Each year, in the remote village of Sujata in one of India’s poorest states Bihar, the Niranjana Public Welfare School organizes the Wall Art festival. Artists from India and Japan spend three weeks in the village producing wall art using the walls of the school’s building as canvas. In between working on the walls the artists interact with the children and hold workshops for them. The initiative hopes to raise awareness for the issues that affect villages like Sujata in India, such as; poverty, education and employment.
The initiative started in 2006 when about fifty students from Tokyo Gakugei University donated money they made from working part-time jobs to an NGO in India to construct a new school building for the Niranjana Public Welfare School in Bihar, near Bodhgaya. The school was established in response to the poor education system in the region. Funded by random overseas donations, the school grew under the hard work of the teachers and volunteers, and by 2010, the school had enrolled around 400 students studying from nursery to class 7.
Quickly it became apparent that the school would require constant support and the school board decided to hold an annual art festival to attract outsiders and to introduce the locals to outside influences including different art.
Yusuke Asai participated in the festival for three years consecutively. Inspired by traditional Indian wall paintings, Asai filled the entire walls and ceiling of a classroom with paintings made using mud. Working with children, he collected soils from various sites in the village and mixed them with water to make pigments.