Friday, Jul 03, 2020 | Last Update : 04:44 AM IST

101st Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra1866261011728178 Tamil Nadu98392560211321 Delhi92175630072864 Gujarat33999246011887 Uttar Pradesh2482517221735 West Bengal1917012528683 Telangana185709069275 Rajasthan1831214574421 Karnataka180168336272 Andhra Pradesh160977313198 Haryana1494110499240 Madhya Pradesh1386110655581 Bihar10204781173 Assam8956583212 Jammu and Kashmir76954856105 Odisha7316535333 Punjab56683989149 Kerala4594243626 Uttarakhand2791190937 Chhatisgarh2339193713 Jharkhand2339160512 Tripura140110931 Manipur12605790 Goa11984783 Himachal Pradesh9796179 Puducherry73930112 Nagaland5351820 Chandigarh4463676 Arunachal Pradesh182601 Mizoram1601230 Sikkim88490 Meghalaya50421
  Life   Art  25 Apr 2017  Fading traditions

Fading traditions

THE ASIAN AGE. | SURIDHI SHARMA
Published : Apr 25, 2017, 12:15 am IST
Updated : Apr 25, 2017, 12:15 am IST

The fifth year of this project, titled ‘Framing the living traditions’, mentored five young photographers.

Bharat Tiwari has worked on the craft of making Chanderi silk.
 Bharat Tiwari has worked on the craft of making Chanderi silk.

Many living traditions of India are struggling to find a place in the new age. The India Photo Archive Foundation has taken a step towards documenting these traditions before it’s too late. The fifth year of this project, titled ‘Framing the living traditions’, mentored five young photographers.

Photographer Aditya Arya, who is the curator and mentor in this project, says, “This time we had taken seven people for the project but only five could deliver. Such is the nature of this project that many times people are not able to work on the idea they thought they could.”

 

Parthiv Shah from India Photo Archive Foundation says, “It takes up too much energy and time to think about a theme each year and mentor upcoming photographers for eight to nine months. But it is a project that has produced fantastic photographers and works in the past and we hope to continue doing so in the future.”

Silk routes via Chanderi
Bharat Tiwari has worked on the craft of making Chanderi silk. “I shot in Bundelkhand in Madhya Pradesh. This is one of the last few places where the saris are still woven with hand-looms. “I wonder how smart these artists would be because they are weaving all these intricate designs without the help of any technology. The weave works out in such a way that the weaver cannot see it, as it is hidden underneath. The weaver has to use a mirror and figure out if the design is turning out well. Unfortunately, this tradition is one of the last living handloom traditions in the country.”

a

‘Fading Whir of the Looms’
Mrigank Kulshrestha’s project focused on capturing the production of Assam silk, also known as Ahimsa silk. There is the golden ‘Muga’ silk, the ivory white ‘pat’ silk and the light beige ‘Eri’ or ‘Endi’ silk. “The tedious work of collecting silk worms and the
transformation into fabric is hardly seen by any of us. All we get to see is the beautiful fabric in the showrooms. The process of making this silk is so tedious that the younger generations no longer want to pursue this craft. They are day by day moving away from this and the art will eventually die out,” says Mrigank, adding, “Each time I go there, something new captures my attention and I know I have to take a picture.”

a

Swan Songs of the Badlas
Taha Ahmed’s work captures the fine art of ‘mukaish’. “I grew up in Lucknow and mukaish is a part of the city. It was initially meant for royal people and the Badlas were the craftspeople who made fine designs with gold and silver threads on fabric. Today, all the Badlas are above the age of 65. They do not teach their own children because there is no money left in this craft. All the money either goes to the middlemen or to the high-end designer houses who use their works. The Badlas live in poverty. The art might live on but these artists will no longer be there in few years. Such is the tragedy,” shares Taha.

a

An Aura of Analogue Age
Vikas Gupta has documented ‘An Aura of Analogue Age’ capturing the vanishing photo studios across India. “When photography was new to the world, it was said that it doesn’t have a soul because the process is so technical, unlike painting pictures. But the process of developing a photograph and working in a studio is where its soul lay. I tried to capture that soul with this series. With mobile cameras, no one wants to go to studios anymore. Film is not dead but this tradition of studios will soon be lost,” shares Vikas, who has documented several photographers who used to work with this medium.

a

The Craft of Tanpura Making
Ankit Agrawal has worked in Miraj, Maharashtra to capture the making of tanpuras. “This is an art that can never be replaced by machines, unless maybe someone thinks of a 3D printer to do this job. Still nothing can match the art of choosing the right gourds and raw materials and tuning the instrument by hand to giving it the final touches,” explains Ankit. While the art is practiced in Tanjavur, Rampur and Banaras as well, Miraj has taken over as the main centre, for tanpura making, due to availability of good raw material and its proximity to music centers in west and south India.

Tags: tanpura, photography, chanderi silk