Shipping containers rarely grab anyone’s attention but in India, the drab metal boxes are being transformed into eye-catching street art.

Playing on an idea that art takes people to places where they have never been before, a container terminal has been turned into a gallery.

About 100 metal boxes have been given a colourful makeover to lure the curious and transport them to another world by local as well as international artists. 

"This represents a bit of Mexico. I want to represent my culture and my roots," Senkoe, a Mexican artist, told Al Jazeera.


PHOTO ESSAY: Delhi streets become a canvas


The containers will now travel across India, not just transporting goods but also the artists’ ideas.

But the real impact is right in the city, where street art is becoming a part of people’s lives.

"A new dialogue is being created, a person who probably never bothered about making a drawing, he's also stopping and looking at it," Blaise, an artist, told Al Jazeera. 

For residents of this colony, the artworks serve more of a practical purpose.

"This wall used to look empty. Now no one will dare to throw rubbish and make this wall dirty, although it would have been better if they made the painting bigger than this," Devi Prasanna, a resident of the Oklha neighbourhood, the location of Asia's biggest inland port, told Al Jazeera.

India has a long history of art, but artistic opinions have mostly been reserved for the privileged.

But Oklha residents said the concept of street art was that it is accessible across social classes and encouraged everyone to be a part of the exhibition.

About 100 metal boxes have been given a colourful makeover [Al Jazeera]

Source: Al Jazeera