Artcore’s project Chai and the City, dovetails into Britain’s celebration of 70th anniversary of India’s Independence this year. It comprises of two exhibitions linked together organically, showcasing artworks from 16 artists from both the UK and India on themes that closely link the two countries. The Indo-Saracenic architecture in India, designed by British architects, is the topic of an evocative exhibition of photographs of Baroda’s (now Vadodara’s) impressive Indo-Saracenic heritage; the other exhibition focuses on the popular culture and history of drinking tea/chai in both countries, but in completely different ways. Artists have created painted story-books and ceramics that celebrate the tea-culture.

The overall project has two main themes: Artistic – Chai and the City, and Heritage – My Cup of Tea.

Chai and the City focuses on the deep and abiding relationship between Britain and India. Socio-geographically, there have been movements of Indians to Britain, for education, employment, for aspiration to a better quality of life, or to escape socio-religio-political persecution. Many Indians work and have worked in different parts of the UK, contributing to the growth of their adopted country and community. This project reinforces the positive elements marking this dynamic socio-cultural exchange, celebrates this history, which has left permanent gems on the Indian architectural landscape and creates strong networks for the future.

The project has different entry points enabling diverse audiences to engage through exhibitions, workshops, artwork installations and discussions.