Search giant Google is collaborating with the Taxi Fabric project to recreate hand-painted Bollywood posters inside the Mumbai Kaali-Peeli
Kaali-Peeli taxis have always been integral to the city of Mumbai. They are one of the first things you spot when you reach the city. And each taxi bears a distinct look — some have posters of films or film stars laminated on the roof or the corners of the taxi, while others have images of fruits or geometrical designs.
The taxis of the city inspired the Taxi Fabric project: a year-old crowdfunded endeavour that encourages designers to turn taxis as their canvas. “The idea was to offer a platform for upcoming designers to showcase their creativity by converting seat covers into canvas,” says Sanket Avlani, designer and founder of Taxi Fabric.
Then, last month, search engine Google India officially collaborated with Taxi Fabric, commissioning 75 taxis to be revamped with Bollywood poster design. The launch event on June 16 befittingly featured Bollywood celebrities like Karan Johar and actor Vicky Kaushal.
The designs will include movie posters from iconic Bollywood movies, including Sholay (1975), Rang de Basanti (2006) and Dil Chahta Hai (2001). The images will be hand-painted by Khafeel, a Delhi-based artist who hand-paints movie stills. Subsequently, they will be digitised and printed on seat covers, on the roof, and the sides of taxis. So far, they have completely revamped one such taxi.
A number of movie-related questions are also dotted across the hand-painted posters. Movie buffs can pose queries related to Bollywood movies to the ‘Ok Google’ app for answers.
“Google has collaborated with us because of our medium: taxis. Besides, Bollywood is representative of Mumbai, and we chose this theme to resonate with the public. Kaali Peeli taxis have an emotional connect and an iconic value, while Bollywood posters create a sense of nostalgia,” says Avlani, adding, “This project uses a mix of traditional techniques and modern technology.”
To check out Taxi Fabric’s work, visit taxifabric.org