Two Singapore-based artists are giving the Arjan Garh metro station an arty makeover with images of birds, truck art and miniature paintings.
The commute is turning brighter as art enters the metro station. Two Singaporean street artists Samantha Lo and Soph Ong are painting the exterior of the Arjan Garh metro station in art works that are a beautiful and cheery tribute to nature and the cultural essence of Delhi. These murals are created on and around the steps that take the commuters from the ground to the platform, hence providing a complete visual thread for the traveller.
The duo transformed the exterior façade of the station with drawings of birds like the kingfisher and myna. “The concept reflects nature and the changing times in Delhi. The idea of incorporating the birds was ours. This mural pays homage to the natural environment this place was before the metro was built here. We wanted to bring back that remembrance,” shares Samantha Lo, better known as ‘Sticker Lady’ after she stencilled ‘My Grandfather Road’ on several Singapore roads. She adds, “It is a huge project involving painting the entire metro. It’s going to be one of my biggest murals to date.”
As vibrant, ever-growing cities both Delhi and Singapore face challenges of preservation of natural habitat, states Samantha. “We have grown up in cities and are constantly being exposed to development. We are trying to find a balance between preserving nature and urbanisation. We are also drawing a parallel between the birds and commuters as both are always passing by.”
The project is part of a collaboration between St+art India foundation and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to provide ‘art for everyone’. The project is themed around environment wherein international artists are decorating the facade of the station. They teamed up with Mexican artist Senkoe and Indian artist Nilesh, making it a true blend of ideas and cultures.
Talking about the challenges, she says, “Time was a huge challenge and since the walls were so huge, logistically also it created a little trouble but once the work started nothing seemed like a problem.”
They took inspiration from sights they observed while travelling within the city, and incorporated them in their work. “The minute we landed in the city, the first thing that caught our attention was the colourful signs behind the trucks. We have used that and painted the word ‘aasha’, which means hope, in the kingfisher bird. We also took inspiration from the colourful garments we saw at the Sanskriti Kendra. Besides all the vibrant colours, we were also inspired by the Indian miniature paintings.”
Apart from interacting with locals and understanding the art and culture of the place, the duo have also been trying out some of the spicy delights the city has to offer. Samantha shares, “We have been trying out different street food everyday and I must say our favourite is definitely litti chokha.”