Lek & Sowat | “Bonjour, Chandigarh” | Franco-Indian project
Bonjour, Chandigarh: Franco-Indian street art in Sector 17 ‘embraces’ Corbusier, with a twist
French connection: Artists collaborate as part of a Franco-Indian govt project to ‘tell cities their own stories’ through art that is ‘for the people’
Commuters at the Sector-17 bus stand wondered what was under their feet, and asked the young volunteers if the paint was dry. “Bonjour!” replied one of the artists at work, giggling. The commuters walked on, amused. Bonjour is the word written in a giant street artwork on a raised platform at the Sector-17 bus stand and attracting eyeballs for a week now. “It is French for ‘namaste’ (or ‘greetings’),” helped Sowat.
Sowat, a self-taught artist, along with fellow Frenchman Fred Visualek and Indian artist Hanif Kureshi created this mural as part of Bonjour India, a partnership between India and France, further strengthening the French connection of the city built by Swiss-born French architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier.