Craft Initiatives

Asia Art Archive Fundraiser

Hong Kong, 29th October 2021

Innovation through Tradition: Asia Art Archive Annual Gala

CONNECTING FOR INDIA, a social impact initiative founded by SALONI, celebrated artistry and community with Asia Art Archive (AAA) at their 21st annual gala dinner in Hong Kong.

AAA is an independent non-profit organization co-founded by Claire Hsu and Johnson Chang in 2000 in response to the urgent need to document and make accessible the multiple recent histories of art in Asia. With one of the most valuable growing collections of material on the recent history of art, freely available from their website and onsite library, AAA builds tools and communities to collectively expand knowledge through research, residency, educational programs, and publications.


“Innovation through Tradition”, the theme for the evening’s gala also drove the re-evaluation of handmade textiles and their relationship to contemporary art practice. 

CONNECTING FOR INDIA partnered with fourteen Ajrakh block print artisans and graduates of Somaiya Kala Vidya, a design school in Kutch, Gujarat, to create unique textiles that injected an undeniable atmosphere of dynamism and liveliness into the evening.

Saloni Lodha enlisted the support of her long-time collaborator, New York-based set designer Julia Wagner, to provide creative direction for the event. Circular tables were adorned with Ajrakh textiles that exuded a unique charm and character, blending motifs and symbols into a harmonious fusion of design. These textiles, considered masterpieces by artisans, demanded painstaking commitment and creative skill to produce. 


"The concept was to curate an exhibit featuring the selected artisans and showcase their unique fabrication methods so guests could explore the craftsmanship before dinner, transforming the dining room into an exhibition space where each table tells a distinct story of artistry and tradition." Julia Wagner

It was a celebration that not only showcased artistic creations but also embraced the narratives, friendships, and communities that are woven into the fabric of tradition.