​Shadow Poetry: Daku’s Lyrical Façade Proves That “Time Changes Everything”

Orli Hakanoglu Orli Hakanoglu

Known to some as the Banksy of India, street artist Daku (Hindi for “bandit”) has often taken a critical stance on controversial contemporary issues with his work. His latest text-based installation, titled Time Changes Everything, prompts reflection rather than agitation.

Mounted perpendicularly to the façade of a white building in Delhi’s Lodhi Colony, letters cast shadows of words upon the surface depending on the time of the day and the angle of the sun. Once the sun reaches the right position in the sky, the letters begin to appear, at first slanted and unfocused but eventually straightening out to maximum legibility at noon.

As the light passes overhead, the sun casts slowly shifting shadows beneath the letterforms. Words such as “LOVE,” “VALUE,” “MEMORY” and “PERCEPTION” cover the wall. Their sun-induced morphing throughout the day prompts reflections on the flexible meaning of these words as well as how our understanding of them changes with time.

Because the shadows require just the right sun angle to be read, the text will not reappear until August 15. “I love that this can disappear with time, and be back again,” Daku told livemint.com, noting that the wall appears blank from May 15 to August 15.

The installation was created as a part of the St+art Festival, a collaboration of street artists from India and around the world to turn the urban landscape into a zone rich with public art. These works are part of the first-ever Public Art District in India. The festival aims to make art accessible for wider audiences and have a positive impact on society. In other words, it promotes “Art for Everyone.”

Street Art by Senkoe and Suiko in Lodhi Colony, New Delhi; image via St+art Festival

Daku, aiming to play with and engage the mind of the public, wants individuals caught up in the fast pace of urban life to stop and think. His poetic installation certainly succeeds in this respect.

All images via designboom unless otherwise noted

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