Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lado Sarai: seeds of New Delhi's Brera district?

Last week Lado Sarai, New Delhi’s latest art district had one of its Art Nights. Having missed the last few opportunities, this time I altered my travel plans to be in town for it. And I am extremely glad about the decision. After a long time, here was an event that put you on a high before the wine got into you. Nine galleries opening their shows simultaneously, each one better than the other, the evening was an incredible treat. The energy was scintillating and the Art Strip was exuding high voltage. 

 Tunty Chauhan's Gallery Threshold opened ceramist VN Daroz's Solo Show of Ceramics. His latest works are a combination of scale, play of muted shades and glitz, ready for modern homes and corporate installations. 

Wonderwall presented DAY FOR NIGHT, a fabulous collection of surreal photographs by Baba Anand.

Latitude 28's Show titled TACTILE is a Group show with works of  Shivani Aggarwal, C Douglas, Manisha Gera Baswani (who is having a solo show currently at Gallery Espace) and Mohammad Zeeshan among others.

The Show is a fabulous curation of a self-explanatory title.

Title says it all!

It was an evening of artistic gratification with loads of possibilities. A thought that has stayed with me as I drove back around 10pm when the galleries shut their doors, is that Lado Sarai could be New Delhi’s parallel to Milan’s Brera neighborhood. The Art Night hinted of loads of promise, those that can take it to become our own Brera district. I have since spoken to a few like minded friends and they all seem to agree except that moving things in our context isn't as easy. But my argument to them is that we have come thus far to organise the Art Nights, so it is a matter of concerted initiative to keep the momentum going.
Lado Sarai has all the makings, it has Art Galleries, Design Studios even a café at Art Positive that serves fresh sandwiches and cakes though limited in variety but good quality nonetheless.
While organic growth of an area as fresh as this is important because that is forming the DNA for the years ahead, a watchful eye with a broad plan agreed upon by those who have brought to where it is today, might be one way of giving it a desirable direction. 

Hidden Gallery had a Pakistani Truck Art Show going on simultaneously at its regular gallery timings.
Transferring Truck Art onto pieces of furniture and other accessories as lights and table-tops, this design studio cum gallery  sold one-off pieces during the exhibition which lasted four days.

Their signature chair wearing new colours.

Art Positive showed Nidhi Khurana and Anju Kaushik's in a show titled MAPPING MINDSCAPES

Nidhi Khurana

Anju Kaushik

The other participating Galleries are Gallery Ragini, 
Exhibit 320, Art Motif, Studio Art and Abadi Art Space.

Brera, the Art district of Milan with its famous museums has a unique artsy bohemian spirit that echoes in the lanes of Lado Sarai. If the bye-lanes, which will get occupied soon, (we already see the  strip extended) are managed well and kept clean (a huge factor that makes Lado Sarai a preferred destination), very soon we could see cute little cafes and design stores adding to the existing charm and taking it to where the neighbourhood has the potential to be. 
Art and culture focused new routes such as art appreciation workshops, apprenticeships and gallery management could be a learning arm, while efforts and training towards conservation and enhancement of the historical and artistic heritage of the territory, given the proximity to Qutub Minar, could be another prong. It will be a pity if the area is allowed to go the Hauz Khas Village or the Khan Market way, where the prospects to upgrade have been lost, at least for the near future.

Here is what Brera looks like on usual working days...
 Lively buzz all day long

Brera: Preserving character and heritage of local territory

Clean by lanes that make for a pleasurable walk through

Interesting signages
Art and Culture focussed commercial activities

A fun place to meet, greet and eat besides art chomping

Not too it? Certainly not impossible!

No comments:

Post a Comment