The guys who gave a colourful makeover to the taxis of Mumbai are in Delhi. Their art is so stunning that even Coldplay couldn’t resist featuring it in their music video, Hymn for the Weekend! Mumbai-based design project Taxi Fabric has come to Delhi to give a kitschy makeover to the city’s auto-rickshaws. Autos, as they are referred to in the city, have garnered an iconic status much like the kali-peeli taxis of Mumbai. HT City caught up with the team as they were in the final stages of fitting the autos with the painted fabric.
“Coming to Delhi was a natural progression as the city has a more conducive art scene. A lot of independent artists are thriving here,” says Sanket Avlani, curator of the project. The taxis in Mumbai have already become a conversation starter between the drivers and the passengers, something which Avlani plans to achieve in Delhi also.
“We wanted to give a makeover to Delhi’s autos as that is where the masses are. We’ll take a variety of themes and gender sensitisation will be one of them,” says Siddharth Samant, creative producer at the Mumbai Chapter of Taxi Fabric.
The task of redesigning the interiors of an auto can take anywhere between 2-3 weeks. First, a stencil and measurement of the interiors is sent to the designer who then sends back a concept presentation. Then, the design is sent to be printed on a suitable fabric after which it is taken to a workshop where it is fitted inside the auto. “This is the first auto that we have rolled out in Delhi, but in a couple of months, you will get to see more such autos,” adds Siddharth.
For this particular auto, they tied up with Delhi-based artist Nasheet Shadani. He says, “I realised that the first auto in the city of Djinns should be magical and should instantly connect with the people of Delhi. So I chose the theme ‘Tasavvur’ which is Urdu for imagination.”
Auto driver Hari Om Sharma is elated at the makeover his auto has received. He has been on the roads in Delhi for the last 3 years. “I got in touch with them through a workshop that NGO Manas had organised. This NGO is putting the auto drivers in touch with Taxi Fabric. I liked this design immediately as it shows a very beautiful side of our city,” he says. With this initiative, he hopes that the public will perceive the autos and the drivers in a more positive light.