How Indian Artist DAKU Turned The Red Fort Into A Transient Canvas of Light & Shadow

Cycle of Time
Cycle of TimeDAKU

The India Art, Architecture, and Design Biennale (AADN 2023) is a celebration of artistic ingenuity and cultural heritage set amidst the timeless grandeur of the historic Red Fort.

Building on the triumph of the International Museum Expo & Festival of Libraries, the Biennale unfolds across 1 lakh square feet, offering an immersive journey through continuous artworks and installations within the Red Fort complex. Moreover, these breathtaking exhibitions are set to be on display for an unprecedented 115 consecutive days, inviting visitors to delve deeper into the realms of artistic brilliance.

The Red Fort, a revered UNESCO World Heritage Site, serves as the symbolic centrepiece of unwavering dedication to nurturing a globally resonant cultural narrative. This iconic location not only serves as a backdrop but also embodies the essence of our commitment to fostering and promoting cultural diversity and artistic excellence on an international platform. As the Red Fort echoes with the footsteps of artistic visionaries and cultural enthusiasts, it reaffirms its position as a cherished emblem of our collective heritage and artistic legacy.

DAKU uncovers his latest shadow work masterpiece named 'Cycle of Time' at the prestigious India Art Architecture Design Biennale. The exhibition, hosted by the Ministry of Culture, found its home within the iconic Red Fort and ran from December 9th to 15th, 2023.

Supported by the Ministry of Culture, this ingenious artwork comprises a canopy intricately adorned with strategically placed words, creating an ever-shifting interplay of shadows. These shadows, in a mesmerising dance choreographed by the sun's journey across the sky, create a spellbounding experience that momentarily suspends time. As visitors step into this immersive installation created within a bastion of historical significance, they are transported into a contemplative space that transcends temporal boundaries.

At its essence, 'Cycle of Time' is a meditation on the enigmatic essence of time itself. His recent body of work embodies a profound exploration of the temporal aspects of time and existence. The artwork's symbolic representation mirrors the elusive and fluid nature of time, weaving together the threads of the past, present, and future. Through this interplay of light and shadow, the installation encapsulates an ever-evolving continuum of existence, where these elements serve as a medium for his contemplation on the fluidity and impermanence inherent in our reality. This fascination with temporality manifests in his installations, evoking a sense of reflection and introspection, making the audience ponder the fleeting nature of life itself.

Daku is a prominent Indian street artist renowned for his thought-provoking public installations, which serve as both a form of social commentary and a platform for protesting political issues. The moniker 'Daku' translates to "bandit" in Hindi, cleverly alluding to the common perception of graffiti artists as individuals who subversively 'rob' walls of their conventional emptiness.

Through his art, Daku not only challenges societal norms but also sparks conversations about the essence of time, existence, and the intricate interconnections between the tangible and intangible facets of our world.