'WHY' by Daku

Hussain Sagar Lake, Hyderabad


Placed on the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad, anonymous street artist DAKU’s massive installation titled ‘WHY’ - a response to the perniciously growing problem of single-use plastic pollution, officially kicked off St+art’s festival season for 2019. The installation which was commissioned by the Government of Telangana on the occasion of the Hyderabad Design Week organised by India Design Forum, was created in the form of a giant question mark (‘?’) using close to 3,00,000 recycled plastic bottles!

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Studies estimate there are now 150 million metric tons of plastics in the world's oceans, adversely affecting our marine ecosystem. Plastic dumping is choking our oceans and governments across nations have begun to take measures to curb the growing menace of plastic pollution.

Executed in the form of public art interventions, Daku’s works are known for engaging with contemporary and complex topics, affecting their spectators with simple yet incisive commentaries. In the same spirit, his Question Mark aimed to raise questions within the viewers - what can citizens do? What can governments and corporations do? Where do we go from here? What is the alternative?

‘WHY’ was inaugurated on 9th October 2019, remaining placed on the surface of the lake for public viewing for a period of one month.

The installation also produced its own light through solar-powered LED which made it visible constantly throughout the day and night.

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As an artist, this is my contribution towards changing perceptions about plastic, which is one of the biggest questions today. I hope this installation will help raise more questions about using plastic in people's mind. This is our take on plastic against plastic.

- Daku

Public art plays a fundamental role in spreading socially relevant messages in a strong, direct and understandable manner and urban art interventions like this installation are crucial to create awareness and start building sensitivity for a more sustainable future. The installation posed questions to citizens, tourists, civic bodies and corporations alike, in the hope of a solution. It provoked spectators to take note of the growing number of problems associated with single-use plastics while encouraging onlookers to self-reflect and start looking for alternatives.