Creativity in transit

ByProma Chakraborty

Jan 31, 2019

The colourful artworks at the new Aqua line metro stations have added life and transformed the stations into something more than just mere transit points in the city

Long queues, lack of connectivity, hassle of scanning paper tokens, confusion over issuance of smart cards – commuters at the newly opened Aqua line metro stations have their fair share of concerns. In the midst of this ruckus, they find a saving grace in the out-of-the-box, and undoubtedly creative décor of the metro stations, despite the inconveniences that come with the travel.

While trying to figure out the new routes and the way to their concerned exit gates, one simply cannot miss the bright and vivid coloured wall art at the metro stations. Recently inaugurated by the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, the Aqua line metro stations boast striking and eye catching murals.

In an attempt to bring art closer to people and to enhance the metro commute, the Noida Metro Railway Corporation collaborated with Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, which led to the project, ‘Transformation through Art’.

And the artworks have certainly done justice to the title of this project. Ten station in the rail corridor between Sector 51 station in Noida and the Depot Station in Greater Noida have been transformed into spaces that add colour to the routine lives of metro commuters.

“Our collaboration with the NMRC is a pioneering step in the incorporation of public art with urban development. It serves two purposes: enhances the quality of life for commuters, and encourages the local ecosystems of art and culture,” KNMA said in a statement.

The project saw the museum conceptualise 200 different wall arts, specially curated with particular themes for each station along with selfie points. “Each art installation is specifically designed to inspire and educate audiences about the multifaceted dimensions of Indian culture and visual arts heritage – highlighting the social, cultural and environmental milieu of the city,” adds the statement.

Based on the theme of Noida city, the first station of the metro line – Sector 51, features the various highlights of Noida itself. Waiting in a queue at the ticket counter, the commuters are greeted with an artwork that depicts the statue of Gautam Buddha, a landmark which anyone entering Noida from the Mahamaya Flyover is familiar with.

The Noida Stadium, Worlds of Wonder amusement park and even the Aqua line – finds its presence as the subjects of artwork in the metro station. “Keeping the location, local community preferences and social messaging in mind, the themes were finalised. Multiple themes were considered and discussed between the Museum of Art and NMRC panel for each station,” explains a representative from the museum.
Apart from themes based on Noida and Greater Noida, the artworks also include sports, Indian defence forces, nature, Indian classical dances and Yoga.

Well, if Yogi is here can yoga be far behind? Depicting different postures and poses of Yoga the Noida Sector 21 station will surely inspire you to indulge yourself with a daily dose of meditation.

What stands out the most is the interactive artwork at the Sector 143 station. With striking details, the wall art looks so real that it transports you to a different world. One can easily mistake the paintings of books stacked up to the roof, as a scene straight out of a library. As the door of the lift opens to take you from the concourse down to the ground, it appears like one is stepping into a world filled with books.

Painstakingly hand painted by a team of over 50 artists, the artworks are done with different artistic techniques and styles. “Since KNMA is working on transforming city space through art, we have a dedicated team of experts working on wall artworks that engaged a mix of upcoming and established artists from Delhi NCR. Our team worked with the artists on layouts, themes and also helped in techniques used for curating different styles of artworks,” the representative adds.

From contemporary, modern, spray, line, posterise-effect to abstract art repertoires, diverse methods have been employed to create these murals. “We want to use art as a medium to transform public spaces into vibrant, inspiring and soothing art experiences,” says the representative. Indeed, it has transformed the boring and mundane space of the metro stations, which have grabbed plenty of eyeballs and is a sure hit among commuters.