Today in New Delhi, India
Apr 26, 2019-Friday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Art at a Metro station near you

Connaught Place, the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station, Jantar Mantar, Regal Building and several subways in the area are hosting the largest interactive public art exhibitions in recent times-- Fête de la Photo.

brunch Updated: Mar 24, 2014 21:13 IST
Yashica Dutt
Yashica Dutt
Hindustan Times
Art exhibitions. Connaught Place,the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station,Jantar Mantar

Art is a hefty word, a certified hall pass to the big boy club of refinement. It's usually hung in imposing galleries and museums or expensive homes. But rarely in Delhi does art come to you, sneaking up completely unannounced at places you'd never imagined.

That's pretty much how the current Fête de la Photo - a photography festival organised by the Embassy of France in association with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) can be described.

Huge photographs pitched all around Connaught Place, the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station, Jantar Mantar, Regal Building and several subways in the area have caught the eye of every visitor.

All out in the open

You can start a guessing game with a series of photographs named 'Portraiture' by Parthiv Shah, trying to identify the cultural figures in the photographs. Then there's the astronomy-based installation that has visitors posing with it for their Facebook profiles. There's even a photo booth called 'Distant Dreams' where photographer Anay Maan shoots people against a backdrop of French monuments and gives them copies as keep-sakes. And all for free.

One of the largest interactive public art exhibitions in recent times, Fête de la Photo has brought a long-standing tradition of interactive and contemporary public art to the city, a regular feature for other world capitals like London, Paris or Berlin. Although traditional public art in the form of murals, statues and monuments dot the city's landscape, a fresh re-imagination of everyday space is more or less missing from Delhi. "Art in that sense is patronised only at elitist level but this exposes your art to someone walking down the street," says photographer Parthiv Shah.

Adds Aruna Adaciem, the cultural attaché of the French Embassy, "People don't need to go anywhere, they just need to open their eyes and stare. What is usual for us could be a whole new perspective for someone passing by. Public art helps us re-experience our surroundings."

Since the camera became the defining feature of a phone, photography has exploded in the last decade. In September 2012, Fortune magazine reported that 10 per cent of all photos ever taken were shot in 2011 alone. Photography as art is more accessible than it ever was. Photographer Rohit Chawla who has a series on Wearable Art, says that the reactions he's got are far more real than from any gallery. "This is more upfront. It brings a sense of festivity and well-being to the city. That's what public art is all about."


Fête de la Photo is a pan-Indian photography festival in public spaces, to be held in 9 Indian cities. Travelling from Bangalore and Chandigarh, it has been on in Delhi since 4th March and will end on 31st March. In and around Connaught Place, the exhibition features photographers such as Raghu Rai, Dinesh Khanna, Parthiv Shah, Dayanita Singh and Pablo Bartholomew.

Follow @YashicaDutt on Twitter

From HT Brunch, March 23

Follow us on

Connect with us on

First Published: Mar 22, 2014 13:41 IST