Art District of Chennai – Coming Soon in Kannagi Nagar

The Greater Chennai Corporation (Led by Regional Deputy Commissioner – South) along with The St+art of India Foundation & Chennai Smart City Limited are collaborating to create Chennai’s first Art District (Kannagi Art District). This is coming up in Kannagi Nagar near Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR Road).

WhereKannagi Nagar, OMR Chennai
When Feb 2, 2020 – Mar 2, 2020
Who10 International Artists and renowned Indian artists
Kannagi Chennai Art District
Kannagi Chennai Art District

As part of the initiative, Kannagi Nagar will be developed as an Art District. 10 International artists from across the world along with Indian artists are already working to create Murals on the Slum Tenements in the region.


This is the fifth art district work by St+art and Asian Paints.

A series of sculptures are also planned on the Marina Beach as part of this work.

Working with a diverse mix of local, national and international artists, the Kannagi Art District will feature works that focus on the themes of migration, displacement, and movement. Under the overarching theme of ‘People and Environment’, artists will also work to reflect and engage with the residents’ sources of livelihood, who removed from their original place of habitation and thus occupation are forced to take up odd and menial jobs.

In the larger context, Kannagi Nagar is a redevelopment colony of people displaced from the river restoration work undertaken in Adyar River, Cooum River, and Kosathalayar River.

Only if Art could Speak? Well does it not? said an artist who was busy painting standing on a boom barrier. An artist who did not want to name until the artwork is completely mentioned that the “experience of painting in a setting like this has been very liberating”

Artists participating in the Kannagi Nagar Art District Initiative

The various international artists involved in this art project are Karthick, Kashmira Sarode, A-Kill, Osheen Siva, Ben Johnston, Sanskar Sawant, Do, Antonyo Marest, Bronte Naylor, Nevercrew, David Leitner.

Karthick is Chennai based, better known by his artistic name SS 108 is an Indian artist whose visual expression plays with a variety of textures. Since 2012, the artist has worked on developing a style of art with circles and dot work, often creating compositions that are surreal or abstract. The artist also runs an art and design collective – ‘108 Collective’, which specializes in interior design, art direction, and installations.

Kashmira Sarode is an independent illustrator and muralist based in Bangalore, India, whose creative practice prominently features elements from nature and folk arts. Invested in her interest to bring the functional design to sectors that are under-represented in our society, the artist has created works in collaboration with Aanganwadis, Okhai, and several other social sector organizations previously.

A-Kill is a Chennai based street artist and graffiti writer who uses an illustrative and figurative approach to depict people and scenarios he encounters on the streets and in everyday life. His body of work chiefly features the technique of portraiture, alongside artworks containing stylized renditions of his street tag.

Osheen Siva is a New Delhi based visual artist who experiments with digital as well as traditional mediums to create futuristic illustrations, murals, and designs. The artist’s body of work chiefly engages with the theme of gender and its intersection with society and technology, alongside exploring the themes of nature, cosmology, dreams, and nightmares. Having grown up in a mixed environment between Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and India, Siva is known for creating pieces that carry influences from a variety of cultures and traditions.

Ben Johnston was born in Canada and raised in South Africa, Ben Johnston is a multi-disciplinary artist & designer whose work seeks to expand the possibilities the practices of typography & lettering presently allow for.

Sanskar Sawant is a Mumbai-based illustrator, designer and installation artist whose body of work includes murals made in cities across India. Often painted in collaboration with our country’s diverse communities, Sawant’s work is vibrant and context-driven, always seeking to bring forth a contemporary interpretation of everyday urban elements. With his independently run space-design studio ‘Bacon and Eggs’, Sanskar has also created various bespoke murals within indoor spaces including in cafes, co-working spaces, and homestays.

Do is a street artist from Gujarat, India who started his street art journey with St+art in 2014, as part of #StartDelhi2014. Over the years, the artist has solidified his body of work using a diverse range of mediums, including graffiti, wall art, and illustration.

Antonyo Marest is a Madrid based Spanish visual artist whose creative practice spans across disciplines. Marest has been exhibiting his work in solo and group shows, as well as producing works in public spaces since 2007.

Bronte Naylor is an Australian artist who has been exhibiting her illustrative works in galleries and as large-scale artworks in public spaces since 2011. Her creative practice reflects the artist’s invested interest in memory theory and memory’s relationship with time. Using the strategy of ‘collage’ making (with painted outcomes), Naylor’s body of work also reflects an exploration of the tension between realism and abstraction.

Nevercrew is a Swiss artist duo of Christian Rebecchi (Lugano, 1980) and Pablo Togni (Bellinzona, 1979), who have been working together since 1996. Over the years, the duo has developed their artistic practice in the context of urban art, giving shape to murals, installations, and sculptures in cities across the world.

David Leitner is a visual artist from Austria whose body of work is primarily inspired by the social and cultural diversity of the world around us. Made across scales (big and small), and using diverse mediums (walls and canvases), Leitner’s pieces lean towards surrealism, and predominantly feature elements from the practice of line drawing as well as painting. The artist who has collaborated with brands such as Adidas, Absolut, and Vans, has displayed his works across Europe and Asia.

The last time something of this scale was tried in Chennai was by Goethe Institut as part of their Street Art Festival Conquer the Concrete. In that festival murals were done across the City.

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