Two techies add colour to Kolkata

Having worked on Delhi Metro stations, IIT graduates are painting the city of joy

When you look at the artworks adorning the newer metro stations in Kolkata, you are unlikely to connect them with engineering, least of all chemical engineering, but there’s a link.

Two men in their mid-twenties — Ritesh Verma and Prateek Sachan — who graduated in chemical engineering from IIT-Delhi in 2017, are these days busy lifting the environs of recently-built metro stations in the city of joy with mural art, having done similar projects in 24 stations across Delhi.

“There’s no doubt our batchmates are earning much more than us, but we feel proud that we are creating value for our artists and designers and for the many artists we collaborate with,” said Mr. Verma, who along with Mr. Sachan started ‘The New Art’ in 2018 after refusing to sit for campus placements.

“Also, we never feel we could have picked up something else because we see great opportunities lying ahead of us,” he added.

They have already livened up the walls of six metro stations in the city — Phoolbagan, Bengal Chemicals, Salt Lake Stadium, Sector 5, City Centre and Karunamoyee — and are currently working on the Sealdah metro station.

“Every station has a different theme, depicting local flavours. The theme at Sealdah is ‘art forms of Bengal’, while the theme at Howrah Maidan station would be ‘sports culture of Bengal’, focusing on rural, indigenous sports of Bengal,” Prateek Sachan said.

Collaborative work

For big-scale or multiple projects, the duo collaborates with freelance artists, mostly local talent. “We believe that when we scale up, we’ll be able to affect the lives of many artists positively by collaborating with them, and that gives us a lot of motivation,” Mr. Verma said.

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