Delhi

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Hauz Khas Village

Hauz Khas Village is a bustling, upmarket district in South Delhi which is a hub of cultural activity in the city.

Until a few years ago, it was yet another urban village. But years of gentrification have led to it becoming one of the most popular hangouts in New Delhi.

Hauz Khas Village and its neighboring areas like Shahpur Jat, Malviya Nagar were the focus for the St+art Delhi.

‘Untitled’ by Joao Samina, 2015 — Joao Samina, from Portugal, uses stencil techniques with other art elements from his own roots in street art, graphic design, painting and architecture. Joao was here in India for St+art Delhi with support from the Portuguese Embassy Cultural Centre, New Delhi and worked at the entrance of Hauz Khas Village. (Photos: Pranav Mehta)
Untitled M City 1

During St+art DEL 2014, as work continued in Shahpur Jat, HKV was activated with interventions by some amazing local and international artists. One of the first pieces done here was by Spanish artist Okuda. The facade was a huge backside wall of a school building which faced the HKV parking lot. This was a high visibility wall at the entrance of the market and hence Okuda wanted to make something which would pop out and also have some local context. Having seen a lot of animals in the time he had spent in the city, he chose to use them as a central theme in his work, but also play on the idea of capitalism - something that was predominantly the soul of the market.

‘Spiritual Capitalism Totem’ by Okuda, 2014 — Okuda works with multi-colored geometric shapes and figures, to establish surrealists pieces that raise contradictions between modern existence and societal roots.

The work then began to spread to other areas within the village with Italian artist Alina Vegano painting a facade at the entrance of the village. Alina usually depicts her observations of human behavior through her minimally illustrated women characters.

‘Untitled’ by Alina, 2014 — Italian artist Alina’s work depict a world populated mostly by women whose feeling are the complex, articulated and mysterious. Painting large scale murals was an exhilarating experience for her. This piece depicts the delicacy of women in silent conversation.

The way that HKV is setup is similar to Shahpur Jat with cafes and bars on the periphery masking the true narrow winding lanes inhabited by villagers who are socio-economically very different from the visitors who now flock to the market. So just like Shahpur jat, we took our artists within the community to do some works for the locals themselves. Not being content with making something in the parking lot which was essentially just for the visitors, Okuda ventured into the village and made a smaller piece within the heart of the community.

‘Chaos Star’ by Okuda, 2014 — This was an anamorphic piece which would go onto become a signature of Okuda’s work in the future - ‘The Chaos Star’.

Bond (Germany) and Ano (Taiwan) met a few years ago when Bond was travelling across Taiwan, and they collaborated on a few pieces. Since the beginning of the festival, they had been looking for places to do a wall in India together. Four weeks into the festival, they finally got their chance. They found a rooftop in the village where they began working on their combined piece.

The two graffiti masters, ANO (from Taiwan) and BOND (from Germany) made a collaborative piece in Hauz Khas Village. It is situated on the rooftop terrace of one of the houses in the village. The residents were overwhelmed by the skills and ingenuity of the design.

The series of graffiti works created by Bond in and around Hauz Khas Village

Over the last two decades though, HKV has been an integral part of the Graffiti movement of New Delhi. A vacant lot within the market is well known as the ‘Wall of Fame’ of the graffiti scene here becoming a must visit site for local and travelling artist to leave a tag behind. The wall has also been the meeting point for many writers from the scene and led to the growth of the community by being a practice wall and a showcase at the same time. Chances are every time you visit, you’ll find something new. Over the years rapid gentrification of the urban village has led to HKV becoming the nightlife centre of Delhi.

And since no project in Hauz Khas village would be complete without working on the ‘Wall of Fame’, Polish artist M-city began work on the two massive facades of the vacant lot. Since this wall had seen a lot of paint wars across the years, with writers painting over each other, as is tradition on the street, M-City decided to make two huge paint tanks splattering each other with paint bombs as a symbol of the ever continuing conflict through color that takes place on the wall of fame. But honoring the code of the street, he didn't go over any of the existing works, and instead chose to only focus on the top section of the wall, leaving the lower sections for the wall free for writers.

‘Untitled’ by M-City, 2014 — M-City is a Poland-based stencil artist who works on larger-than-life projects. His piece at Hauz Khas Village depicts two huge tanks firing paint balls at each other. This unoccupied plot forms a graffiti pilgrimage for the writers that visit Delhi. Scaffolding used was massive and reminiscent of the Pyramids. The evident industrial influence in the artist's work is drawn from the architecture and seaports back home. These majestic works are signature of the Polish artist M-city. He has managed to capture beauty in the brutality of industries and machines.

Sheikh Sarai

Sheikh Sarai is an urban village located in South Delhi.

‘A Strange Hat’ by Artez, 2014 — His strokes with the spray-can were extremely quick and precise. He created portraits in his favorite orange and purple color palette with the eyes always standing out, shining and life-like.

“I've been to Jaipur and there were these langurs making a mess. They were chasing other monkeys away too but they were breaking glasses in cafes and stealing food. So that was the first thing that came to my head - man with a strange hat and why should there not be monkeys? Monkeys are cool!

- Artez

Meanwhile, Artez from Serbia was busy working on his wall in Malviya Nagar in South Delhi. His wall was across the road from a school, so he would frequently have groups of kids hanging around, asking him questions.

Untitled Artez 5

'Luna- The Dog' painted by Artez in Malviya Nagar.

Find Your Way To Fly Artez 1

'Find your way to fly' by Artez. Along with these artworks Artez also created an artwork at Kingsway Camp, Civil Lines.

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