Weaving a tunnel of light at Jaipur airport
Art finds its way to material places like modern airports and metro stations whenever there is artistic space left to be filled in. The recently built airport terminal at Jaipur too received an artistic embellishment of this kind when an installation, ‘Taana- Baanaa’ by eminent painter and muralist Surendrapal Joshi.
“Whenever I passed by the area in the new terminal I felt a void. I thought a work of art other than the crude drawings on the walls should be there to greet visitors,” said Mr. Joshi talking about the work. He attributed the inspiration for the 270 x 190 x 190 cm stainless steel and Garware film structure to Kabir’s couplet, “Kahee ke thana, Kahee ka bana, Kaun taar sei beeni chaadariya”.
‘Taana-Baanaa’ was first exhibited in London this May at a solo show by the artist under the sponsorship of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Presently his work is installed at the Municipal Corporation building in Cardiff, UK, at Indian Oil Corporation’s headquarters in Delhi’s Yusuf Sarai, at the Leela’s hotels in Goa and Chennai, besides a work on display in the Contemporary Museum, Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast. Near home, not far from the Jaipur airport, Mr. Joshi’s mural portrayal of Last Supper adorns the altar of St. Anselm Church.
“Film is a unique medium for this kind of work,” Mr. Joshi said talking about the material used in the70 kg installation, supported by steel frames, which hangs from a 50 feet high ceiling. “There are 40 sheets of film hanging as curtains giving the impression of windows because of interlacing. Film is a transparent medium and it gives the effect of both light and water,” Mr. Joshi noted.
The artist had to search hard to get his material—the film which is no more in use-- from the markets in Delhi and Mumbai. The installation looks complete with reflected light but the artist noted that it could be lit from inside as well to make it look like a tunnel of light with myriads of windows opening and closing.