Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

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Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Art junkie or not, you’d love to explore Lodhi Art District. The quiet neighborhood in the heart of Delhi holds the best of Delhi Street Art.

The concept of street art, not new to the world is taking over in Delhi now.

All thanks to St+Art India Foundation, a non-profit organization that’s working relentlessly towards making street art popular across Delhi or for that matter India (as they have expanded the work to other major cities) since 2015.

With the help of CPWD, NDMC, Swachh Bharat Mission, the residents (RWA) of Lodhi Colony, and Asian Paints, St+Art India partnered with local and international artists to bring the art closer to the public.

Otherwise dull, and plain walls of government-owned buildings in Lodhi Colony are beautifully transformed into creative zion as part of the annual Lodhi Street Art Festival.

That’s how India’s first-ever Lodhi Art District was born.

It’s impossible to drive past Lodhi Colony and not stop to admire and ponder over the colossal wall art.

Apart from its central location, Lodhi Colony attracted and thrilled the artists for its unique, symmetrical and well laid-out façades and pedestrian-friendly charm.

Each triple storey government-owned building here features a central arched doorway and four windows (two on either side) wherein the archway affords a view inside a courtyard.

In some buildings, the archways showcase the trees jutting out of them to the street.

Lodhi Art District houses over 54 murals (and counting) that take on versatile themes, from social issues to environmental issues to marginalized and vulnerable communities like LGBTQ to Indian culture and values. Many of them have been inspired by the residents and visitors of the Lodhi Colony.

You’d find yourself ogling at the artworks while trying to draw inferences behind them. I asked myself several times, “What must have inspired an artist?” while looking at those pretty yet thoughtful murals.

I was mesmerized to see the art on walls that speaks volumes and loved the way trees of Lodhi dynamically became part of each and every art piece.

If you’re traveling to Delhi with kids, do stop by at Shankar’s International Dolls Museum in Delhi.

Street Murals in Lodhi Art District

Even though we contemplated the artwork but couldn’t really decode all the murals on our own. I had to take help from St+ART India’s Facebook and Instagram to know more about the stories and artists behind the graffitis while writing this piece.

Bhajju Shyam’s New Mural (Work in Progress)

This one’s a new addition. We spotted the artist and the volunteers working on this new mural.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Trans Lives Matter by Aravani Art Project

This thought-provoking mural in block 5 is painted by Aravani Art Project with the help of Delhi’s transgender community.

Featuring the portraits of trans women they have worked with, the artwork celebrates the transgender community.

The trans women you see in the artwork painted it themselves.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Ode to Femininity by Sajid Wajid Sheik

The Mumbai artist, Sajid Wajid painted this vibrant mural in block 5 keeping in mind the essence of feminism.

The artist beautifully voices women empowerment and celebrates womanhood through his work of art.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Yahan by Georgia Hill and Hanif Kureshi

Painted by Australian artist, Georgia Hill, and co-founder of St+Art India, Hanif Kureshi this black and white mural in block 8 represents the Hindi word for Here – ‘यहाँ’ (Yahan) and the English word ‘Must’ in an abstract form.

Georgia, during her explorations many times thought to herself “This must be the place” and her artwork contemplates the same thought.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Rock Pigeons by Adele Renault

A Belgian artist, Adele Renault’s artwork in Block 14 of Lodhi Colony highlights otherwise ordinary creatures as magnificent. The pair of pigeons hidden behind the life-sized trees undoubtedly look beautiful and graceful.

Take a closer look to appreciate the details in her work. It’s super cool!

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Cause and Effect by Sam Lo

A Singaporean artist, Sam Lo’s (SKL0) artwork in block 13 of Lodhi Colony reflects on the idea of freedom and interrelationship using ribbons and sparrows.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Social Media Friendly Plants by Sameer Kulavoor

Mumbai based artist Sameer Kulavoor based his mural in block 17 of Lodhi Colony on the theme quite relevant in today’s context – life in the social media age.

He feels that algorithms largely define and influence the way we live today.

In the mural, he particularly depicted social media influencers photographing or taking selfies with diverse plants which according to him are low maintenance pretty-Pinterest-plants that help the influencers collect hundreds of likes easily.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Climate 05 – Reclaim Air and Water by Andreco

This wall in block 14 of Lodhi Colony showcases Andreco’s artwork on environmental activism and global warming effects.

