiti is made from PM 2.5 particles causing air pollution. It is to bring us to the shocking fact that we are living in Delhi, one of the most polluted city in the world.
Theme : Fruits of Childhood
The child represents each one of us. We all are works of art of a magnificent creator, in continuous evolution, a theme which is in sync with WIP (Work In Progress), the essence of the festival.
Theme : Exotic Pictograms
This piece makes clever use of aluminium foil, reflecting sunlight in various hues. The distortion of images is created to challenge us to explore the unknown lying beyond one’s comfort zone.
Artist : Amitabh Kumar (India)
Theme : Bali
It screams out for attention. This image of a headless beast is a wake-up call to the reality of the huge mountain of landfill waste adjacent to the dry port, stagnating and dead. The city continues to turn a blind eye to its existence.
Artist : Agostino Iacurci (Italy)
Theme : Cosmic Egg
What came first, the chicken or the egg? This question has intrigued us for centuries. The giant cosmic egg installation gives us the answer. An ancient and universal symbol, the egg gives form to chaos and from it hatches the sun (the golden yolk), leading to division of earth and sky and life.
Artist : Nafir (Iran)
Theme : House is Black
Nafir is an Iranian artist who tackles the sensitive and political issues of his country. His Thousand Faces is a cry for the situation of women in his country, who are arrested by the government for their support of women’s liberation. The portrait of Forugh Farrokhzad, a controversial modernist Iranian poet who led many women empowerment movements in Iran, ties in the historic and cultural background.
Theme : Mirage
Borondo’s work depicts a mirage of the Mysore Palace, in an unlikely space situated between a slum and a landfill. The juxtaposition is both beautiful and jarring.
Artist : Painter Shabbu (India)
Theme : Banana
Shabbu started his career painting Bollywood posters and fruit juice stalls. He paid for his degree in Fine Arts through his earnings. The ‘Banana’ container is painted in typical ‘sign painting style’ and would be used for shipping the fruit as the name suggests.
Artist Name : Chifumi (France)
Theme : Mudra
This French artist has painted an Indian ‘Mudra’ in blue and red. Hand gestures and expressions are his forte. He strives to bridge gap between western and eastern cultures.
Artist : Hendrik Beikirch ECB (Germany)
Theme : There is nowhere to go but everywhere
Here sits a large portrait of a ragpicker/truck driver on a defunct cement factory adjacent to the landfill and Inland Container Depot. A reflection of an average Indian who goes about his daily mundane activities is lost in a sea of human faces.
Artist : Senkoe (Mexico)
Theme : Omnia Videns
This artist draws his inspiration from nature. To quote Senkoe, ‘The man sits holding his face, looking out at the perpetual turmoil of life and the ever transient world. However, he knows the ultimate truth that peace lies only within. ‘Omnia Videns‘ means Seeing Everything.’
Artist : Gaia (USA)
Gaia is a rising star and his name is derived from the Greek designation ‘Earth Goddess’. His work The Alto is a representation of the Indian middle class.
Artist : Lek & Sowat (France)
Theme : Going Bananas
The yellow colour, a sort of hieroglyphic text (sacred writing ) dominates the dramatic composition.
The revolution has begun and is gaining momentum. The Lodhi Art District is the next stop. Several walls between Meharchand Market and Khanna Market have become a treat for the senses. Welcome to the first ever Public Art District of India.