Wovensouls Journal

NOTES ON TRADITIONAL ARTS AND VANISHING CULTURES OF ASIA

Need a Handmade Iron Tool? Go shop with the Gadaliya Lohar Tribe of Rajasthan

Hand made textiles I can understand – but seeing handmade iron tools on sale brought me face-to-face with my ignorance! As I walked through Jaisalmer, I came across 2 families … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

Streets of Jaisalmer

One of the best ways to experience a city is to walk through it. And Jaisalmer with its charming architecture, narrow lanes and friendly bystanders is a treat to explore … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Welcome to Jaisalmer Homes

Art mixed with daily living, art created within the home, art that cannot be separated from the people or purchased – that art evokes a unique fascination and respect. Indian … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Time to Celebrate – My first article in Hali Magazine – Spring 2014

Join me virtually as I celebrate my first article in Hali: “Heading off evil at high altitude” on the Perak Headdresses worn in Ladakh, India under the ‘Features’ section. Am … Continue reading

April 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

TWO WORLDS

Bhil Woman whose lifestyle remains rooted in the past even as her surroundings have moved into the future with the adoption of new technology. Rural Rajasthan, India

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – In search of Shade

Man and beast subject to the elements of nature in equal measure.  The fragility of the human’s sense of empowerment over nature, is accentuated in the extreme testing conditions such … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Hamlets & Herds

A photo-essay on the little hamlets & goat herds seen in Thar Desert region of Rajasthan. The photos cannot capture the emptiness of the space, or the heat, but they … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Thar Desert Rajasthan – Where did the desert go?

A desert is not something that one sees often. So when I planned my trip to Rajasthan, I was excited about seeing the Thar desert (pronounced by local as Thudd)  … Continue reading

April 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

A Temple of Miracles in the Desert – Tanot Mata Mandir

Locals believe that it was the Goddess Tanot Mata that prevented the bombs from exploding in a war a few decades ago. And the Goddess became famous beyond the local … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Royal Cradles of Rajasthan

As I walk through the Mehrangarh Fort Museum hall exhibiting royal cradles, I cannot help but think about babies & nurturing & child-raising, about the tenets of parenting and the … Continue reading

April 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Living with Art – A Home in rural Rajasthan

On a highway outside Jaisalmer, driving at 80kmph, I spot an artistically decorated walled enclave. The driver is instructed to stop. He is first confused about my request to visit … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

The Caste Fortress

Growing up in cosmopolitan Mumbai we lived very closely with neighbors from various communities, sharing our struggles, our celebrations, our resources, our cooking ingredients, our food and sometimes even clothes … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 1 Comment

Rajasthan Diaries

The caravan stops again.  At Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and the surrounding desert villages! Sand dunes, an abandoned village, mesmerising architecture, a surprising desert-turned-fertile landscape, warm people, and finally an unforgetable meeting … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · Leave a comment

WELCOME TO WOVENSOULS

Join me in my journeys to Marwar-Sindh *New*, Ladakh & Orissa, Kutch, Sarawak, Mewar, Mizoram, Sikkim, Ladakh, Lambani Villages & Arunachal Pradesh, Nepal, Nagaland, Northern Thailand, Angkor Wat, Borobudur Tibet, … Continue reading

March 26, 2014

INDEX | Articles on Culture

A kaleidoscope of glimpses into various cultures within Asia. Each tribe, each ethnicity expresses its identity in various ways – music, dance, textiles, costumes, food, language, life format etc. It … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · 6 Comments

INDEX | Articles on Art

My explorations in ethnic and tribal art of various forms are posted here.  You could either scroll down and read all the articles or click on the articles that interest … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

INDEX | Articles by Region

The culture & art articles have been clubbed together in several region-specific diaries listed below. Karakoram – Dard Diaries Ryukyu Okinawa, Japan: Ryukyu Diaries Odisha, Eastern India : Kalinga Diaries … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Scent of a Textile

It is easy to be struck by the beauty of the Textile visually. But sometimes the stimulation extends to realms beyond the visual. Today I received an antique shawl from … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · Leave a comment

18th Century Carpet Weights – Mehrangarh Fort Museum, Jodhpur

An accessory for an accessory! Even though I collected carpets for a few years – I had never come across this category of objects in any books or in any … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · 1 Comment

Umaid Bhavan Palace Museum – The Glass Collection

“By the turn of the 19th century, the Indian Maharajahs were fascinated by the luxuries of the West. Among their favorite luxury items was the glassware. During their travels in Europe, … Continue reading

March 26, 2014 · 1 Comment

Umaid Bhavan Museum – The Clock Collection

I have heard of strange collections – a collection of railway engines and a  collection hangman’s nooses! But most collectors however focus on simpler objects – like coins and clocks. … Continue reading

March 25, 2014 · 1 Comment

Umaid Bhavan Palace Museum – Paintings

Paintings are all two-dimensional and we view them in the plane that is perpendicular to the plane in which both our eyes lie. So if a painting is mounted on … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · 1 Comment

Introducing The Swat & Kohistan Textiles Collection on Wovensouls.com

Introducing a small collection of textiles from a culture that is literally being extinguished by war. The silk embroidery of these textiles is as fine and delicate as their living … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Umaid Bhavan Palace Museum – Jodhpur

  When performance does not match expectation it results in disappointment. Years I had heard about this palace & museum and wanted to see it since then. We were all … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

Holi Again!