Andreco, a scientist-artist of Italian origin used Air-Ink (the first-ever ink in the world that’s upcycled from industrial pollution) in his mural to depict how rapid climate change can adversely affect the environment if we don’t be mindful.

In his own words, “It’s pollution painted by pollution.”

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

The Light Fort by Yoh Nagao

In this colorful mural in block 17, Yoh Nagao blends the Japanese and Indian patterns and symbols to illustrate how important it is to build a community that stays together and welcomes everyone with an open heart and mind.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

The Sacrosanct Whole by Aaron Glasson

New Zealand artist, Aaron Glasson mixes various elements in his mural to depict the sacredness of all the objects in the world.

He picked cultural references from Indus Valley Civilization and Indian history at large.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Colors of the Soul by Sankoe

Sankoe, a Mexican artist painted the vibrant birds that signify the diversity of the people of Lodhi Colony and hope to inspire them to open their hearts to each other just the way birds do through his mural.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

The Lotus by Suiko

Suiko, a Japanese artist picked Lotus, the national flower of India and recreated it with Japanese characters and his signature curved lines which remains the consistent element in all his artworks.

The red sun depicts Japan – the land of the rising sun.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Fusion Art by Rakesh

Rakesh created this mural in the traditional art style of Madhya Pradesh called Gond to show the need for maintaining an ecological balance.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Terracotta by Tellas

Tellas, an Italian artist painted this masterpiece in block 16 of Lodhi Colony to represent the importance of human connection to nature.

She named it “terra cotta” that translates to “baked earth” in Italian.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Saath Saath – Community Wall by and with the Residents of Lodhi Colony

Saath Saath (together) is a community wall in block 18 painted by residents of Lodhi Colony themselves.

St+art team helped the inhabitants of all ages and backgrounds to create a mural around the issues that matter to them most.

An artist, Dattaraj Naik gave a final shape to the artwork.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

New Delhi by Nespoon

A Polish artist, Nespoon used intricate lace motifs and doilies to create a colorful mural in block 15 of Lodhi Colony.

She says that traditionally and vibrantly dressed women of Lodhi Colony are the inspiration behind her work.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

The Tourist by Avinash and Kamesh

Inspired by the tourists who visit Lodhi Art District to admire and photograph the street art, Avinash and Kamesh depicted the social media and smartphone revolution in their mural.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Mere Rang Mein by Bond Truluv

This artwork in block 12 by a German artist, Bond Truluv is one of the world’s largest mixed reality murals and one of the largest augmented reality murals in India.

The mural when seen through an app called VuforiaViewApp magically transforms into 3d. Isn’t it cool?

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Impressions of Lodhi by Yip Yew Chong

Yip Yew Chong, a Singaporean artist found inspiration in Lodhi Colony’s people and their daily life activities and interactively recreated those everyday scenes onto the canvas.

I found this artwork quite vivacious.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Augmented Reality by Eugene Soh

Eugene Soh, an artist from Singapore portrays a string of augmented reality occurrences in his mural.

He painted a surface of Mars and a QR code that when scanned can take you to Mars. Other elements of graffiti include a 3D portray of Mona Lisa and a self-portrait.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

We Love Delhi by Lek & Sowat and Hanif Kureshi

French artists, Lek & Sowat collaborated with Hanif Kureshi to paint this exquisitely colorful mural in block 5.

Inspired by the Indian festival of Holi, Sowat painted Sanskrit cyphers to make a base that was later half-erased by Lek to create a color rain effect.

Hanif then painted We love Delhi in Hindi letters ( वी लव दिल्ली ) on top of the base layer to complete the artwork.

Dilliwallahs (Delhites) are sure to love this artwork!

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Nature’s Arch and Visions of Altered Landscapes by Aaron Li-Hill

This one’s my favorite.

Aaron Li-Hill, a Canadian artist blends the western (polar bear on the left side of the wall) and eastern elements (tiger on the right side of the wall) to portray how climate change can challenge the varied landscapes in his unique artwork in block 5.

