Art Invades New Delhi, Comments On Changing City

Public art installations around New Delhi highlights the challenges of preserving India's heritage amidst development. 'We ask people to think about constructing a modern city and the accompanying extinction and loss,' says artist Ravi Agrawal.
January 5, 2009, 10am PST | Tim Halbur
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"About 25 artists spread their larger-than-life art installations across the city's 16th-century quarters, shopping arcades, parks, business districts and traffic roundabouts. The installations were along sites located on a grid created for the city's latest object of pride: the gleaming new Metro rail, which in the past five years has become a potent symbol of the choked capital's efforts to transform itself for the 21st century.

'Public space is shrinking in this city, and we are trying to reclaim and reengage with it through art,' said Pooja Sood, curator of the public art extravaganza, which ends Sunday. 'We broke through prevailing social, cultural and political barriers to bring contemporary art out of the elitist, white-cube galleries.'

In the past decade, New Delhi has witnessed an unprecedented boom in the construction of high-rises, overpasses, malls and multiplexes at the expense of countless trees and old buildings. Conspicuous consumption and changing lifestyles are depleting the city's underground water supply and slowly edging the once-sacred Yamuna River out of people's consciousness."

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Published on Sunday, December 21, 2008 in Washington Post
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