It’s the full moon night of Spring. And people are excited about the Dhuleti ir color festival that follows the night of Holi. A few pictures if the Holi Bonfire … Continue reading

March 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

Rural India Beckons!

Wanderlust strikes again! The unparalleled beauty of rural India is beginning to call out to me again…. The simplicity, the warmth, the genuineness, people living as one with the earth, … Continue reading

March 15, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Craft of the Kalamkari of South India

Kalamkari – literally meaning ‘pen craft’ [ Kalam = pen in Urdu]  involving painting and printing on cloth with natural dyes. Styles of Kalamkari Art The art is an ancient … Continue reading

March 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Opens

A few minutes before the exhibition opens: The things in this room – the textiles & the photographs, the stories behind their acquisition, the people in the photos & the … Continue reading

March 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Veiled Rebecca Marble

The piece that brought fame to the Salar Jung Museum Collection “Veiled Rebecca” – marble sculpture by Benzoni. The art lies in the way the artist has captured the fragility … Continue reading

March 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Wood Art Collection

Just a photo essay:

March 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – Indian Miniature Painting Collection

The best places to train the eye in any category of art or antiques, are museums and reputed dealers. In a single location a diverse set is viewable. In most … Continue reading

March 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Media Coverage for the exhibition “Vanishing Cultures” | The Straits Times, Singapore

Monday, March 3, 2014 jm

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Mughal Glass Collection

Mughal Glass constitutes a very prominent landmark in the history of glass in India. Under the reign of Akbar glass factories flourished but the best examples of Mughal glass were … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Ivory Collection

The pictures say it all!! The museum boasts of a collection of unimaginable ivory items such as a coach, coffee tables & chairs, and window panes! Other functional items such … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · 1 Comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Walking Stick Collection

Salar Jung-III must have been an interesting man. For, a collection as diverse and as interesting as this, requires before all else, the keen eye of the beholder to see … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 6 Comments

The day I almost missed a Flight – Textiles of the Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad

In the late 80s I had heard about the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad and the things I heard evoked a desire to visit. Life came in the way between … Continue reading

March 2, 2014 · 3 Comments

Catalogue of Exhibition “Vanishing Cultures” Singapore, March 7-9, 2014

Click on this link to view the the Exhibition Catalog highlights Hope to see you at the exhibition! jm

February 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

External Article: The surprising story of Mongolian shamanism | MIT News

Sharing an interesting article from MIT News: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/the-surprising-story-of-mongolian-shamanism-1216.html jm Feb 2014

February 23, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Dilemma of Fragments

Age destroys many materials. Textiles succumb. They fade, they see wear and tear through usage, their dyes eat into the cloth slowly over time, and direct light exposure takes the … Continue reading

February 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

Moved to another loving home

  Souls that stole our hearts the moment we set eyes upon them, souls that bind us to them with attachment, souls that gave us years of enjoyment and delight, … Continue reading

February 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

A delightful day with a Textile Connoisseur

Textile collectors are few. And so when there is an opportunity to meet up, it is always a pleasure. And when the other collector is a connoisseur and a Guru, … Continue reading

February 14, 2014 · 1 Comment

Antique Paintings on Mica

I was incredulous when I saw these for the first time! Why would anyone create a work of art on something so fragile? It seems that paper was more expensive … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · 3 Comments

ANNOUNCEMENT : ‘VANISHING CULTURES’ – An Exhibition of Cultural Photographs & Antique Traditional Arts

The Gallery @ The Arts House (Old Parliament) Come enjoy a visual feast – view the collection gathered over a decade of travels and acquire a piece or two and … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · 1 Comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Large Antique Phad Paintings

This Pabuji-ki-Phad is a hand-drawn, hand-painted work of folk art from Bhilwara Rajasthan of unknown age but estimated to be more than 80 years old. The tradition of the Bhopa … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Two rare Kohistan Shawls

Two rare shawls from Kohistan – a land whose culture is among the most endangered. Extravagantly embroidered with silk thread, beads and embellishments. Perfect collectible / large wall hanging. Rare. … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Antique Banarasi Saris

These two  complete bridal Banarasi saris (fragment) from the very early 20th century have been woven with Zari or golden thread that has precious metal content. More details on Wovensouls.com … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights |Antique Yao Paintings

Pair of Yao Ritual Paintings. This set from the Kin Mun Yao of Northern Vietnam and is of significant age. Microscopic examination of the paper reveals an unfamiliar fabric like … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Heirloom Patan Patola Ikat, Pre 19th century

This extremely fine example of double Ikat is an heirloom piece of one of the two surviving Patola weaving families. Known as the heirloom fragment piece that has been with … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Antique Phulkari Bagh

A textile art that is now extinct – the Phulkari Bagh – embroidery so thick that the base cloth cannot be seen – yet made with extremely fine untwisted silk … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Art Photo Print “Worship”

Fine Art Photo Print Presented by The Esplanade, Singapore in the “Sounds of Shanti’ series in an exhibition in 2013. Now available for acquisition at Vanishing Cultures. ‘Vanishing Cultures’ An … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

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