Murals at Vidyut Bhawan

Vidyut Bhawan, Patna


St+art Patna 2019 took place at the prominent location of the city’s ‘Vidyut Bhawan’ (lit. electricity complex), where throughout the month of October artists Alaniz, Munir Bukhari and Johnson Singh worked to create five large-scale murals around the themes of energy, power and ecology.

Vidyut Bhawan, a campus of offices of The Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) is the government body that provides 24-hour electricity to the entire state of Bihar. In recent years, under the purview of the Indian government’s initiative of building ‘smart cities’, the BSPHCL has built community spaces such as a library, an auditorium and a cafe within its campus to serve public interests. Within their larger framework, they are also investing in thermal power plants that contribute in supplying green energy to households in Bihar.

Work in progress - Vidyut Bhawan, Patna, India

Located on facades around the BSPHCL campus, pieces created for St+art Patna pointedly engage with the themes of energy and light, to both ignite conversations around building a more sustainable power ecosystem as well celebrate the efforts of the BSPHCL in that regard.

Additionally, as has been established the world over, art and culture play an important role in creating a truly ‘Smart City’ which made this an important project for more reasons than one. Not only did it allow us to contribute to the conversation around building a sustainable future, but a collaboration which was made possible because of the Bihar government’s progressive forward-thinking approach also enabled us to situate street art at the centre of a ‘smart city'.

Alaniz- ‘We are Light’ .Argentinian artist Alaniz’s mural titled ‘We are light’, speaks about how everything in this universe is connected - of how human beings, as well as animals and plants, are all made of the same matter stars are made of. Through this work, he wishes to remind people that there is power and light within everything, as a metaphor for the potential within every person. His piece also depicts endangered species like the Bengal Tiger and the Asian Elephant, amongst other animals, juxtaposed against two young people as a way to convey the idea that the youth are their future protectors.
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‘From Darkness, Lead me to Light’ - Munir Bukhari
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‘From Darkness, Lead me to Light’ - Munir Bukhari

One half of a two-part composition, artist Munir’s mural depicts light as a source of comfort, security and guidance to its central character, who is himself seen protecting and nurturing the light source for a brighter future. Advocating for a celebration of the virtue of light in our lives, the mural speaks for taking the conversation of sustainability forward collectively.

The second half of Munir’s composition pays an ode to the BSPHCL’s numerous initiatives to electrify Bihar in retrospect while depicting a forward-looking stance - it uses a solar bulb to symbolize a sustainable and green future for young India. In tandem with the first artwork, this piece also honours light, in its natural form and as a source of guidance, security and comfort in Indian mythology and daily rituals.

Johnson Singh.-'The Thunderbolt’. Created using floral and geometrical patterns in pastel tones, artist Johnson’s mural aims to convey a contemplative sense of calm while giving a modern look and feel to the iconic building of Vidyut Bhawan. The floral piece also beautifully frames an installation placed atop the entrance to Vidyut Bhawan featuring a green thunderbolt. By using the symbol of energy - the thunderbolt, painted in bright green, it aims to bring out the identity of the electrical board, while highlighting that this crucial cause will need collective contribution.
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‘When it Merges’ - Johnson Singh and Munir Bukhari

This final artwork culminates the visual narrative of light created over a month around the BSPHCL compound. Artists Johnson and Munir’s forward-looking piece seeks to celebrate both the power of electricity and human beings. The final mural of St+art Patna serves as a visual reminder of the marvellous things that can happen when aspirations become reality. A futuristic city - fully and visibly lit, coexisting with abundant flora and fauna, inhabits this piece, depicting an ideal Bihar of the future.