Concept art and installations have always had a place for themselves in the art galleries of the City. But of late, these young and passionate minds seemed to have started creating a space for themselves out in the open; a welcome change from the usual approach to art.
Nachiappan Ramanathan has been doing art installations around the City. From sound-scapes to projects using cycle parts, he has tried it all. “The people who hire us don’t always respect the artist as much as they should. They think that because we’re working with waste material, it’ll be cheaper. But while the resources may be cheap, the idea and work is worth a lot more,” shares Nachiappan. About people’s reactions to installations, he says, “Many of these installations become an experience which changes the whole mood of the space it’s put in.”
There are also the graffiti artists, who are often given a wall or canvas of some sort to do what they want. Having left his mark at various events with live graffiti, ‘Shunnal Ligade’ aka ‘The Bathroom Painter’ shares his perspective. “When I do graffiti, I’m not thinking much. Your whole interaction with the canvas is free, which is what I want to express. At ‘Octoberfest’, I drove my car in and just let people paint on it. It was like saying ‘Don’t worry about it, just have fun!’” smiles Shunnal, mentioning that he doesn’t like teaching people what to do because he doesn’t want to change individual perception. “It’s nice to involve the crowds, let them paint and just watch their expressions,” he adds.
Shilo Shiv Suleman is another name that comes to mind. She has painted the City’s buses, trains and more recently, Kabootar, a hand-painted tempo used as a mail van for the music festival, NH7 Weekender.
“The NH7 Kabootar was a crazy idea that came together in a week. I bought a tempo from scrap yards in the depths of Bangalore’s shady markets. I decided to make a mail van because I think there’s a little bit of magic lost in the e-mail era,” she wraps up, with a smile.