Delhi: Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the exhibition PRA-KASHI on the finest trends of contemporary weaving, in New Delhi on Monday. The National Museum, New Delhi in collaboration with Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi has organized this exhibition. The exhibition will remain open for general public till 8th October 2019 between 10 am to 6 pm on Tuesday to Friday. The exhibition will remain open till 8 pm on Saturday & Sunday and it will be closed on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said the talent of the weavers in the exhibition is really impressive. Even today, the machine is not able to match the beauty of work done by hand and such skills need to be appreciated, he added. Through the exhibition, efforts have been made to highlight the talent of the artists to the public.
46 textile objects were displayed in the exhibition that are hand-woven on traditional Indian draw looms over last twenty-five years at ASHA, a silk weaving workshop at Varanasi. To situate the textiles within the milieu of luxury arts in which they were traditionally created, they shall be juxtaposed with 21 objects comprising of historic textiles, miniature paintings, jewellery and decorative arts from the reserve collection of the National Museum.
The exhibition is curated by Pramod Kumar KG of Eka Archiving Services. It is in the memory of Padma Bhushan Shri Suresh Neotia and Padma Bhushan Shri Martand Singh, Patron and Savant of Indian textiles, crafts and the Arts.
Believed to be India’s oldest and most sacred city, Kashi (Varanasi) has been a spiritual destination for Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina pilgrims since the first millennium BCE. From around the same time, the city has been celebrated for its textiles and in recent centuries for weaving luminousgold- and silver-brocaded silks that mirror the transcendental light of its sacred river, the Ganga.
The exhibition will showcase the greatest range and diverse products of Asha through varied technical aspects, discernible shift in pattern and materials across their full range. The exhibition shall also depict the story of the finest Indian textiles produced at Varanasi. The textiles showcased in the exhibition are created under the guidance of Padma Shri Rahul Jain, a leading expert on the traditional textile arts of India. Textiles woven at the Asha workshop today feature in several major museum collections including the British Museum, London; the Musee Guimet, Paris; the Art Institute of Chicago,and the Textile Museum, Washington DC.
This special exhibition is a part National Museum’s ongoing effort to collaborate with other leading organizations to showcase India’s rich and diverse culture. This year, National Museum has already organised three special thematic exhibitions on Baluchari Textiles, Himachal Folk Art and West Bengal’s Patachitra or Scroll Painting. The National Museum is planning to organize seven more special exhibitions in next one year in collaboration with different national and international organisations.