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Marigold Diary

Dining with KIKA while celebrating milestones

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Well, for me this 70th Independence day celebrations has been about analyzing India’s journey of rapid urbanization, growing awareness of western lifestyles, and higher disposable income. Ironically, certain aspects of global living came to fore, one such being cooking; as an increasing number of cosmopolitans are going back to soirees where exotic foods are paired up with fancy dinner and serveware as that has become a part of their conversations. So now, serving food tastefully  is no longer the prerogative of only the rich and famous of a bygone era.

Janaki Kirloskar in 2016, after working for 12 years in her century-old family business, decided to make the most of this crevasse. Having revelled in a beautiful home with luxuries, she had travelled, fine dined and entertained extensively ever since childhood. This trained engineer who enjoys noticing patterns and designs in everything decided on making the most of her background with KIKA Tableware – an acronym which brings together two most significant forces of her life – her daughters, Devaki and Mihika.  And with the onset of our festive season it seemed most appropriate for me to question her about her fairly new creative venture.

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The radical experimenter

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I had the opportunity to view Rooshad Shroff’s solo debut show – 15,556 Man Hours represented by Pundole Gallery earlier this year during the India Design Fair 2017 at Bikaner House, New Delhi. These were 26 pieces of furniture such as chairs, tables, benches, screens, daybed, and lighting in three distinct techniques – colour sanding, zardozi embroidery using french knots and monolithic marble hollowed and carved out. Being a big fan of handmade and crafts of India it was a sea change from other designed products, driving home his point of ‘authorship’.

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Its bold colours and graphic all the way

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Recently at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Textile India 2017 shed light on ‘Make in India’ initiative. So, without digressing much, I’d like to highlight ‘Made by an Indian’ who chooses to use these very same rich woven fabrics on foreign soil.

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Our ambiguous identities

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This year marks the 70th Independence day for both India and Pakistan, drawing attention to the biggest migration of all times in human history, where 12 million people crossed the borders from both sides and approximately 1 or 2 million lost their lives. So it seemed but natural for one to notice at the India Art Fair 2017 the work of a young artist Girjesh Kumar Singh,  showcased by Rukshaan Art Gallery, from Mumbai, which talks of evolving individualism. Continue reading “Our ambiguous identities”

An Indian collage artist at the upcoming Art Basel

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One surely needs a magnifying glass to admire such panoramic works which showcase the Indian milieu in every nano or micrometer of the paper collage. Struck by the minuscule reflexes depicting the movements of a throng in Sailesh Sanghvi’s artwork I connected with him, only to know better that his artwork ‘Eternal City-Haridwar’ has made it to the semi-finals of the Artbox.Project Basel 1.0 which chooses a handful of artists from different countries; and he is representing India. Excitedly he shared with me the news of it being showcased at the EuroAirport during the Art Basel fair; an exciting international art affair happening at Basel, Switzerland for a four-day art week from 14th-18th June’17, this year.

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The UnBenaras weaver

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My fascination grew when I read online about Hemang Agrawal’s textile journey after seeing his dazzling collection at Vayu, an upmarket concept store. Particularly how as a young lad from Baneras after studying at NIFT, Mumbai, thought it best to give up his scholarship for Masters in Fashion at Nottingham Trent University to go back home and make something of his textile roots(father had a saree business). Apparently this life altering decision was taken after listening to Padma Shri Rahul Jain‘s talk on Safavid, Persian and Mughal drawloom patterned textiles; wherein he explained in depth the sophistication and innovation of Benarasi textiles of the past several centuries. Later this foremost textile historian and revivalist of India became Hemangs guide and guru.

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Bringing to life the mundane in a village

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A young man striking a pose while enjoying music on the transistor by his buffalo, another one running after the birds in the fields, three young damsels making mayhem while sitting on a buffalo, buffaloes gloriously resting under a canopy glued to some blaring noise and many more colourful paintings recreate his rural imagery that gave me goosebumps; increasing my yearning to go back and relive a small town life.

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The art of handpainted Chintz

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Having missed the talk on ‘Exploring the Technology of Chintz : From buffalo milk to sheep dung and all the magic in between’ organized by Craft Revival Trust I couldn’t afford losing more time so I went directly to Art Motif Gallery, to witness Renuka Reddy’s chintz magic, first hand.

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Zuljanaha carries the burden of speed

Veer Munshi is a Kashmiri Hindu born in 1955, when India and Pakistan were in the process of demarcating their borders. Residing in Gurgaon, the artist works on socio-political themes by contemporizing traditional crafts by encouraging craftsmen in finding sustenance, through their long-established vocations. Inspired by his father who was an art teacher, Munshi majored in Fine Art from Maharaja Sayajiroa University of Baroda, deviating  from Bachelors of Arts in Economics & History, and his first love, law.

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