by Mridu SahaiFeb 12, 2020
Tradition meets technology in Concoction, a new collaborative collection by Jaipur Rugs and Shantanu Garg Design, which was recently launched online. Weaving together cross-cultural amalgamations, including graphical inspirations from the Bauhaus movement and a distinct Ottoman influence, the 12 designs are a fantastical representation of India’s architectural saga.
In this collection, woven and hand-knotted rugs make for the perfect two-dimensional mediums to express the depth of design, and the orchestrated ‘ebb and flow’ of detail, because of their textural character. The result is a ‘pixelated’ fantastical expression, one that not only simplifies the geometrical nuances of the inspiring designs, but also the architectural complexity of the warps and wefts in weaving.
Shantanu Garg speaks from the heart when he describes his inspirations for Concoction. “I am born and brought up amidst the heritage that has influenced my vision for this collection. I have always found Mughal structures quite monumental and clean, and almost everything from those eras transports me across India, the Middle East, and Southern Europe. Concoction celebrates a glorious chapter of India’s architectural legacy - one wherein the aesthetic of historical spaces was an amalgamation of Mughal, Ottoman and traditional Indian designs. What inspires me a lot is not just the romance between the eras, but also the idea that so much love might have evolved out of their long and eventful histories. I feel very strongly connected to their architecture and more than the detail, it’s the visibility of the blend that stays with me. My favourite designs from the collection are Salat, Firdaus, Pol, and Baori.”
The collection embraces the everlasting romance between yesteryear memories, and modern visions of a diverse, cosmopolitan tomorrow. The stark, sharp geometric cleanliness of chevron, stucco and mosaic work is softened by intricate arabesque detailing, the symmetry of calligraphic art; and the spiritual depth of age-old, cross-cultural sacred symbols. Grand arches, high ceilings, detailed niches, and elements of curiosity from floorings and the layout of communal spaces, also harmoniously find their specific niche.
Shantanu takes us through the evolution of the final design. “I gave a challenge to myself, to achieve the homogenous composition of elements in a way that made the individual proportions identifiable. So, I created these graphical narratives segmented by grooves into simpler patterns, but with bold intricacy, so that they would leave a lasting impression in the viewers’ minds.”
Yogesh Chaudhary, Director, Jaipur Rugs, feels happy and proud about the contemporary touch to the elevation of Jaipur’s handmade, rural craft legacy. “We work with artisans of the carpet industry who regard their skills of the hand - inherited as family legacy, and/or practiced - as a soul-calling, not just a profession. These skills are so unique, and infused with such a personal touch that they cannot be imitated, but they can be given new dimensions. Working with Shantanu is always a pleasure. Concoction will always be a special collection for us, because it shows that the resilience of the artisanal spirit is so pure and strong, that it’s able to adapt itself to modern technology, and communicate in the ‘language of the times’.” Yogesh says his favourite designs from Concoction are Jharokha, Baori, and Pol.
Concoction places itself sensitively in the broader context of today’s pervasive fragility and uncertainty. People are distancing themselves from each other, and from carefully laid-out ‘original plans’. But technology has helped ensure that creative visionaries like Jaipur Rugs and Shantanu Garg Design can still ideate and collaborate as a way of being; and use it to strengthen the modern-day relevance of India’s rural craft economy.
For more information please visit Jaipur Rugs