Public Art at the India Habitat Centre

The Habitat Centre situated in the heart Lutyens Delhi has over the years become a key space of artistic dialogue and provides a spectacular space for showcasing some of the best works of Indian Art.

We are now opening our outdoor spaces for showing art which is not part of the mainstream of commercial art practices. The Visual Arts Gallery is starting yet another initiative by opening up its spaces. Public art outdoor, interactive art on walls surfaces and process based art in the Experimental art Gallery is the second paradigm shift in our policy. We invite individual artists and cultural institutions to collaborate with us.

Public Art

Public art is one of the most significant aspect within the art world, not just amongst curators, commissioning bodies, collaborations but also with the audience. In Delhi as well as in most parts of India, public art is still marginalized by the fine art community. Some of the contributing factors are lack of education, public art criticism and evaluation. Unless the work comes to a some kind of controversy, it seldom comes to attention towards the media coverage. This form of expression brings about community values, enhances our environment and heightens our awareness – an art which is a form of a community expression. It is a reflection of how we see the world and the response of the artist in the time and place where we are in. In many countries artists who are commissioned to make public art end up practising in public. In art schools, studio artists end up honing their skills within the safety of their private studios. This is different from public art where most public artists learn from their mistakes since the audience is watching them every step of the way.

Artworks at Metro Station: Jor Bagh and Mandi House

The Habitat Initiative: Art in Public Spaces

Draft Display Agreement .IHC. Art Open Spaces         Draft Display Agreement. DMRC.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative of taking art to the public, India Habitat Centre is displaying art at two metro stations in New Delhi at Jor Bagh Station and Mandi House station starting January 15, 2015. Titled The Habitat Initiative: Art In Public Spaces, the project has been designed in collaboration with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The chosen artworks are displayed on the lightboxes installed at the metro stations, which will change every three months. Moreover, the explanatory text displayed alongside are bilingual in English and Hindi.

From January till March 2015, at the Jor Bagh metro station, photographs from the exhibition, “The Long Exposure at Udaipur, 1857-1957”, would be displayed on three lightboxes. Nearly 20 prints of some photographs from this collection would also be displayed on the walls there. The displayed images would include ‘Painted Photographs’ or hand-colourd photographs and the portraits shown are of three generations of Maharanas who ruled Mewar from 1884 to 1995. Udaipur was amongst the earliest places to record the appearance of a camera, in the form of the camera obscura,an optical device meant to assist in the creation of realistic painting. Pre-dating the arrival of photography in India in 1840, it was used asearly as 1818 by Colonel James Tod, the British political agent at the Court of Mewar. The photographic collection of the House of Mewar, which is on display in the City Palace of Udaipur, is a testament to the camera’s documentary role in Mewar over a century, allowing for a nuanced insight into a complex world of hierarchy, power,symbolism and pride.

Since March is the month of Holi, at the Mandi House station, photographs on Holi by Tarun Chhabra are displayed on two lightboxes. Says the photographer, “I like to celebrate people, places and culture through my photography. My choice of subject comes from a place of intuition and is fuelled by an impetuous desire to partake in the stories that unfold around me. My pictures are a reflection of different facets of my own personality.... earthy, bright, happy as well as sad, realistic. I see beauty and I see reality. I see celebration and solemnity. They are sights that stir me, affect me and inspire me.”

Jor Bagh Metro Station, New Delhi
Jor Bagh Metro Station, New Delhi
Jor Bagh Metro Station, New Delhi
Jor Bagh Metro Station, New Delhi
Mandi House Metro Station, New Delhi
Mandi House Metro Station, New Delhi
Mandi House Metro Station, New Delhi
Mandi House Metro Station, New Delhi
Mandi House Metro Station, New Delhi
Mandi House Metro Station, New Delhi


We at the India Habitat Centre have encouraged the arts since the time of its foundation was laid. Proudly standing tall are some of the displays of Ram Kinker Baij, KS Radhakrishnan, Ray Meeker to name a few. We welcome artists in any stream to send us their proposal to showcase their works at our 3 available outdoor spaces, namely the atrium, side entrance as well as next to the amphitheatre. (Please refer to the photographs) Public art offers an articulation of the historic, cultural, economic, and cultural context of the outdoor spaces; a commitment to the reinforcement and enhancement of the community's identity. We welcome sculptures, installations, new media to explore our spaces. Please note the terms and conditions before applying:

  • The outdoor works will be displayed free of cost
  • The timeframe will be decided from time to time.
  • All expenses for installation and transportation will be handled by the artist
  • India Habitat Centre will not take any responsibility of any damages, protecting against weather conditions or in offering a special security
  • The works should be insured by the artist who will bear the complete guarantee of the works
  • For any specific work requiring electric outputs, India Habitat Centre will provide the necessary electric outputs and cables for specific displays on a non rainy evening

  • The India Habitat Centre's Art initiative is called 'Art in Public Spaces' at the Delhi Metro Stations. We are inviting applications starting January 2016.

    Open spaces for India Habitat Centre

    ATRIUM 3
    ATRIUM 1

    Click here to fill online application form alternatively you can also download the offline form, fill and send to us by email.

    Do write in to us at the visual Arts Gallery


    Dr Alka Pande,
    Consultant, Art Advisor and Curator,
    Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre,
    Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110003.
    +91-011-41504521 and +91-011-43662025/24