Seamlessly blending art with utility

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS): India’s diverse arts and crafts, traditions and folklore reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. They come from all over the country and use a variety of methods and techniques, as well as the skills and expertise of artisans, to create unique pieces. Because they are handcrafted, they have a rather priceless appeal and one-of-a-kind quality. And today, these ancient arts and crafts are finding new expression in modern contexts, articulated in ways that preserve their authenticity while allowing them to evolve. In doing so, the artists and artisans who are essential to keeping these traditional art forms alive and relevant for today are also brought to the fore.

One such artist is Jai Prakash Lakhiwal, an acclaimed miniaturist who has played an important role in preserving and spreading the rich heritage of miniature art. He was inspired by his father who had taken up painting as a hobby while working full time. Having picked up a brush at the age of six, Jai Prakash began painting at an early age and gradually cultivated his talent, learning the intricacies of Ustad Feroz whose ancestors were Mughal court painters. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Padma Shri (2016).

His skillful creations adorn the walls of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the office of the First Gentleman, Hyderabad House, the Supreme Court and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum, to name a few, one of his most famous works. notable being the 20,000 square foot painting at the Anandpur. Sahib Museum of Sikh History. Jai Prakash also paints by hand for a high-end Japanese kimono brand. And most recently, the self-taught artist collaborated with Kohler for the India Artist Edition, a company born out of a vision to create a product that celebrates India’s cultural heritage.

The limited edition ‘Quila’ sink features an intricate painting that Jai Prakash created exclusively for Kohler. Here, art blends seamlessly with utility, creating a functional object that effortlessly doubles as a work of art.

“India has probably the greatest tradition of arts and crafts, so we thought it was time to really invest now to pay homage to Indian traditions. The Quila is a beautiful product, one of a kind , and certainly very different from what people expect to see in a bathroom,” said Salil Sadanandan, President, Kohler, South Asia, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

From the start, Kohler immersed himself in an extensive process, which included conducting a 10-day workshop with leading Indian folk artists. A detailed briefing was given to each artist, resulting in this collaboration with the artist Padma Shri and the choice to go for the traditional art of miniature paintings. The team initially drew on India’s diverse heritage of painting, textiles, architecture and embroidery styles to develop the concept, which was ultimately realized by Jai Prakash through its evocative illustration of the glorious past of the Rajputs. He himself was inspired by the miniature styles of the Kota (Rajasthan) and Kangra (Pahari) regions and his painting depicts the magnificent Rajput forts through playful activities of royalty, and visible through the tamed and untamed landscapes , birds and animals enjoying the spring season. . The unfolding visual narrative captivates the viewer, compelling them to explore the various details depicted by the artist, made even more striking by the expressive shapes and vibrant colors.

The artwork, which is essentially created on a two-dimensional medium, had to be carefully translated into a three-dimensional object and this was achieved through an elaborate process, to create a bespoke functional element for your bath space.

“We scanned these paintings and converted them into lithographs which were transferred to the ceramic surface. It’s all about craftsmanship and precision, without any automation,” says Anand Asinkar, Lead Industrial designer, Kohler India Studio .

A work of art, ‘Quila’ alone will elevate the aesthetic quotient of the bath space it is embedded in, telling stories of the glorious Rajput past through evocative visuals and bringing out the charm of Rajasthan. Collaborations like these are imperative today as they not only put Indian art on the global map, but also provide artisans with a platform to showcase their talent. And it is through these creative endeavors that the country’s centuries-old traditional arts, crafts, and techniques are gaining prominence and relevance in today’s times, preventing them from falling into oblivion.

Salil Sadanandan, President, Kohler Brand South Asia, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, speaks with IANSlife about the collaboration and its modern interpretation.

Tell us about the collaboration and what it aims to achieve?

Sadanandan: The collaboration aims to bring together India’s diverse arts and crafts, traditions and folklore, which testify to the country’s rich cultural heritage. Today, these age-old crafts find expression in contemporary contexts, articulated in such a way as to preserve their authenticity while allowing them to evolve. We collaborated with Padma Shri Jai Prakash Lakhiwal, the man who works to keep these traditional art forms alive and relevant for modern times, to bring artist and craftsmanship to the fore. The Quila is a beautiful product, one of a kind and certainly very different from what people expect to see in a bathroom. The artwork, which is essentially created in a two-dimensional medium, has been carefully translated into a three-dimensional object, to create a bespoke functional element for the bath space.

Your target audience is HNIs over 35 and especially women. Why is it?

Sadanandan: We have always believed that it is the women of the house who turn the place into a home. It is thanks to their talent for selecting products that are both design and of good quality that can embellish the place. This belief led us to make women 35 and older our target audience.

Tell us about the work?

Sadanandan: The artwork depicts the magnificent Rajput forts through the playful activities of royalty. It presents a panorama of tame and wild landscapes, which brings out the birds and animals enjoying the glorious spring season. The visual narrative unfolds the work and captivates the viewer, compelling them to explore the various details depicted by the artist, made even more striking by the expressive shapes and vibrant colors.

Accessories and accessories make or destroy a room, due to the pandemic people are focusing on their living spaces and are willing to spend on previously overlooked areas like bathroom accessories etc. Do you agree ?

Sadanandan: A bathroom reflects his personality. And with the onset of the pandemic, homes have become almost everyone’s sanctuary. For this reason, the concept of indoor-outdoor living has also translated into the bathroom space, which has opened up new opportunities for us. This situation has created a space of luxury combined with an increased sense of hygiene and safety, giving us the space to create more different products.

About Edward Weddle

Check Also

Downtown Los Banos Association to Light Up the Sky for July 2 Independence Day Celebration – Los Banos Enterprise

With the largest fireworks show in the county! The Los Banos Downtown Association is proud …