Art in Transit is a public art and pedagogic initiative facilitated by the Srishti Institute of Art,Design and Technology Bangalore, in collaboration with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation and city based artists and arts organizations. The project is lead by Arzu Mistry and Amitabh Kumar.
Art in Transit seeks to develop a sense of belonging and interaction with the city of Bangalore as a vibrant, creative and inclusive space. Recognizing the rapid pace of growth, movement, and development in the metropolis of Bangalore, Art in Transit uses art, design and technology to stimulate dialogue between people and the urban spaces that they inhabit. This discourse manifests a range of meaningful, pertinent and pervasive artistic interventions in spaces of transience.
How do cities in the throws of rapid change, make meaning of their past, present and future? Can art and design facilitate this process for a city in transience?
In this age of exchange, aspiration, connection, and belonging, what becomes of the specificity of place and the everyday story? What is the imprint bequeathed to the City amidst the concurrent reflection of its past, the retention of its present and the renewal of its future?
Within this ephemeral and transitory endeavor, there are two fundamental overriding factors that frame our engagement with the Metro transit system and the city of Bangalore:
First, each station is distinct and specific to its location. It exists within a community of people, and its presence permeates the contextual vicinity, unlike a flyover that merely passes through. This locative nature is paramount to the project.
Second, the metro is a symbol of a complex middle ground. The metro in Bangalore is complicit in environmental damage and the displacement of communities on one hand, and yet is an effective and efficient public transportation system on the other. The metro is a ripe contradiction within the city and offers an opportunity for exploration of place beyond similar binaries such as value and impact, activism and gentrification, and ephemeral and archiva
Since 2014, Art in Transit has become a dynamic platform for diverse voices in contemporary public art practice to converge within the rich and resonant urban context of Bangalore city. The project seeks to further collaborations with artists in other cities in transition – shaped by the forces of technology, migration, gentrification, urbanization and the rapid pace of change. Art in Transit is currently working on a contemporary art exchange with its sister-silicon-city, San Francisco.
Arzu is an educator, ecologist, visual artist, and dancer. She maintains a high level of dedication and enthusiasm for the arts and ecology as mediums for pedagogy, advocacy, transformation, and intervention. Her practice centers on connecting educators, youth and families with place through interdisciplinary education using memory, story, play and art making through community art/ecology projects, livelihoods training, teacher professional development and educational research and practice.
As leader of KHOJ initiative, she has facilitated nine independent art projects aimed at involving the Khirkee community that surrounds the KHOJ studio in New Delhi. Projects have ranged from artist- commissioned temple installations, to local shop make-overs, to clay toy-making with neighborhood children, all completed with community input at every stage.
Trained as a painter, Amitabh has explored numerous forms of graphic art, from graphic design and typography, to comics and graphic novels, to illustration and mural-making. Having worked across the spectrum from content creation to curation, he has participated in several exhibitions and art fairs. It is this engagement with contemporary art that made him aware of the lacuna between art and culture, and he began to address this gap by working in public spaces, primarily in the form of murals and print media