Design Feature > Neil Dantas
In an increasingly cosmopolitan city with an expanding population and widening city limits, how does one capture a sense of identity that has meaning for all?
Exploring such thoughts, I share the work of Neil Dantas (JJ School of Arts, NID). A designer with talent and good intentions who seems to live close to the ground. I enjoyed his work on Mumbai which is a first hand experience of the city. As an old resident, I identify with his graphics and words, said and unsaid.
Neil shares a verse on it: “Poor li’l Kaali Peeli, It’s Old but not Feeble/It also has CNG/It saw the’93 riots/And braved the July floods/Also failed a terror conspiracy/But instead of medal/and the pomp and show/20 year Old Kaali Peeli/Khaali Peeli went off road/to a scrapyard in Kurla/ripped part by part/Khaali Peeli Mach Mach/For a Kaali Peeli sturdy Cab.
Neil says: “A visual puzzle combining the image of the iconic bus and the word Kya. This design takes Bombay’s buses as the carriers of the middle class, the unnoticed workers who form the backbone to this city and just anyone and everyone. In colloquial Bombay slang ‘Bus-Kya’ (hindi) means ‘enough’ like ‘What-ya’ (english)”
Neil says: “The BEST bus is a reference to our colonial past and one of the remnants of the British Raj. If you look carefully, I’ve used the number 786 which is a symbol of good luck in Indian Muslim tradition. By this I want to say that this city is for everyone. The bus thus represents the city. All these elements come together in the text ‘I ♥ Bombay’ which reflects the city’s identity and how, in its very name, it is a divided place.”
Neil says: “Anyone who comes here from anywhere can call it my Mumbai. It’s everyone’s. Even if you’re of any caste or city or country or planet…feel at home, when you’re here. Call it ‘my Mumbai’.”
Neil says: “This piece of furniture is inspired by the BEST bus tickets and the form taken is to express how the tickets are torn by the bus conductors leaving that typical silhouette.”
> Photography by Ankit Mehrotra. Pictures courtesy Neil Dantas. If you’d like to read more about him, there’s more here. If you’d like to see more of Neil Dantas and his work, it can be found on Facebook here.
Via David Joe Thomas
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