The natural archway here indicates hope and optimism.

The tigers, polar bears, men and women in air-pollution masks rush across the canvas to save themselves from the polluted air while the real-life tree protruding through the arched walkway brings positivity and hope.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Dharavi’s Flowers by Alaniz and Federica

This artwork by Alaniz and Federica features a young girl who lives in one of the world’s largest slums, Dharavi in Mumbai.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Discovery of India – Balance in Mind and Spirit by Saner

This bright orange mural in block 9 by Saner, a Mexican artist celebrates the Mexican and Indian culture.

Saner used varied human and natural elements to promote understanding and appreciation of the cultural differences. Each element here carries profound meaning.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Vishwaroopam by Inkbrushnme

Kadam brothers, Raj and Harsh who run a studio – Inkbrushnme painted a masterpiece of rich Indian mythology called Vishwaroopam in block

Vishwaroopa is a universal form or supreme form and theophany of the Hindu God Vishnu or his avatar Krishna where the entire universe resides within him.

God Krishna demonstrates his omni-form known as Vishvarupa to Arjun on the 18th day of the epic battle of Mahabharta.

The mural shines golden as sun rays fall on it while it looks a subtle yellow as the sun goes down.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Pink by Dwa Zeta

Adorning a wall in block 9, Pink by a Polish artist Dwa Zeta represents the nature of Delhi – crammed and chaotic yet vibrant and impressive.

The artist metaphorically used a pink background to give a feminine element as he identifies with the lack of gender equality in the city.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Katha Crazy Twins: Chiller Champa & Boom Bhaijaan by Harsh Raman

I loved this one. Harsh Raman cleverly combined the traditional Indian art of Kathakali from Kerala with the modern art of murals to conclude that art needs no words.

The twins represent the older generation who still holds on to values, culture, and heritage and the younger generation who’s gradually letting go of old customs and traditions to embrace the new.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

I Am Here by H11235

This artwork in block 19 created by H11235 weaves an image of fish with plastic to deliver a powerful message – harmful effects of human activity on the environment.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Letters for Lodhi by Yok and Sheryo

This bright yellow and attractive mural in block 16 is created by Yok and Sheryo, Singapore based artists. It’s said to be inspired by the colorful designs and slogans on Indian matchboxes.

Lodhi Art District in Delhi – India’s First Open-Air Art Museum

Essentials

The Location

Lodhi Art District is located in Lodhi Colony, New Delhi. Most of the street art is located on a stretch between Khanna Market and Meherchand Market in Lodhi Colony.

How to Reach

Delhi Metro is one of the most convenient ways to reach Lodhi Colony from anywhere in Delhi/NCR.

Auto-rickshaw, Ola, and Uber are also easily available and don’t cost much.

Alternatively, you can take a local bus to reach the neighborhood. DTC buses run from different points within the city.

We traveled by our own car from Dwarka to Lodhi Colony.

Nearest Metro Stations: JLN Stadium (Violet Line) / JorBagh (Yellow Line) / INA (Pink Line)

How to Get Around or Explore Lodhi Art District

There are two ways to explore street art in Lodhi Colony -a self-guided walk and a curated tour.

Exploring the neighborhood on your own has its own perks. You are in for a surprise. Turn a corner and you’ll discover something new.

We strolled aimlessly along the streets and discovered inspiring artworks at every turn while trying to figure out the relevance behind each one of them.

Curated tours bring more understanding because of their interactive nature. Your guide makes sure to uncover the story behind each mural and what inspired the artists to paint them.

Entrance Fee

Free

Opening Days and Timings

It’s accessible 24X7 every day. That’s the charm of outdoor museum

Time Required/Duration of Visit

It solely depends on person to person. A guided tour covers all the murals and lasts for two and a half hours. A self-guided walk can last for as long as you want. There’s no limit to how much time you take to absorb and photograph each and every mural.

It’s easy to spend an entire day strolling around the neighborhood’s leafy lanes discovering exquisite artworks adorning the life-size walls.

We spent about 3 hours and discovered only 29 murals out of 54. I have promised myself to take a curated walk with St+Art India in the month of January to cover the ones I left.


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Last Updated : Apr 30,2021
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