I love this time of the year in Delhi. If you love art, culture and design, then this is the place to be for the next few weeks. It's peak season for all things cultural here in the capital, and there is such a buzz around with festivals, art & design fairs and food bazaars taking place almost every weekend. Last weekend saw the 7th edition of the India Art Fair being held at its usual venue, the NSIC grounds. I try and visit every year and each time I'm impressed by how much more vibrant it is. It's quite a spectacle and an amazing place to see and be seen. And it's so much more than just art! You can really get a feel for Delhi street fashion style, from artists, to art students and the hip and happening of the capital's social scene all strutting their stuff :)
This year I was invited by Le Meridien Delhi to attend an event titled Barista Meet Artista, where Dutch born barista and latte artist, Esther Maasdam worked in sync with Indian visual artist, Sohan Jakhar to create some interesting and signature coffee art inspired by Sohan's designs. I was quite amazed with Esther's steady hand while making tiny and intricate designs in coffee foam. It was quite an interesting experience and quite a novel concept by Le Meridian Delhi. A nice way to combine food and art. I was glad I could attend.
After the event, I ambled around, soaking in the feel of the fair. There was some incredible art on display and it was nice to take it all in. Food also made a big contribution to the Art Fair, and this year there were so many Pop Up restaurants from Lodhi- garden restaurant, to Elma's, Sodabottleopenerwalla, Guppy by Ai and La Bodega, to name a few. I had a quick bite at the La Bodega pop up stall in the VIP area and loved their Chicken Cipotle tostadas. The first time I visited the fair, a few years ago, it felt like the fair more about art and sales and it didn't feel like a festival. This time it was a celebration of art and the fact that so many restaurants made their presence felt, meant that it became a great place for a days outing with the entire family.
There were so many positives at this years fair and I look forward to a bigger and better show next year. Negatives? I won't go into issues like restroom facilities (a perennial problem at all events such as these) but I would like to see some performing artists like mime artists and perhaps even some live jazz by contemporary Indian artists. There is so much open space around the tented areas where people were sitting around and talking, and performing art would have made things so much more lively.
All things said and done a very successful event and and I can't wait for next year!
[All images by Shalini Pereira. Please do not use without prior written permission]