CONNECTING FOR INDIA, a social impact initiative founded by SALONI, hosted a four day textile sale and exhibition at the Asaya, Rosewood Hong Kong. The sale showcased the work of fourteen master artisans from Kutch, Gujarat, India, all of whom stem from intergenerational craft traditions. The sale’s aim was to provide a platform for the exposure, visibility and celebration of the artisans’ unique works and master pieces.
The participating artisans are graduates of design school, Somiaya Kala Vidya (SKV) founded in 2003 by Judy Frater. SKV was one of the very first design schools to provide artisans a supportive and enriching environment to develop their design and business skills whist receiving financial support. Frater, who has played an integral role in the movement to preserve traditional Indian craft in the last decades, served as an inspiring and supportive mentor throughout the planning and execution of the event from aboard.
The exhibition took visitors on a tactile journey of Kutch, Gujarat via its textile traditions passed down through generations. The display featured bandhani silks in charismatic tones of emerald, turquoise and indigo as well as ancient motifs and geometric symbols hand spun and stamped onto textiles, using 4-treadle pit handlooms and chiselled wooden blocks. Delicate embroidery techniques exemplified the cultural vibrancy that reverberates through Kutch, infamously synonymous with diverse and intricate craft.
All proceeds from the sale funnelled directly back to the artisans, while CONNECTING FOR INDIA enacted as facilitator and intermediary bridging the stunning world of heritage textiles with a global and progressive audience in Hong Kong. It is these bridges of connection that CONNECTING FOR INDIA is dedicated to continuing to foster, in reverence for craft custodians all across India.