07/09/2015 06:21 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT

Indian Summer Festival features free travelling photo booth by artist Aradhana Seth

Starting Thursday, a new public art project will encourage people from all across the Lower Mainland to sit down at a free, mobile photo booth and have their photograph taken against a hand-painted backdrop of the Taj Mahal.  

The project is the work of award-winning art director and production designer Aradhana Seth, and is part of the fifth annual Indian Summer Festival, which runs until July 18.

Merchant of Images

Seth, who calls herself the Merchant of Images, said she hopes to recreate the kinds of photo booths commonly used by Indian street vendors in decades past, where people would sit with their families and friends to get their photograph taken. 

"Now we don't really have these painted, back-dropped studios anymore. They've become digital," she says.

"I want to recreate that idea of someone coming and actually sitting for a photograph and getting into a conversation with them."

Seth wants to explore the relationship between the photographed and the photograph.

"It's a great place for conversation, for a moving conversation. It's also a great way to get to know the city," Seth said.

Inspired by work with Wes Anderson

The project is inspired by her work as the art director for Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited, a film that was shot mainly on an Indian train repainted with hundreds of miniature elephants by a variety of different artists.

The photos, which Seth describes as a way of mapping out Vancouver, will be collected and emailed to the subjects, and some will be shared publicly.  

Here are the dates and locations where you can find the mobile photobooth throughout the Lower Mainland: 

July 9: Opening Gala
July 10: Woodward's Complex
July 11: Science World
July 12: Roundhouse Community Centre
July 18: Viva Granville
July 19: Surrey Fusion Festival

CBC News host Miyoung Lee will host Thursday July 9's opening gala from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. PT at the Round House Community Centre. 

To hear the full interview with Aradhana Seth, listen to the audio labelled: Indian Summer photo booth.

You can follow The Merchant of Images on Instagram and Twitter at #ISFImages.