New Delhi – A larger than life street art installation in Tughlakabad, South Delhi will soon spill across India. Housed within 100 shipping containers in the parking lot of Asia’s largest dry port, ICD (Inland Container Depot), WIP – The Street Art Show is an open lab where artists work on site and a wide range of cultural activities take place. Throughout the month of February, a total of 31,200 sq. ft. of ICD have been transformed into a walk-through installation brought to life by over 1000 liters of paint. It took two months and 20,000 working hours by 24 national and international artists to put this massive show together.
‘Men at Work’ and ‘Work in Progress’ signs are a constant visual across New Delhi whilst the people who build the city, similar to the street artists who transform public spaces, remain invisible. Organized by the St+art India Foundation in collaboration with CONCOR – Container Corporation of India, WIP takes its inspiration from New Delhi’s constant state of construction and transformation while celebrating those who make it happen.
WIP invited artists to paint under the public eye throughout December 2015 and January 2016. During the month of February, the outdoor exhibition space also acts as a venue for NGO workshops and activities with a focus on community-driven projects. These include the ‘Pimp My Bike Project’ where local children had their bicycles painted and the ‘Through the Eyes’ workshop where locals were given disposable cameras to document the exhibition space on their own, the photos of which are now exhibited in a container. Guided tours, artist talks, and screenings further animate the space.
Spread over just under 136 acres, ICD is an intense area both due to its environmental characteristics and its daily activities. 10,000 employees work there and 1,000 containers are handled daily, making it one of the busiest areas in New Delhi. Once the WIP exhibition closes, the 100 containers shall return to their initial purpose of transporting goods, though they shall do so brightly painted. In this way, the artwork made for WIP will travel throughout India and continue to transform public spaces.