Transforming India's iconic kaali-peelis from within and giving their interiors a make-over of creativity, Taxi Fabric invites young artists to explore various themes upon the upholstery of cabs in the city. From Tasneem Amiruddin’s cheery Jungle Book designs, to Samya Arif's creation representing India's Partition, Taxi Fabric has both curated unique creative work, as well as provided taxis with captivating interiors. And as we reach the close of 2015, their New Year-ready latest taxi release is one for the books. As 24-year-old visual artist Aditi Dash-the mind behind this unique design-tells us, "After learning about the project, I was excited about such an initiative taking place in Mumbai. So when I had the chance to design one myself, I was thrilled to get on board. No better way to have my work reach out to the people of this fast-paced city than a taxi!"
Crafted by Dash for driver Pandit Kumar Tripathi's cab in Mumbai, the theme of this design is inspired by kalli-pillis like Tripathi's that ply in the moonlight, representing the culture of 'night-shift taxis'. Titled Nocturnal, Dash's design depicts the city that never sleeps, and the creatures of that night that come out in the dark and prowl under the stars.
As Dash shares with her the backdrop of her inspiration for this particular artwork, "Through my two years in this vivacious city, one characteristic really managed to stand out. It truly is the “city that never sleeps”. No matter the time, Mumbai is always active. At first, I’d wonder where people derive all this enthusiasm and energy from; working all-day and still have the capacity to keep up at night! Before long, I found myself doing the same. It’s like an infectious bug that sooner or later catches on. As an artist, I found it exciting to explore this aspect of the urban jungle, where creatures of the night come out to play. The design is my take on the different kinds of characters you come across in Mumbai in the night time-and my representation of the energy that I find in its people."
Art and design in India is an ever-growing field of creative expression, and new, eager talent continues to inject innovation and technique into this sphere. As Dash relates, " Although the field of design in India has progressed a great deal in recent years, there is still a limited range and style of work that tends to appear in the forefront. Many young designers in India are now experimenting with new styles and fresh perspectives on the existing trends. Slowly but surely, times are changing as we are breaking open a formerly close-knit community to make design inclusive and accessible to everybody." With this continuously evolving field, initiatives like Taxi Fabric are at the fore-front, bringing new and unique voices to share their work with a large audience, like patrons of public taxis.
Scroll on for Aditi Dash's Taxi Fabric design Nocturnal for Pandit Kumar Tripathi's taxi in Mumbai. These images comprise an experimental night shoot with Amey Kadam and day shoot with Mitwa Vandana. Learn more about Taxi Fabric and all their projects here.
Written by Rhea AlmeidaAll night-time images by Amey Kadam
All day-time images by Mitwa Vandana